What are the secrets of growing your own digital marketing agency? Even the most prosperous industry leaders have no universal formula of success. It depends on many factors such as the difference in strategies, channels, and messages. Compare how one particular marketing strategy fits one agency, but completely fails with another. You should also take into account the differences in target audiences. The B2B market is more logic-driven, whereas B2C market succumbs to emotions. However, you can always learn from someone else’s experience to avoid the most common mistakes. These insights can help you develop unique digital marketing tactics.
Tip #1 Attract and retain customers through a new agency model – 4R framework.
In 2016 Accenture Interactive was recognized by Ad Age as “one of the biggest and fastest-growing digital agencies” of the year. Providing a full suite of services: Experience (Design and Strategy), Marketing, Content and Commerce, the agency boasts with a unique approach to achieving their goals. Conducting an analysis of Zoghby’s posts on LinkedIn I discovered a 4R framework model which helps the agency grow.
The 4R framework is based on four important actions that help your digital agency reach the larger audience. First, study the target audience profile. This way you RECOGNIZE your prospects and find the matching points. Then examine the purchase history of your potential customers. It is critical to determine what triggers your customers’ decisions. It is how you REMEMBER the crucial information to connect with a client. The third step forms your marketing offer and defines the overall strategy – RECOMMEND. And finally, you have to deliver a message based on your customers’ preferences – RELEVANCE. It is grounded on a “personal touch into the digital experience”. This approach helps to build long-term relationships with your customer.
Jeriad Zoghby describes the 4R framework in one of his interviews: “If you think about your best preference when you’re at a coffee shop, or a person cuts your hair, or your dry cleaner’s, it’s that they recognize you when you walk in the door because you go there all the time. They remember your preferences without you having to remind them. And really good ones go beyond that by not just remembering what your preferences are, but also understanding why you have those preferences.”
Hence, the growth of your digital agency depends on four essential steps which define not only your strategies but all your future interactions with potential clients.
Tip #2 Infuse creativity with big data.
The most reputable advertising agency strives to transform their 2017 marketing strategy in terms of a new CRM, Big Data priorities and creativity shift. Leo Burnett’s ability to thrive among other newly born digital marketing agencies demonstrates authority and influence. Who better to ask about growth tips than Tom Bernardin, who has 30 years of success in advertising?
A chairman emphasizes the necessity to move from generalization to personalization. Thus, a digital agency should focus more on satisfying the single person’s needs and desires than implementing new technologies. Bernardin also regards authenticity as a driver of long-term loyalty. He considers a true story as the first attention-captivating factor and offers to infuse arresting visualization into your content creation stages. Here’s what Tom Bernardin means by responsible creativity as seen in Marketing News post.
“I’ve never believed that we have a divine right to people’s attention, especially when advertising is no longer competing within its own world; we’re competing with the rest of popular culture. The only way to appeal and remain relevant is by being interesting, engaging and rewarding. Consumers today are also demanding more transparency, more authenticity and more purpose-driven work from brands. Responsible creativity isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s a way by which brands must engage consumers in order to build brand trust and long-term brand loyalty.”
Tip #3 Let the numbers drive your decisions.
Brian Byer stands behind digital marketing trends of this year. His main recommendation is to provide customers with the high-quality brand experience on mobile or tablet. It is a trend because mobile and tablet are the two main devices millennials use for their purchases.
It might be interesting to know that generation Y maintains the major purchasing power according to Bazaar statistics, and spend 198 minutes per day on mobile devices. When Brian Byer shares his thoughts on the importance of personalized content and customer segmentation, he describes the major preferences of a millennial generation. In his interview to Target Marketing, Byer mentions the following: “These personalized experiences, whether driven by content or device, will be the future of Web technology and interactive advertising.”
He also suggests putting data results in the centre of your digital marketing strategy. The growth and stability of a digital marketing agency depends on the increase in conversions and the number of new leads attracted for their clients. Hence, Brian Byer recommends: “let numbers drive your decisions, not the client’s desire to make their new website purple!”
Tip #4 Do not compromise on hiring the most talented employees.
The biggest mistake an aspiring digital agency can make is trying to save money on hiring. When you deal with a reputable client whose name has value on the market, you should be able to completely rely on your employees. Their experience and skills are your foundation to meet the challenges of unreal orders from clients. Although it is cheaper to hire candidates with less experience, you might risk your digital agency’s reputation, development, and even ROI. You can’t guarantee a recently hired candidate will meet his promises, or make a big professional growth breakthrough. A person might be talented and creative, but require more time to show the full potential and top results.
Katherine Long, the Founder and CEO of Illustria, agrees a top-notch professional is more profitable and smarter to hire. “We experienced a period of rapid growth in client accounts and needed to hire quickly. We made the mistake of not waiting for top-notch candidates and instead, we made mediocre hires because they were available. We ended up firing all of them when we realized they weren’t performing at the level expected of them, wasting time and money.”
Tip #5 Put a client or a customer at the centre of your digital marketing strategy.
Lee Odden is a well-known expert in digital marketing who constantly shares his knowledge and experience with marketers and small business owners. In his book Optimize, Odden focuses on a customer-centric approach to developing a brand and reaching the larger audience.
His Woodst interview summarizes the main tips for novices in digital marketing. “Integration is a means to an end – creating a great customer experience where your brand becomes the best answer wherever customers are looking. I think more companies are adopting that view and growing their skills at creating, optimizing and promoting compelling content wherever it might intersect with a customer at the moment of need. Integration isn’t going to happen without cooperation between marketing, social media, PR, advertising and even operations, legal and customer service.”
To put a client at the centre of your content marketing strategy Lee Odden recommends generating personalized content. He says that optimized content should match the customer’s needs first, and a search engine second. That is another realization of a customer-centric approach. Odden also recommends a brand’s visibility across all stages of the buying cycle not be limited by transactional keywords.
Bonus Tip #6 Use the right tools to manage your digital marketing campaigns
Nicole Hoglund is a young leader in marketing consultancy. She points out that any business that aims to increase its online presence should develop a set of special communication and management tools.
“I have worked for a few agencies in my time and the one thing they all seem to face when expanding is the proper tools to continue to have effective communication in-house and with clients. Since they are busy concentrating on how to keep the clients, and keep up with the work demand, and still grow they lose sight of how to make the clients and employees happy. A few tools I have come across to help with the challenge are Basecamp, Dropbox, Hipchat, and the good old call on your cellphone. These tools are all great on their own but together they can help build the rapport and trust that is needed when working in an agency setting.”
When clients decide to work with your digital marketing agency, they expect you to help them convert leads, and achieve the highest level of retention. For this reason, you have to know certain tools that bring the highest results in customer engagement. Here is a list of recommended tools for your digital marketing strategy:
MindManager – organization of ideas and data in the form of maps and diagrams
Mind mapping is an essential tool for brainstorming ideas and defining the logical flow between all the issues. This tool helps create and manage a range of topics. You can capture all the ideas in one diagram and set priorities to them. It is also useful for visualizing information, creating project charts, flowcharts, and timelines. The tool also provides advanced project scheduling, including Gantt charts and resource views, reporting, project scheduling to handle planning with a professional approach.
StudentShare – a database of samples for content creation
If you actually want to deliver the top-quality content to your prospects, you can follow samples which bring the best viewership. They should also be structurally and thematically winning. The advanced search of this content-generation tool allows you to find a topic you need in less than a minute. The database is full of many ideas that you can use for crafting a unique content plan.
Spyfu – free access to your competitor’s keywords
It’s not necessary to buy an expensive subscription to find valid information on your competitors’ keywords. The Spyfu tool allows you to access big amounts of data even if you haven’t registered on its website. This tool can actually help you study the competitors’ search history and avoid mistakes.
The profound experience in growing their digital agencies made these experts stand out in a competitive market. Their valuable recommendations can assist you in developing or correcting your own digital marketing strategies. Let the experience of others help you grow your own agency with less pressure, and more success.
Feature image source: StartUp Stock Photos