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Before you try to whisk away your problems with software, lean on these methods to improve productivity and restore sanity.

If you’re an agency professional and you feel like you’re constantly scrambling, you’re not alone. Once upon a time, clients would request changes to a campaign or initiative on a weekly or monthly basis. Now, they can ping you for changes via instant message and expect you to jump on it “instantly.” Whether it’s a Friday evening when you’re on your way out the door or a busy Monday morning when every second has been carefully allocated, there's endless potential for “just one more thing.” Still, no matter how busy you are or how many clients you have, you don’t want to give a brand a reason to consider moving your functionality in-house. Think it couldn’t happen to you? Barely five years ago, Verizon had a flock of …

A big part of running a successful agency is well-managed finances. Getting your agency budgeting right can make all the difference

Running an agency is no easy task. You have to go on a tiring process to acquire the right type of clients that want the solution you offer. At the same time, you have to hire employees to build the best team to render your services. On top of that, you have to put a system in place to ensure seamless collaboration between your team members for maximum productivity. Of course: there’s also managing your agency's finances. How do you budget your agency resources to maximize profits? [si_blog_banner_cta]

1. Settle on a costing model

To budget your resources properly, you have to find the best costing model suitable for your agency. Using the wrong costing model for your clients could lead to losses. Here are common costing models available to marketing agencies: Fixed fee:…

Avoid these 10 mistakes when developing digital services for your marketing agency

If you're running a marketing agency, you probably know a thing or two about offering marketing services to your clients. But with the pace of digital transformation and new trends emerging all the time, 'to err is human', you may make some strategic and tactical errors when selecting the best mix of your digital marketing services. If you are considering offering new digital services like Design and build for websites and mobile or PPC, Search, Social or other  Paid, Owned or Earned media, you'll want to check this quick checklist to avoid the mistakes agencies often make when getting into new digital services. [si_guide_block id="74955" title="Download our Free resource – Agency digital marketing services - the top 10 mistakes to avoid" description="This guide is a brief checklist of the common mistakes marketing agencies tend to make when offering new digital…

How can you keep remote teams productive, connected and safe?

Nearly a quarter of the nation’s skilled professionals perform remote work, according to the 2018 BLS American Time Use Survey Summary. Over the last decade, technology has transformed the workplace and facilitated even more remote work. More business leaders are building and managing remote teams to incentivize the best available talent while still increase productivity and team communication.  While many may assume developers are some of the team members most likely to work from home, the truth is that all types of skills are working from home. In fact, workers with an advanced degree are more likely to work from home, according to the study. As the world’s pool of skilled talent shrinks, nearly half of all professionals perform some work from home.  [si_guide_block id="17140" title="Download our Business Resource…

Knowing where to search for prospective clients and understanding how to pitch your SEO services, you'll be presented with opportunities to expand your client base and become a real big fish in your market

In 2019, it may seem the internet is already flooded with countless SEO agencies, and new quality clients are almost impossible to get. But the truth is, every day, a huge amount of new stores, brands and products move their operations online. In the US, e-commerce accounts for only 9% of sales. This means there are loads of new website and business owners entering the online space and waiting to be found by you. Knowing where to search for these prospective clients and understanding how to pitch your SEO services, you'll be presented with opportunities to expand your client base and become a real big fish in your market. [si_guide_block id="96392" title="Download our Business Resource – Agency guide:…

A good brief helps to ensure that the finished project is what you envisioned, meaning it is more likely to be an effective part of your marketing campaign

"Great projects start with a great brief. This isn’t one." "Garbage in, garbage out." Those are phrases I have heard a lot over the years. Often (whisper it) from the agency team, berating a client contact amongst themselves. But agencies have a big part to play in the quality of briefing. People in glass houses and all that. Over the last few years, I have seen some great briefs from clients that really helped an agency hit the mark. And I have seen some excellent briefs written (for themselves) by agencies, where the client couldn't articulate what they really wanted. But in amongst that have been some very lame briefs, on both sides, so I wanted to tackle that lack of consistency in the latest …

Review where your marketing agency is at and the next steps you should take with our new tool

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?’ 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.

The services transformation matrix

I divided this particular benchmark matrix into two areas: 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…

If you're trying to market an agency, these 7 resources and our 'Marketing your Agency' guide will help you

Where do you turn to, to check your Agency’s new business framework is as comprehensive and potentially as effective as it could be? Well if you're reading this, then Smart Insights is one of those places. But there are other ‘new biz’ coach or consultancy voices out there with lots of experience to share. So I thought it would be useful in this post - that accompanies our recent guide about marketing your agency  - to share a few of those with you.

[si_guide_block id="103432" title="Download Business resource – Marketing your agency effectively " description="A best practice guide with case studies and checklists on how to effectively market your digital agency."/]

Marketing an agency

As part of my work with agency clients, I talk about taking a structured approach to raising their profile,…

Millennials (or Generation Y) are people born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Statistics show that in the near-future, millennials will make up most of the workplace. In fact, these young people are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.

Most marketing agencies will simply not survive if they don't hire millennials now.

Flexible hours and remote working are becoming more and more common options that are offered in order to win the new generation over.

In addition to remote working, young people love technology. For many, it's an absolute must that the agency they work for has the right types of software tools or gadgets. As older generations begin to retire and the younger workforce steps in to fill their…

Interviews with eleven agencies of varied sizes on their profitability and growth drivers for 2018 [Part 2 of 2]

With smaller budgets, and higher demands to meet in 2018, there's practically no room for brands to frivol away their resources, nor for agencies to make mistakes. With client expectations on the line, an uncertain economic climate, new advances in technology, and a fiercely competitive agency landscape, it's becoming more and more Darwinian for agencies every day. Since many of our members work in agencies and face these and other challenges, we thought it would be useful to review how different agencies seek to divide and conquer in 2018. So, in this article, we share the views of owners and managers at 11 digital and creative agencies, in the UK and abroad, who share their challenges and agency growth drivers for 2018.  For more detailed advice, see our…