February 16, 2019
10 simple steps to become the absolute best marketing agency
In this day and age, getting ahead of the competition is vital for business success. You could argue that it’s always been that way, but nowadays, everything hinges so drastically on technology and reaching as many people as possible.
The great thing about social media and the Internet overall is that we can talk to people miles and miles away, and that can also equate to sales. The problem is, if a business doesn’t know what to do in terms of reaching those people in the best possible way, all of this technology is basically pointless.
This is where a quality marketing agency comes in.
The fact you’re reading this article tells me that you are either thinking about setting up a new marketing agency, or you’re already an established agency, needing to push forward and improve and grow. Either way, this article should prove to be very helpful indeed.
I’m going to talk about the ways you can be better this year. Basically, if you want to be the best marketing agency out there, you need to know your business and you need to know your clients. That is the single best way to succeed. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many agencies actually fail on the basics!
To begin with however, let’s break things down, for completeness’ sake.
Why is Marketing so Important?
This is the most basic of questions when it comes to business, but let’s face it, if you don’t market your goods and services, who is going to know that you offer them? Nobody! People are not psychic, and whilst word of mouth and chance happenings do occur, they’re not going to make you rich, and they’re not going to create business growth.
Marketing encompasses campaigns, social media adverts, having a strong online presence in general, discounts, knowing your clients, knowing your customers, and basically creating an exciting, strong buzz around your business. All of this equates to profits and repeat business. Successful and effective marketing also ensures that you stay ahead of the competition and that you retain the customers and clients you have, keeping them away from tempting campaigns being run by businesses in the same niche as you.
As technology has developed over the last few years, marketing has gone viral. Online marketing is everywhere, from algorithms predicting your likes and dislikes, cold email campaigns and social media pushes, marketing is more subtle and ‘in your face’ as it has ever been before. All of this requires skill and knowledge, and that is where a marketing agency comes in.
What is a Marketing Agency?
The best way for me to describe a marketing agency is this – a group of people who have expert skills in marketing techniques, and who offer these skills to businesses, for a fee.
Marketing campaigns need to be creative and they need to be clever; all of this helps a business stand out from the crowd, and when you do something a little different people take notice. This is what a marketing agency offers a business – marketing techniques which create buzz and attention, and which then hopefully equate to sales and repeat business. Of course, this means profits.
A marketing agency specialises in how to push a business forward and how to reach as many people as possible. This isn’t a random technique, it is done through research and knowing the target audience. Working within marketing isn’t easy, it requires time, effort, skill, and imagination, however I guess you already know that as you are either already an established marketing agency, or you are thinking about becoming one. Either way, you have to be different, and you have to offer your clients more than the average, you need to stand out just as much as the businesses you’re helping.
How do you do this? By becoming the best marketing agency around, that’s how!
What Makes a Good Marketing Agency, Versus a Bad One?
It’s often the basics which stand out above everything else. You can know all about algorithms, complicated technological campaigns and email systems, but if you don’t know how to treat people, and how to motivate your staff to work harder, you’re onto a losing streak before you even begin.
Let’s explore a few traits of a good marketing agency in this day and age.
- Creative, motivated, and skilled staff
- A willingness to go all out for the client
- An in-depth understanding of branding, social media, and technology
- Communication and great customer service
If you can’t tick the above boxes, you’re not a good marketing agency, it’s that simple!
On the flip-side, why makes a bad marketing agency?
- Unmotivated staff who can’t think outside the box
- An atmosphere which doesn’t promote collaboration or brainstorming
- Not understanding the client and what they want to achieve, or what their general ethos is
- A lack of technological understanding, e.g. not keeping up to date with advances in technology and social media
- Not understanding the importance of a strong online presence, or how to achieve it
- Not understanding your competition
- Poor communication within the agency and also with clients
- Not keeping promises or deadlines with clients
These are the traits you do not want, and the areas you need to avoid at all costs. If you begin to develop even one or two, you’re on the fast-track to failure. Your clients are going to realise that they can get a better marketing service from somewhere else, and before you know it you will feel like your business is a bucket with holes in the bottom – you’re leaking clients. The only ones who benefit from this situation are your competitors.
Ten Steps to Make to Successful Marketing Agency in 2019
I have talked so far about the things you need and the things you don’t need, but what about actions you can take to ensure you tick the right boxes and avoid the wrong ones?
Below you will find 10 easy to follow steps which you can follow to ensure you’re the best marketing agency around this coming year. These steps take time and effort, but it’s more than worth it in terms of your agency’s future success.
1. Motivate Your Staff And Keep Them Eager to Learn
The success of your entire agency hinges on the staff you employ. Creative ideas come from motivated, keen, eager, and happy staff. Never underestimate this step! If you have a team of unmotivated staff, they’re not really going to be coming up with new and exciting ideas to push your clients’ businesses and marketing campaigns forwards. If on the other hand you create a fun and creative environment, you’re going to notice that your staff are plugged in, firing on all cylinders, and all manner of other descriptions you can think of!
Have regular brainstorming sessions, allow different members of staff to take on different projects to keep everyone fresh and motivated, and always listen to ideas without pushing them to one side. A happy and motivated workforce can be the major difference between marketing agency success and total failure. By focusing on those within your agency, you will be able to benefit those outside of it much more easily.
You should also make sure your employees are keen to keep progressing forwards throughout the agency. Try and recruit from inside the agency if you can, wherever possible, and keep learning and development at the forefront of your employee policy. This will ensure fantastic results for you and your clients.
2. Have Regular Competitions And Team Working Exercises Within Your Agency
A quality marketing agency comes up with new and innovative ideas for marketing campaigns, and in order to find those ideas, you need to create the right atmosphere and situation. I’ve just talked about the importance of looking after your staff and keeping them motivated and excited within their work, but you also need to give them the situations in which to harvest those ideas.
Have regular competitions between teams, to come up with a new idea for a new client. The winning team wins a prize! You could have teams which work together throughout the year, and there’s a bonus in it for the winners at the end of the year perhaps. Alternatively, cultivate a team working and ‘we’re in this together’ sense within your entire agency. You can do this by having regular get-togethers to pool ideas, always listening to ideas that come your way and giving them appropriate consideration, and also by having regular team bonding and building sessions. Think paint balling or something equally as adrenaline inducing, to get those ideas flowing and energy peaking!
All of these suggestions will create new ideas to pitch to prospective clients, bringing more business your way.
3. Work on Communication Improvement
Communicating within your agency and outside of it is vital. Ensure there are clear lines of communication between staff and management within the agency, but also make sure that you communicate with your clients regularly and effectively. Never miss a call, and if your unavailable, always call or email back immediately. Make sure telephones are manned at all times during working hours, and also think about coming up with new communication options.
Technology hasn’t just opened up our marketing options, but our communication methods too. Nowadays you can talk to anyone whenever you want, and you can see them too! This is vital for assessing body language and the words which aren’t verbalized. In terms of keeping a client happy, it’s often about listening and looking for the things which aren’t said, as well as those that are! So, think about video conferencing, regular video call check ins with clients, and basically ensure that you see to the basic communication needs within your agency first and foremost.
Never underestimate the power of communication! You can find more information here, in our client communication feature.
4. Always Keep an Eye on Your Competition
Some might calling it stalking, I prefer to call it keeping a very close eye, but whatever you want to describe it as, knowing what your competition is up to is vital!
Always know who your competitors are, try and do your best to know who their clients are, and simply keep an eye on the types of marketing campaigns that are coming out of their agency. You shouldn’t copy, and you shouldn’t watch too closely that it takes your eyes off your own ball, but it’s vital to at least have a brief idea of what your competitors are doing.
In addition, it’s also important to be aware of new marketing agencies that are opening up around you, and to do the same with them.
Keeping an eye on competition isn’t about being preoccupied with something that another agency is doing, but it will help you to market your own services in a different way, and therefore help you stand out from the crowd.
5. Stay Abreast of Changes in Technology
Technology is always shifting and changing, evolving and moving, and that means you need to be up to date with the important changes which are pertinent. I’m not suggesting you know every single new technological development that appears on the market, but the ones which are linked to your business and your clients as a minimum.
If a new social media platform comes out, you need to know all about it, if a new software package is released which could be utilized for marketing purposes, make sure you and your staff are informed. Staying up to date helps you target your marketing endeavors correctly, but it also shows your clients that you are serious about helping them improve their marketing strategies and reach out to as many people as possible, through as many mediums and platforms as possible.
Also be sure to share the knowledge throughout your agency. Send your employees on various training sessions, have chats about new technological subjects, and basically keep everyone up to date.
6. Improve Your Understanding of The Online World
These days, if you don’t have a strong online presence, you might as well give up and go home. This advice pertains to not only the advice you give to your clients, but to your agency too. You need to market your own services as much as helping your clients to market theirs!
Ensure that you and your employees are well versed in website design, SEO, analytics, social media, and all other online strategies which can help in marketing endeavors. This knowledge shouldn’t be basic, it should be advanced. Reaching out to more people than ever before has been made possible by the Internet, and especially over the last few years by social media. Knowing what to do, how to do it, what not to do, and what to avoid, are key factors in a successful marketing campaign, and every single one of your employees need to have this knowledge, understanding, and the associated skills.
As with technology in general, the online world is always changing, so again, stay up to date with everything pertaining to reaching out and connecting with others, and how to measure its effectiveness.
7. Understand How to Use Data Effectively
It’s all very well setting up a marketing campaign and launching it, but how do you know if it’s working or not? You need to be able to effectively measure the success of any campaign you set up for your clients, and this means having in-depth knowledge of how to use and measure data.
This is made a lot easier by the use of online tools, e.g. Google Analytics as one instance, but also being able to take sales figures and analyse them, page views, clicks, etc. This is something you should help your staff to understand, again through education and learning, but it’s also something which you should link into every marketing campaign you create for your clients.
It’s no good coming up with a fantastic marketing idea and then executing it, if you don’t know how to measure whether or not it’s working! You might be able to get a general feel, e.g. more sales are occurring, more people are asking questions, but is it enough? Can it be improved? Can you make extra changes to the campaign to increase customer interest and sales? The difference between an average marketing agency and a good marketing agency is the ability to be able to take data, analyse it, and then further improve uptake from the information you learn.
8. Have Competitive And Transparent Pricing
It doesn’t matter how fantastic you are as a marketing agency, if your prices are too high you’re not going to attract clients that easily. Sure, you might maintain the ones you have because they trust you and can see how quality you are, but you’re going to struggle to attract new clients as a result of the higher pricing you have.
Take a look at your pricing policies and do your research. What do your competitors charge? What is a fair amount for the services you provide, without undercutting yourself? Come up with a pricing package which is both competitive and transparent. Your clients need to understand what they are paying for and the fees involved for various different services. The more informed you keep your clients, and prospective clients, the more they will use your services over someone else’s.
9 – Make Deadlines a Priority
One piece of advice – missed deadlines mean missed business. Clients are busy people, and if you miss a marketing campaign deadline, you’re affecting the flow of someone else’s business. This isn’t a good strategy in terms of customer service, and it certainly doesn’t make your business look particular professional.
I mentioned at the start of this section that it is often the basics which are the most successful points, and this point is exactly what I mean. Always make sure you create realistic deadlines, after discussion with your client, to ensure that the date you come up with is suitable for them. Coming up with a wildly unrealistic deadline might look fantastic to your client, i.e. they’re going to get their results sooner, but if you can’t meet it, you’re just going to let them down. Are they going to choose you for their marketing services in the future? No. Could you lose the contract? Very possibly.
Keep your deadlines realistic and always meet them. It’s that simple.
10. Networking And Events Are Key
The best way to attract more business your way is to get yourself out there and talk to people! Again, the basics and the old fashioned ways are sometimes the best! If there are networking events coming up, make sure your marketing agency is present, either by yourself or one of your members of staff acting as a representative. Make sure you have plenty of business cards to hand out, schmooze as much as you need to, have free gifts and samples to give out, and have clear and firm evidence of your business’ success to hand, e.g. a leaflet, even a presentation to give if possible.
Being present at key networking events will give you more leads for business, will get your name out there in the marketing agency world, and will ensure that your competition don’t create a bigger buzz than you.
Are You Ready to be The Best Marketing Agency in 2019?
These ten steps towards marketing agency success are very important, and will ensure positive results for the coming year. These steps aren’t even that complicated, they’re actually the basics of any quality marketing agency, but the difference is that you do the basics well, and you go over and above what is required of you.
Start within your agency, ensuring your staff are motivated, excited, and creatively minded. With that as a foundation, you really only have one direction in which to move – onwards and upwards!