At Bowen, our mantra is “Live imaginatively. Work Vigorously. Spread Inspiration. Stay Curious.” Our digital agency carved its own path and built its model from the ground up, adapting alongside evolving technologies. In turn, Bowen is living proof that in the case of digital agencies, less is more. We are a digital agency comprised of creative radicals and business mavens. And we’re here to prove that boutique is better.
Over time, more and more big brands are discovering the benefits of opting for smaller agencies over larger ones. Why? Bigger does not always translate to better. Whereas our boutique sized agency can scale and contract to meet our client’s needs, an ever-expanding marketing team can open the floodgates to inconsistencies and plateaued ingenuity. Perhaps the biggest difference between large and small agencies, doesn’t lie in the number of employees, but rather the set of expectations for each employee. The dynamism, creativity and expertise required for smaller firms are exponentially higher. Less people require more skills. And because of that, powerhouse agencies do not come in a one-size-fits-all model.
Flexibility breeds Innovation
The small agency model requires each and every indispensable team member to embrace change. On a day-to-day basis, our account manager is communicating with clients and overseeing the information architecture of a website. Our designers are taking creative initiative and building well-rounded user experiences across various channels. Our marketing team creates data analysis reports and writes copy and creative content. Our developers are constantly collaborating with our designers for fresh, innovative creations. And when a new website launches, our team tests for quality from every angle to ensure we launch something we’ll be proud of. To experience it is electric.
Each time a new website is launched, a team member hits the gong to symbolize another successful launch. Traditionally, sacred Chinese gongs have inscribed “Tai Loi,” which translates to ‘Happiness has arrived.’ The vibration resounds throughout the building, and we all take a moment to revel in the crystallization of months and months of dedication, hard work and heart that brought a mere idea from inception to execution.
From its birth, everyone works together to nurture, discover and construct client concepts beyond what we ever initially imagined. To be a part of brand naming and development is to witness something truly miraculous. When you are a part of a small team that builds great things, the reward of having a website up and running with full functionality intact is far greater than having a small piece of the pie. Here, everyone matters.
Jeff Rosenbaum — a founding partner of digital agency Questus — noted that the beauty of small digital agencies is that, “Each person is exposed to a broad array of tactics and learns when to use each tool to solve a range of client challenges. Each team member is focused on client goals, not necessarily his or her defined role. This is critically important because marketing is being redefined each day.”
Each morning, we congregate to share our schedules and collaborate our various goals for the day. We encourage one another to exit our own comfort zones and realms of what we thought was possible every single day. We try new things, watch new tutorials and master new programs regularly. There is constant contact amongst our team, and everyone plays a part in bringing ideas to life.
Old Success Does Not Equate to New
Big agencies build credibility on time-tested approaches. Reputation and success is simply not enough to convey your capabilities. With technologies advancing at a rapid rate, and an evolving digital landscape, agencies can only progress by embracing change. Our methodologies aim to reflect that. Here, our work forces us to think outside of the box. And when we do, we constantly surprise ourselves with our ability to grow and learn each day. We create the things we wish existed. That is why we do what we do.
When there is no “legacy” to behold, smaller agencies are free to execute fresh ideas and implement new technologies. Saddled by a traditional business model, bigger agencies are often unable to take creative risks. Taking a fearless approach to client work means adopting a culture shift for traditional agencies. Smaller digital agencies are here to disrupt that model.
Company Culture & Communication
People, camaraderie and collaborative relationships. This is how success is fostered. Bowen fuels a culture of forward-thinking, risk-taking synergistic connections. Our creatives are reviewing designs in person with clients, and guiding copy meetings for fresh content. Our goal is communication: through slack, through phone calls, through momentum phone calls, in-person meetings, and emails. Tying in our attention to detail, communication and innovation – there is no limit to what we can accomplish in a day. We develop personal relationships with clients, because our heart is in our work. We customize our work to brand specifications with our deliverables, copy and creativity. Our goals are always set together with our clients.
Of smaller agencies, Vice President of RE/MAX Abby Lee noted, “We have worked with agencies of all sizes and what we have found is that smaller agencies tend to become part of your marketing team — they get ingrained in your company’s DNA. They are more interested in your business and helping it evolve and grow than they are interested in using it as a vessel for awards and accolades.”
There is no hierarchy or strong pecking order within small agencies. Everyone speaks up because everyone’s voice is heard. Small agency employees create together. Designers learn from developers who speak with marketers and copywriters. We know that constant innovation demands constant creation, and our team of specialists are delegated roles based around their expertise and passions. Wherever team members can strengthen what we are building, they are pulled in for collaboration. Everyone gets their thoughts out on the whiteboard. We build bonds — and whether we’re sitting around our conference table packaging gifts for prospective clients, grabbing lunch or designing a logo — we’re firm believers that teamwork makes the dream work.
At a large agency: you are a small component of a much larger machine. At a smaller agency, every team member comprises the machine.
Transparency is the name of the game. The same team you meet with on day one will be the team who congratulates you on your site’s official launch. We deliver a more personalized, individualized set of services and have the capacity to be incredibly flexible, reachable and responsive. With smaller agencies, clients are not looked at as numbers, but rather as strong interpersonal partnerships. At Bowen, your growth is our success. We champion your ideas and encourage your input. We want you with us every step of the way, and that means we’re always open to optimization, improvements and open ideas. Our progress is fueled by our client partnerships.
Within smaller agencies, clients and employees alike can learn something new every day. We are constantly adding to our glossary of terms and expanding our technical and vertical-based jargon. We are in daily contact and open communication with our bosses..Every single day we are learning something new, and we are in no way limited by our job titles. We are not sectioned off to a department or encouraged to remain within our job description parameters. With a wide-ranging and extremely diverse client roster, we have become professionals in a variety of unique and unexpected verticals. We are inspired and excited by this diversity every single day.