Ad Agencies vs Consulting Firms: Explained
Ads Agencies

What’s the difference between Ad Agencies vs Consulting Firms?

20 Oct, 2022

Whom Should You Hire for Solving Business Challenges after Covid-19?

Now hear carefully and Know the difference with the help of comparison and contrast.

1. Area of Expertise
  • Ad Agencies work on Specific marketing domain
  • Consulting Firms work on Specific business domain market
2. Area of Knowledge Base
  • Ad Agencies work on Creative-driven solution approaches to branding & Marketing
  • Consulting Firms work on Knowledge, Intelligence, Insights, forecasts, and a Data-driven approach to Markets, Industries, Segments, Category & brands.
3. Area of Guidance & Advising
  • Ad Agencies work with the Marketing team in an organization for marketing ROI
  • Consulting Firms work with Senior management for business performance
4. Area of Core Problematic issue Identification
  • Ad Agencies help Identify core marketing problems
  • Consulting Firms help Identify core business problems
5. Area of Goal setting in business
  • Ad Agencies Design brand communication for achieving marketing goals
  • Consulting Firms Provide objectivity while setting business goals
6. Area of Goal achievement
  • Ad Agencies Help achieve marketing goals.
  • Consulting Firms Help set overall business goals.
7. The Need to Hire Them
  • Ad Agencies work on Customer facing solutions that are primarily design oriented.
  • Consulting Firms work on Business & customer-facing challenges.
8. Reason for Hiring
  • Ad Agencies drive Creative supply & help Design the look & feel of the brand.
  • Consulting Firms To drive business strategy.
9. Solutions Provided
  • Ad Agencies work on Solving marketing challenges only.
  • Consulting Firms work on Solving all business challenges.
10. Who Can Hire Them?
  • Ad Agencies are generally Hired by CMO/Marketing Head.
  • Consulting Firms are generally Hired by CEO/MD/ Shareholders/Core stakeholders.
11. Approach to Work
  • Ad Agencies Work with CMO.
  • Consulting Firms Work with CEO/ Founder/MD CXO.
12. Supplement to Team
  • Ad Agencies Supplement the marketing department in an organization.
  • Consulting Firms Supplement all departments in an organization.
13. Initiating Change
  • Ad Agencies Help/ upgrade/ the last mile connect between brand & customer experience.
  • Consulting Firms Helps upgrade people, process, product, and technology.
14. Approach to Knowledge
  • Ad Agencies With creative knowledge fuel marketing speed & efficiency.
  • Consulting Firms Use industry/category/ segment knowledge to fuel business growth.
15. Approach to Client’s Teams
  • Ad Agencies Cannot resize/ train/ any team, including the marketing team.
  • Consulting Firms Can advise business leaders for resizing / training/ upgrading personnel across departments.
16. Method and Competence
  • Ad Agencies are Creative driven.
  • Consulting Firms are Business, data & Knowledge driven.
17. Work on Strategy
  • Ad Agencies Work on sales & marketing strategies.
  • Consulting Firms Work on business strategies.
18. Area of Influence
  • Ad Agencies Seek to influence a client’s customer through ads.
  • Consulting Firms seek to influence all groups of clients, especially stakeholders.
19. Interaction with the Client Team
  • Ad Agencies work with the marketing teams & processes, market stakeholders, and customer base of a client, touring the marketing dept.
  • Consulting Firms work with all departments in a business organization, meeting the directors, and CXOs, touring the facility and auditing the finances.
20. Larger Frame of Reference
  • Ad Agencies drive Brand mission & vision.
  • Consulting Firms drive Organization’s mission & vision.
21. Capacity to Audit
  • Ad Agencies May conduct a brand audit to identify marketing strengths & weaknesses.
  • Consulting Firms Conduct overall business audits including brand audits, financial audits, people audits, process audits, and tech audits to identify strengths & weaknesses.
22. Approach to Client’s Business Assets & Liabilities
  • Ad Agencies May not be invested in setting the client’s business assets & liabilities.
  • Consulting Firms Consider managing a client’s assets & liabilities as part of their scope of work.
23. Approach to New Market Opportunities
  • Ad Agencies: May develop advertising solutions for new markets.
  • Consulting Firms Predict, forecast, and Identify new market opportunities for a business & develop the feasibility & impact of its business plans for the same.
24. Persistence Required
  • Ad Agencies Need to be persistent with the client in the face of demands for further options in design and creatives.
  • Consulting Firms Need to be persistent when meeting resistance from top management regarding key decisions involved in business strategy.
25. Methodology
  • Ad Agencies do Micro level execution.
  • Consulting Firms do Macro and micro-level strategy, advice, recommendations, and executions.
26. Main KRAs
  • Ad Agencies work on Marketing goals, marketing ROI, and metrics of customer acquisition & retention.
  • Consulting Firms work on Business growth, year-on-year growth, feasibility study, business forecasting, business challenges, reducing turnaround time, and minimizing all types of operation TAT like buying cycle length/duration.
27. Impact of Work
  • Ad Agencies Impact marketing & branding.
  • Consulting Firms Impact business growth & performance.
28. Ways to Get the Best out of Them
  • Ad Agencies Should be given creative freedom by the CMO & marketing team.
  • Consulting Firms Should be empowered by the CEO & MD to take all difficult decisions.
29. Personal Interaction
  • Ad Agencies Should be encouraged to provide constructive criticism regarding existing brand communication.
  • Consulting Firms Deserve to be allowed complete liberty to investigate the issues and records deeply & be trusted with data.
So the Moral of the story:

Your decision about whom to hire for solving your business challenges after Covid-19?

Ad Agencies? Who gives ideas for ads? Or Consulting Firms?

It’s time to rethink your old business models

30. Will you need better copy & better ads?


Will you need ways to grow your business?

Let us know about your experience working with ad agencies and consulting firms.

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