Does being an independent agency really matter?

February 8, 2022

Cuttsy+Cuttsy was recently ranked the number 6 Independent Agency in PM Live’s Top 40 Creative Healthcare Agencies listing. It’s great to feature on the list and a huge endorsement for the agency which we are proud to have grown independently over the past 10 years.  But the recent listing made us stop and think about what it means to be independent, and whether it really matters to the people we work with on healthcare communication projects. The answer to the question probably depends on who you are, but here’s my take on why it’s always worth considering an independent agency.  

It's personal

How often do you go to a pitch from an agency, get wowed, sign them up, only for your project to be handed over to another team to deliver it? At an independent agency this is MUCH less likely to happen — the people you meet at the pitch will be by your side as you work together to navigate every step of your project. Working closely with you, they’ll be able to tailor the programme to your exact business needs and if a project needs some specialist resources, an independent agency is not beholden to a head office dictating that you must use a sister agency (regardless of your best interests).

Nimble yet decisive

When you’re looking for a partner agency, it’s worth considering the size of the agency — too small and you may not have access to the skills and resources you require, too large and it may take more time to get your project delivered as materials are held up in time consuming internal processes. A mid-size independent often strikes a good balance, offering agility and responsiveness to project delivery while retaining a proximity to leadership teams (typically the founders) who can make decisions about resources and investment in the business and implement them the same day.

The bigger picture

At the beginning of my career, I was told to join a small business early on (to get experience of a broader role) and a bigger one later, as a way of speeding up my career path. While that may be worthy career advice, it also reflects the diversity of experience that working at independent agencies offers. That experience translates into knowledge and wisdom that can be applied to every new project and challenge. The fact that our team is so closely involved with every aspect of their projects, means that between us there is very little that we have not encountered before!

I am sure there are many other reasons for working with independent agencies and the larger networks. But right now, I am proud to be one of the founders of PM Live’s T40 top independent agencies 2021.


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