List of the Best Creative Marketing Agencies

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Creative Agency Hiring Guide

What is a creative agency?

A creative agency is an agency that combines branding, marketing, and design strategies to help brands perform better both in the physical and digital world.  

What does a creative marketing agency do?

A creative agency develops strategies and creative materials to support your brand's advertising and marketing initiatives. Creative agencies showcase your brand, products, or services through attractive, innovative assets. Partnering with one can help you increase brand awareness, improve public perception, and boost sales. 

Creative agencies offer a full scope of services, such as: 

  • Strategy: How brands establish themselves on the market and serve their customers 
  • Design: How brands and products look and feel 
  • Advertising: How brands promote themselves and their products or services 
  • Technology: How brands integrate technological solutions into their practices 

Other tasks a creative agency may perform include: 

  • Content planning 
  • Copywriting, content writing, and publishing 
  • Creation of visuals, infographics, and video content 
  • Reporting and analyzing marketing results based on KPIs 
  • Consulting 
  • And more 

What is the difference between an ad and a creative agency?

The difference between an ad and a creative agency lies in their focus, goals, and scope of work. 

An ad agency specializes in creating and implementing advertising campaigns on TV, radio, print, and online to increase brand awareness and sales. Its specialized teams consist of experts in account management, media planning, creative development, production, data analysis, media planning and buying, and more. 

Meanwhile, a creative agency concentrates on developing and executing innovative campaigns that differentiate a business from its competition. It has teams of graphic designers, artists, copywriters, social media specialists, videographers and video editors, and more. These creative professionals collaborate to produce visually appealing, engaging, and memorable concepts, designs, and content. 

Here's a clearer illustration of their differences: 

 Ad agency Creative agency 
FocusCampaign implementation, distribution, and management Development of strategies, concepts, and content 
Specialized skills Traditional, digital, and integrated media Marketing collaterals and support for marketing initiatives 
Goal Identify the best media channels for securing ad placements Capture the target market's attention and promote brand messaging, awareness, and recognition 
ApproachSpecific targeting Long-term branding 

How much do creative marketing agencies charge for their services?

On average, US-based creative marketing agencies charge an hourly rate from $100 to $300, according to Fin Models Lab. The top 50 creative agencies on DesignRush charge an average of $120/hour.  

Other billing options include:  

  • Competition-based: Charging clients at a lower price than more established competitors 
  • Value-based: Based on the perceived value of the service instead of the actual cost of the tasks or the time spent on them 
  • Results-based: Payment is calculated based on metrics such as website traffic, search engine rankings, and brand authority.  
  • Per project: Payment is a fixed price, often based on the number of hours it will take to complete a project. This is how much you can expect to pay for specific services:  

The method of billing you choose will depend on the scope of the project(s) and your own needs. If it’s a small project whose workload can be well-estimated, the simplest and most common invoicing method is by the hour. 

Roughly 12% of the creative agencies on the platform accept projects with a minimum budget of $1,000, while only 4% have a $50,000+ minimum budget. 

Why should I hire a creative agency?

The main reason to hire a creative agency is to gain access to new skills and unbiased perspectives from experts on marketing, analytics, and design. This frees your internal team's time so they can focus on core business processes. 

You should also consider hiring a creative agency for:  

  • Access to expert resources, such as analysts, web designers, and content writers 
  • The tools and technology needed to complete a project 
  • Effective marketing strategies based on your unique goals, branding style, and budget 
  • Quality of work and consistency across all your marketing channels 
  • Time and cost savings 
  • A dedicated team focused on branding 
  • Enhanced user experience 
  • A new and holistic outlook 
  • Their commitment to improve and innovate 

Demonstrating the importance of hiring a creative agency, Digital Kitchen shared a case study on its collaboration with FX. The project aimed to bring fans of The Strain into the show's dark world through an immersive VR experience at the San Diego Comic-Con.  

The event amassed 137 million social media impressions and 32 million press impressions from reputable outlets, such as Rolling Stone, Fortune, USA Today, VR Scout, and more. On-site, the event garnered 932,000 ground impressions and over 1,000 people participated. 

How do I choose a creative agency?

Follow these steps to select a creative agency: 

  1. Create a brief specifying your goals, requirements, and needs. 
  2. Set your budget and target ROI.  
  3. Research and assess reputable creative agencies based on your KPIs. Shortlist up to five companies with experience and expertise in your niche that most closely align with your company's vision and culture. 
  4. Check their credentials, licenses, insurance, affiliations, and the latest technologies and industry trends they utilize. 
  5. Review their case studies to see if they can devise a tailored plan for your project instead of a one-size-fits-all strategy.  
  6. Read previous clients' testimonials and recommendations.  
  7. Find out if they offer full-service capabilities or can subcontract specializations they may not have in-house. For instance, a creative agency may not offer video production services and delegate this task to another reputable company. 
  8. Send a detailed request for proposal (RFP). Ask them to pitch ideas and strategies that abide by the creative industries' trade standards. 
  9. Receive custom proposals with the pitch and arrange meetings to discuss them in greater detail.  
  10. Ensure they have streamlined communication channels through which immediate concerns can be addressed. 
  11. Make an informed decision based on all the information you gathered. 

If you need help finding the creative agency that best fits your brand, head over to our Marketplace and share your project details with us. We'll run through our global Agency Directory and find you the ideal match for your business requirements. 

What questions to ask a creative marketing agency before hiring?

Ask these questions when hiring a creative marketing agency: 

Its Relevant Background  

  1. Which business types and markets do you have the most experience working with? 
  2. What projects have you worked on that are similar to ours? 
  3. How do you assess client-agency fit? 
  4. What are your most successful creative projects? Can you work us through the process and the results? 

Company Services and Processes 

  1. Which creative, design, and marketing capabilities do you specialize in? 
  2. What makes your creative service offers unique? 
  3. What is the typical scope and size for the projects you accept? 
  4. Which marketing software, design tools, and databases do you specialize in? 
  5. What project management, communication, and reporting tools do you use? 

The Project 

  1. How will you evaluate the requirements of our project? How will you ensure the deliverables will be aligned with our vision and objectives? 
  2. What do we have to provide you with to commence the project? 
  3. How frequently can we get progress updates? 
  4. Which KPIs do you think will be most efficient to use for this project? 
  5. Who will be handling our account and executing the work? 
  6. How will you respond to and resolve urgent concerns? 
  7. Who will retain ownership of the marketing, design, and creative assets? 
  8. What is your pricing structure like? 
  9. Are there any areas of the project that you'll be outsourcing? 

What are the top creative agencies in the U.S.? 

AgencyDesignRush ratingGoogle ratingTop clients


(6 reviews) 


(28 reviews) 

  • McDonald’s
  • Make-A-Wish
  • Cargill


(10 reviews)


(32 reviews) 

  • Android Authority
  • LALA Taqueria
  • Pritchard Peck
  • Odyssey Hair Studio
FRW Studios


(5 reviews)


(32 reviews) 

  • The Lost Abbey
  • MotoSonora Brewing
  • Port Brewing
  • Laguna Beach Beer Company
S² Design Group


(5 reviews)


(2 reviews)

  • Ferrero
  • Bazooka Candy Brands
  • Mondeléz
  • Campbell Snacks
Amsive Digital


(6 reviews)


(9 reviews)

  • WWE
  • UFC
  • Clover Health

Scroll up to find out more about them and the rest of the agencies on our listing. You can filter your options based on location, fees, ratings, team size, and other valuable parameters. 

About The Author and Expert Reviewer
Jelena Relić has hundreds of top-ranking articles and a lifestyle & culture magazine she calls The MAN. She gained valuable content and SEO experience working at Digital Circle and Neil Sahota, which she now uses to deliver top-quality B2B content at DesignRush, particularly in the creative industry.
Branko Dimitrijević is a multifaceted creative and a recipient of 33 design awards. Throughout his 12-year career, he has delivered over 165 web design projects, showcasing his expertise in website optimization, UI/UX design, logo design, and video animation. He is now dedicating his talent and skills to being one of the creative geniuses at DesignRush.