Do you need a Marketing Coordinator or an Agency?

This morning I was speaking with someone I see at my gym every now and then. We spoke about our upcoming trips, families, and of course what we do. When he learned about At Large Communications, he asked me if I thought employing a full-time marketing coordinator is a wise investment given their marketing dollars are limited. A great question, and one we hear regularly.

A Marketing Coordinator, on a salary of $40-50K per year, can play an important role within your organization. With that, you’re likely getting a new graduate with a marketing or communications degree and ideally a work term placement or two behind them. They traditionally bring an educated command of basic marketing standards and practices that will allow them to work alongside management who are responsible for marketing and communications within your organization. They may bring the added benefit of some technical skills including knowledge of MS Office, writing, design, and other administrative capabilities. Further, they can manage website updates and either create or maintain your social media accounts.

But in the case of my new friend, his organization is small and has the budget for one or the other. The individual they currently employ often calls upon the services of a third-party communications agency to assist with things like web updates, print design, even PowerPoint templates, leaving him asking, “What should I expect a coordinator to be able to do?” Frustrated, he took my contact information and requested a meeting.

The key thing we try to express to our clients is that if your marketing budget is limited, think about where you can get the most value for your dollar (and by value, we mean expertise, experience, and efficiency). If you also require administrative support, you may be better off hiring an admin assistant instead of a junior marketer.

An established and credible agency is ultimately a more cost-effective solution. Why? Because we’re in the business of delivering results, fulfilling your marketing objectives, through systems and infrastructure that makes better use of your:

  1. Time – Typically, the coordinator submits the agency’s work to you for approval, which can create an unnecessary middle-person. When your agency talks directly to you it inevitably saves time and reduces the risk of your words getting lost in translation – nobody likes to repeat themselves. For us, we would rather talk directly to you, asking the questions to help us get the job done right the first time.
  2. Money – That $45,000 you pay the coordinator can buy you a lot of work from a full-service agency. Firms like At Large have a full roster of experts from all disciplines who are negotiated by-project. Lastly, you won’t need to pay for our parking, desk space, holiday pay, or benefits. If you wish to invite us to your holiday party… that’s up to you (we’ll accept).
  3. Quality and Scope – For us and our suppliers, we do what we do because we love it! We focus on what we’re excellent at and hire experts for the rest – people who do what they do all day, every day. Every supplier we use on a project is vetted and has many years of experience. Together, we feed off of each other’s creativity and the work becomes exponentially better.

If you’re interested in speaking with us in more detail about how we might be a good fit for your organization, drop us a line at