Growth Marketing Consultant vs Growth Marketing Agency: Which Is Best?

The answer you get is going to change depending on the specialties of the marketing consultant or agency that you choose to work with — and not necessarily what your business actually needs to grow.

Each type of marketing expert comes with their own sets of disadvantages.

Growth Marketing Consultants are going to be limited by their own knowledge and experience. They also have to rely on your team or outsourced talent for the execution of the strategies they recommend and often will have talent gaps that influence their recommendations.

Growth Marketing Agencies won’t be limited by talent gaps since they are often positioned to fill in those gaps with their own specialists. However, they will often sell you what they do instead of what you need.

For example, an ad agency is going to persuade you to buy more ads, and a content marketing agency is going to sell you on publishing more blog posts or videos.

The Downfall to Both is Strategic

Without a well thought out and executed strategy that focuses on revenue growth vs. vanity metrics, you could end up wasting thousands of dollars on marketing and sales tactics that are never going to work.

Will you be wasting money either way you go? Or is there a better option?

Growth Marketing Consultant vs. Growth Marketing Agency: Which is Best?

You could choose to hire a growth marketing consultant or growth marketing agency separately and try to piece together a cohesive strategy, but you don’t need that kind of hassle.

Instead, you could choose to harness the power of both by hiring a growth team.

A growth team is the best of both worlds. It's an agency and consultancy all combined — not just to sell you services, but to make sure those services match the exact needs of your business to deliver the biggest impact and help you grow.

Let us show you the pros and cons of growth marketing consultants vs growth marketing agencies so that you can make the right decision for your business.

If you think a growth team is a better fit, then schedule a phone call with our experts to find out how our growth team can grow your business.

Growth Marketing Consultant Pros and Cons

Growth marketing consultants can be great for startup businesses that have little budget to work with, who prefer to work with a consultant one-on-one instead of a team of specialists.

However, since they typically work alone or in small groups, growth marketing consultants can often become overwhelmed with too many clients or clients that require much more of their time. You might have to wait several hours or even business days to get the help you need.

Here’s a list of some of the pros and cons of growth marketing consultants so you can see the advantages and disadvantages for yourself:


They are usually cheaper than agencies, which makes them easier to afford for companies with smaller budgets.

They will train your employees to be better and more effective.

Your company stays on top of the latest marketing and business trends.

You get access to the software they use for lead generation, email marketing, social media management, etc.

Marketing consultants can work from anywhere, so they are readily available when you need them.


They are limited by their own skills and expertise and the circle of experts they can refer you to for the things they can’t do themselves.

They always have an out when you're not getting results. They can always blame your sales team or claim your execution was poor.

They are easily overwhelmed with too many clients or clients that demand too much of their time.

They have a tendency to rely on “set it and forget it” automation tools to manage your leads and paid search campaigns.

Related Reading: Growth Marketing: How to Dominate Your Industry in 2020

Growth Marketing Agencies Pros and Cons

Only 7% of salespeople say the leads they received from the marketing team were high-quality leads they could potentially convert.

When your marketing team focuses on what they do best — creating ads, publishing content, social media marketing, etc — they lose the big picture perspective, and they rely on vanity metrics instead of revenue increases to rate their success.

What are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity metrics are anything that doesn’t directly correlate with an increase in revenue for your company. The number of leads, website visitors, or clicks might sound really good when the numbers are high, but if those metrics are not benefitting your bottom line, they’re wasted efforts.

This is only one of the disadvantages of hiring a marketing agency vs. a growth team. Here are some more examples of the pros and cons of marketing agencies:


They fill your talent gaps with their own employees instead of referring you to others or training your staff.

Their employees are usually experts and specialists.

They’re cheaper than filling gaps by hiring your own in-house staff for the positions.

Your company stays on top of the latest marketing trends.


They aren’t responsible for growth. They are responsible for delivering on a project.

They sell what they do and not necessarily what you need.

If your lead generation funnel is broken, they won’t recommend that you fix it. They’ll keep recommending that you purchase more and more of their services — such as more ads, more posts, etc.

They aren’t always the best salespeople.

They are typically perfectionists and have a hard time delegating tasks to others when they are overwhelmed.

Related Reading: Growth Team 101: Should You Hire or Build One?

Conclusion: Which Is Best?

Which one is best depends on the current state of your business. Either one can bring you results at the right time if your business has all the necessary pieces in order — branding, your message, your funnel, etc. However, both can waste your money and time if you don’t.

You have to take a close look at what you need and consult with experts to determine if your six levers of growth are performing at the highest level before you expand your marketing efforts.

How We Can Help You Grow

Lean Labs is a growth team that combines the best of both worlds from growth marketing consultants and growth marketing agencies.

Our team of experienced marketing and business professionals will work with you to figure out what your needs are so you can make a more informed decision about where to spend your marketing dollars.

“Working with Lean Labs, the experience has been very positive. We worked together to relaunch our website. Now we’re working on strategically driving more traffic and converting leads.” - Ayelet Wiedermann, VP of Marketing for CampaignDrive
“We were leaving a lot of money on the table by not updating and doing a complete overhaul of how we were representing ourselves online. If you are looking to do an overhaul of how you represent yourself, Lean Labs is absolutely the way to go.” - Jessie Smith, Marketing Manager for International TEFL Academy

Schedule a phone call with a member of our team and get the information you need to make a decision today.

Not ready to take the plunge and give us a call? Download our free “Growth Playbook to learn the secrets we use to help our clients achieve success by growing their revenue.

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