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The marketing agency capabilities review matrix

Author's avatar By Mark Kelly 09 Jun, 2021
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A question I have been asked when I work with agencies to grow their digital marketing services is ‘how can we benchmark our approach to growing our digital services?’ It all comes down to your marketing agency capabilities, and how you manage digital transformation in your business.

To answer that I have used the excellent benchmark framework that Smart Insights has used for other areas.

These one-page templates let you quickly review where you are on a five-point scale (from laggard to market-leading). You can spot gaps in your approach to transformation and your capabilities.

Marketing agency capabilities

The marketing agency services transformation matrix

I divided this particular benchmark matrix into two areas for you to compare and contrast your marketing agency capabilities:

  • Your ability to grow with existing clients or to attract new business to any and all digital marketing services.
  • Your ability to service that work effectively and profitability.

The specific digital services you might offer (from site design and build to SEO to social media community management etc.) will be determined by you, your business goals and the audits/research and planning you’ll carry out.

How to use the capability review matrix

The capability transformation matrix comes from the model developed by CMMI and has been used globally by businesses over the past 25 years.

  • The benchmarking matrix is based on looking at each area of agency services transformation and determining where you are on the journey.
  • Score your agency from Level 1 to Level 5 for each area. Each level builds on the previous one, so that you move from ‘newbie’/laggard in the market, through to an award-winning, exemplary, market-leading agency. By knowing where you are now, you can focus your efforts to improve.
  • You can then create a plan for each area, logged-in members can access the free benchmarking resources linked above, or, if you're not logged in, you will be able to follow some simple pointers in the table below.
Transformation areaExisting Agency toolkit resource
A. Planning digital marketing services1. The capabilities benchmarking matrix accompanying this blog post.

2. You may also want to use the BCG matrix to triangulate your thinking if you already offer some digital services.
B. Value Proposition1. Start with this post and accompanying video.  

2. The complete our Digital Transformation Learning Path module define digital value proposition.
C. Existing  client growthAccess the Agency account growth planning template within the Agency Growth Toolkit for more client growth resources.
D. New Business FrameworkAccess the Marketing an agency for new business template within the Agency Growth Toolkit for more framework resources.
E. Pricing & EstimatingAccess the Digital marketing budgeting and costing approaches spreadsheet within the Agency Growth Toolkit for more pricing resources.
F. Process & workflowSee an overview of guides and resources linked to managing digital marketing services.
G. Teams / resourcesUnderstand the potential roles you may need to offer digital marketing services.

Agency B2B digital marketing plan example

Looking for a marketing plan template to create a strategy that puts your agency at the forefront of clients' minds? We've got integrated marketing strategy and planning tools to support you in transforming your agency to become a thought leader in your market, through an integrated, data-driven approach to your customer touchpoints. Find out more.

Author's avatar

By Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly is a digital marketing and agency growth consultant working with agencies and their client brands. He can be found at Mark Kelly Consultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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