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    The Psychology Behind How We Make Choices

    By Leslie Ye

    psychology-of-choice.jpg

    This post originally appeared on the Sales section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

    We live in an unprecedented age of options. Cars, phones, jobs, products, lifestyles -- at no other point in human history has there been such a variety of choice.

    Choice is the purest expression of free will -- the freedom to choose allows us to shape our lives exactly how we wish (provided we have the resources to do so).

    But ... Read More

    Why the Engineer-Turned-Marketer Is Your Next Hire

    By Jami Oetting

    Marketers are told they need to learn to code and work with databases. They should be more hacker-like. IT is now their domain.

    The culture of engineering has infiltrated the marketing sector.

    But it isn’t just about being about to add in some HTML and CSS. Being comfortable with code and technology no longer is a “nice to have.” It’s a requirement for working in the field.

    Read More
    New Research Reveals the Top New Business Development Tools

    By Jami Oetting

    As a new business director, you've got to manage a lot of moving parts -- prospecting, relationship-building, managing pitches and RFPs, reporting, social media, etc. 

    And for many people in this role, the only way they can survive the flurry of activity in the role is by using the right new business tools -- ones that simplify the person's task list and provide clarity when looking for relevant and actionable information.

    Read More
    The Age of the Empowered Creator

    By Scott Belsky

    It’s an exciting time to work in the creative industry. The tools we use to create are rapidly (and finally!) more mobile and connected than ever before. Creative content -- both quality and frequency -- has become critical to brands in the era of social media. And whether your customers are businesses or end-consumers, they expect to be inspired and educated by the “advertising" in their lives.

    Read More
    11 Fascinating Books on Harvard Business School's Required Reading List

    By Lauren Pedigo

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    There's no better time to revamp your reading list than the beginning of the summer. The question is ... what should you read?

    With so many business books out there to choose from, sifting through all those online descriptions and reviews could take up an entire summer in and of itself. We figured you'd rather spend that time actually, you know, reading.

    Read More
    Pinterest Gets Animated With Cinematic Pins

    By Jami Oetting

    Pinterest is expanding its advertising options for brands with animated pins, a motion-based pin that plays when a user scrolls over the pin. The video stops when the viewer stops scrolling.

    The format is the newest evolution of paid advertising options available on the platform since Promoted Pins were introduced last year and available to all business pages at the beginning of 2015. 

    Read More
    7 Ways to Be Insanely Honest in Your Marketing

    By Doug Kessler

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    In Velocity’s latest SlideShare, “Insane Honesty in Content Marketing,” we argue for a little-used but hugely powerful strategy: taking the worst attributes of your company, product or service … and highlighting them for all to see.

    I really, really, REALLY believe in this approach and I’m amazed more brands don’t practice it. 

    Read More
    Announcing HubSpot's $3M Partner Agency Growth Fund

    By Arjun Moorthy

    This week at our headquarters in Cambridge, we’re hosting more than 150 of our premium agency partners, as well as our technology partners, for our second annual Open House. It features trainings, panels, and workshop sessions, as well as networking opportunities and updates from HubSpot’s executive team. Today’s updates included the exciting release of Sidekick for Business, our latest partner integrations, and an initiative created just for our premium partners.

    Read More
    Are Creative Awards a Waste of Time?

    By Jami Oetting

    Growing up, did you dream of seeing your name in lights? 

    Were you the kid who thrived on praise, positive feedback, and those little gold star stickers plastered all over your homework?

    There's nothing wrong with wanting recognition for a job well done. And sometimes, you don't always get this from your clients. They are not the most giving with their admiration. 

    Read More
    5 Ways Call Tracking Integration Drives Stronger Campaign Results

    By Steve James

    Now more than ever, marketers are tasked with showing return on investment for all campaigns that drive qualified leads. In situations where marketing departments work closely with an advertising or marketing agency to help with campaign development, the pressure of showing strong results and analytics is no doubt passed on to any of the project’s contributing partners.

    Read More
    A Handy Little Guide to Creating Visual Content for Social Media [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    Want more views, clickthroughs, shares, and overall engagement on your social media posts? You're not alone. According to the 2014 State of Inbound Marketing, 84% of marketers cited organic, top-of-the-funnel sources like social media, blogs, and search engines as rising in importance in 2014.

    Posting visual content is one of the most important things you can do to improve your social media strategy.

    Read More
    How to Set Up a Collaborative Compensation Model for New Business Development

    By Jami Oetting

    You're putting out client fires, fixing internal resource needs, doing some marketing for the agency, and even finding ways to fix talent retention issues. As an agency owner, you can do it all. 

    The problem occurs when you are also responsible for bringing in new business. Sales should be viewed as an immediate need, but building relationships and making calls won't ever be prioritized over an issue that needs to be resolved right now.

    Read More
    Why Your Agency Should Invest in Content Marketing for New Business

    By Jami Oetting

    As a small advertising agency, how do you get new business? The list of usual tactics is short: website, referrals, events, networking, sponsorships, direct mail, earned media (from winning awards for outstanding creative work), ads (print, online banners, and if you’re really up on things, some PPC and social media). Some also have new business hunters who schmooze agency search consultants and sniff out unhappy clients in an attempt to lure them away from their competitors.

    Read More
    Agency Execs Share the #1 Quality to Look for in an Account Manager

    By Jami Oetting

    The account manager is one of the most important roles in your agency. They are the protectors of your client relationships. This person's attitude, style of communication, and organizational skills will directly impact the client's view of your agency's expertise and value.

    You need a person who is more than just good at "schmoozing." An account manager needs to be able to actually manage a client -- his expectations, perceptions, and attitude. 

    Read More
    Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator & More: Your Cheat Sheet for Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts [Infographic]

    By Carly Stec

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    Between calendar updates, emails, and social media notifications, it can often seem like your computer is working against you.

    But, as distracting as it may seem, your computer actually has lots of ways to save you time at work. Considering data from Atlassian revealed that 60% or less of work time is actually spent productively, it's clear that time is something you could probably use a lot more of. 

    Read More
    When Is the Best Time to Be Creative? [Infographic]

    By Ginny Soskey

    This post originally appeared on the Marketing section. To read more content like this, subscribe to Marketing.

    When do you do your best work?

    For me, it's realllllly early in the morning. I used to get up at 4 a.m., grab a steaming cup of coffee, and just start writing. At that time of day, words flowed so easily that I could finish a 1,500-word post in an hour. Later in the day, that same post would've taken me twice as long.

    But that's not the case for everyone.

    Read More
    Why Workshops Work: The Secret to Selling Long-Lasting Retainers

    By Jami Oetting

    You’ve been working to sell a prospective client on a retainer for months. You’ve sent them a range of articles, guides, and case studies. You created a proposal, a contract, and have followed up multiple times to move things along. 

    They seem genuinely excited about the idea of investing in inbound, but a few people on the client-side are hesitant. They’re not quite sure how this will work within their current structure. They are used to the current way of doing things. The idea of signing a year-long contract is making the prospect retreat.

    Read More
    How Agencies Can Make Project Work Profitable [Notes From #MirrenLive]

    By Jami Oetting

    Agencies lament the fact that more and more clients are moving to a project-based model and away from the beloved agency of record model.

    And that’s fine. We can all be nostalgic for the days when clients stuck around for 10 or 15 years, and we could count on a source of consistent revenue and proactively plan for hiring and investments based on this.

    Read More
    10 Time Management Hacks to Boost Your Agency’s Bottom Line

    By Darren DeMatas

    Whether you bill by the hour, per project, or with a retainer, time is your agency’s most precious resource.

    And while you would like to think you are spending 90% or even 100% of your time executing on important client tasks, the reality is that you are wasting a lot of your time on unnecessary tasks and non-efficient processes. 

    Read More
    What Does It Take to Be a Great Leader?

    By Jami Oetting

    No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or get all the credit for doing it. 

    – Andrew Carnegie 

    As the leader of your agency you’re constantly facing challenges, the biggest of which is how to be a great leader, every day. Great leadership is the foundation of any organization, big or small, because without it, growth is impossible.

    Read More
    The Current State of Data-Driven Marketing [Infographic]

    By Carly Stec

    There's an old business adage that says, "You can't manage what you can't measure."

    In other words, it's impossible to know what's working (and what's not), if there are no defined metrics to judge success.

    While the vague "catchall" approach to marketing used to work for some businesses, the push for data-driven marketing initiatives comes as a response to the consumer's demand for more personalized experiences.

    Read More
    6 Key Traits to Look For in an Agency Marketing Director

    By Jami Oetting

    Being responsible for the marketing of your agency is no small job. Marketing managers translate the tenets of your brand into content. They manage or assist with new business presentations and creating proposals. They coordinate interviews and publicity for the agency. They own what your website says and how it says it. 

    They are the gatekeepers of your image -- something you've built during many years of late nights and many tense client interactions. You need to protect it. 

    Read More
    How to Foster Agency Culture in This Hyper-Fast World

    By Jackson Murphy

    This article appears in the latest The SoDA Report, due to be published on May 5. 

    If you can foresee the future, you’re most likely applying your prediction skills somewhere outside of the digital creative field. For the rest of us, we never know what’s going to happen next. We can, however, get our inner Nostradamus on and make a prediction that’s pretty certain: in our industry, change is right around the next corner.

    Read More
    How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Agency New Business Person

    By Jami Oetting

    There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to hiring. If you make the right hire, you’re a hero. However, if you hire someone who is not a great fit for the company or is completely unsuited for the position, you could be labeled as the one who recruited the “bad apple”.

    But your misjudgment can cause more than just interpersonal issues.

    Read More
    The Next Phase in Personalization? Video Marketing

    By Jami Oetting

    When I was young, I would scour the store shelves and the rotating displays looking for key chains, mugs, and other cheap novelties with my name on them.

    I was still too young to understand the idea of mass production. I thought that if I searched long enough, eventually I would find a match. A token with my name on it -- assumingly made for me -- was something special.

    Read More

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