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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?’ 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.

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…

Who in the agency should work on discovery and how can you convince clients it should be paid for?

In the Smart Insights Agency Guide to Discovery, I suggest a checklist of the areas you might explore as part of a discovery process for clients. But is a guide needed, we all know what ‘discovery’ entails, don’t we? If you search Google on the agency discovery process, you’ll get between 35M to 75M results, depending on the phrase you use. In any case, that's seemingly a huge number of agencies or training providers talking about discovery. So you may think it’s a well-understood topic. But from my direct experience and conversations over the past few years with industry contacts, there’s still some uncertainty within agencies around three areas: What should be examined, which stones turned in the process? Who is best to carry out this activity? Can an agency charge for what can be…

As a small business owner, you can’t do it all. The first step is admitting you need help. The second is deciding how/when you could benefit from collaborating.

Before jumping to conclusions, you should first determine if your particular project is suitable for outsourcing. Assess your team’s competencies and define your marketing production workflow. Only then can you make the best decision for each of your projects.

Your team doesn’t have to do it all

After prioritizing your projects (however your organization does that), it’s time to decide whether any of them are appropriate to be outsourced. To help with this decision, consider these key questions: Is this project mission critical? Is the success of this project critical to the success of our organization (to our vision and KPIs)? Is this project strategic? Does this initiative/project involve things like the integration of new marketing technology, or a revamp of our customer experience? Is learning…

Cost-plus (times based) or value discussion: which one works better for your agency?

When I was putting together the new agency guide to pricing digital marketing, I made a conscious effort to call it exactly that - a pricing not a costing guide. I grew up in agencies that talked about ‘cost proposals’, ‘costing projects’, ‘cost to client’ and spreadsheets that had cost against each deliverable rather than ‘price’. In putting the new guide together, I referred back to two existing project budget workbooks that are on Smart Insights. But I refreshed them and renamed the line items from cost to price. Why am I reinforcing point this so much? Because if you start with the idea of ‘Price’ and not ‘Cost’ (Time + Materials + a markup) you are on the way to actively thinking about how your agency makes money – by providing value to clients (and therefore earning a value-based…

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…