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…

“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 Agency Growth guide. The guide was primarily written with agency account handlers in mind, they are generally the guys who brief in the specialist teams in the agency. They…

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…

Interviews with eleven agencies of varied sizes on their profitability and growth drivers for 2018 [Part 1 of 2]

Agency growth isn't optional. In fact, many featured in this post affirm; it’s essential for survival. Common questions which are all considerations to factor into an agency’s strategic plan include choosing where to focus; where to allocate resource; where to find and win new clients; how to retain existing clients, along with developing agency talent and a whole host of other pain points. Since many of our members work in agencies and grapple with these questions, we thought it would be useful to review how different agencies seek to answer them. 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…

Stop slaving over custom proposals that lead you down dead-end roads. Instead, start with a proposal that’s already 90% to completion for every prospect. You will save time, create happier clients and close bigger deals

How? It starts with a template. That’s right. Similar to your email template, or your newsletter template, or your website template. It’s the same concept, you start with a basic, proven framework and you add what you need and take away what you don’t. You’ll be finished in half the time and you’ll win three times the deals. Download Digital Agency Coach's proposal template to help push your proposal in the right direction. Keep reading to find out how to maximize the template and get every last drop of value out of it. Before you submit it make sure you run it by our Ultimate Digital Agency Proposal Checklist to make sure you’re submitting only the creme-de-la-creme of…

If you're trying to market an agency, these 7 resources and our new '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.

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Marketing an agency

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

At the tender age of 20 I started my digital agency Optix Solutions. 18 years on we are still going and employ almost 20 staff. Here are 5 useful tips if you're thinking of starting your own business.

At 38 and as a relative old timer of the industry, I thought it would be useful to tell my story. Hopefully I can inspire the next generation because although the internet might have changed dramatically in the time I've been going, good old common sense business fundamentals haven't.

When I started my agency back in 1999 Google and Ebay were both in a garage somewhere. Many companies didn't have websites so my job was to persuade them this Internet thing was worth investing in! 18 years on and its a little different! In that time we went through the dot com bubble bursting, the birth of ecommerce,…

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. To help highlight these issues, agency consultant Mark Kelly, has created a new free download on Agency Digital Services Mistakes as part of our Agency Toolkit for Expert members. All the 'mistakes' are based on common…

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…

A checklist of issues aimed at improving your new business marketing processes and techniques

If you are a big, established agency then you may well run a finely tuned new business or demand generation machine already. If you are a smaller or a start-up agency and growth so far has been ‘accidental’ then where do you start with a more proactive, controlled approach to generating ‘New Biz’? New business is, I think, is more competitive than ever and there are a few reasons: The sheer number of agencies of all types. There are 18,000 or so in the UK alone (figures I have seen vary from 16-20,000). Client (prospect) time is stretched thin with smaller teams and more to do. It follows that decision makers are less willing to hear you out, unless they have a burning need and you catch them at that exact time. An increasing understanding of all things inbound…

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