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Agency / June 23, 2016 High-Touch Clients in a High-Tech World: What’s an Agency to Do?
High-Touch Clients in a High-Tech World: What’s an Agency to Do?

By Penny Jo Welsch

client-meeting2.png

Technology and data-driven solutions to engage consumers and facilitate client relationships dominate industry think and speak. It’s little wonder that so much agency management attention is focused on how to adapt their team and operations to the technology explosion.

Digital marketing has now been rightfully proclaimed as “mainstream” and will continue to grow. In fact, the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016 reports, “one-third of marketers say digital techniques are now fully incorporated into their marketing operation.”

But what ... Read More

Agency / June 22, 2016 10 Easy-to-Use Time Tracking Tools for Creative Agencies
10 Easy-to-Use Time Tracking Tools for Creative Agencies

By Jami Oetting

There is one evil that haunts the days and even the nights of most agency workers: the timesheet.

Employees avoid it at every opportunity, but eventually, time -- or the poor soul in charge of collecting timesheets -- catches up with them. Some agencies have even gone as far as rewarding employees with free beer if they submit their reports on time, which isn't such a bad idea. 

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Agency / June 22, 2016 How to Document Processes to Scale Your Agency Faster
How to Document Processes to Scale Your Agency Faster

By Gray MacKenzie

Let's set the scene: It's a snowy day in Erie, Pennsylvania, during Christmas break of 2010. 

Ten of my eleven siblings were home for the holidays, and I was happy to be with family. Christmas break was filled with family time, working out, and running my startup web hosting business, which would quickly evolve into the agency GuavaBox.

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Agency / June 20, 2016 What Creative Leaders Do
What Creative Leaders Do

By Kevin Roberts

To create a culture where ideas rule, you must become a Creative Leader. There is a premium on originality. Building creative environments, inspiring creative ideas, finding creative solutions -- these are the signatures of peak performing organizations. I call this the SuperVUCA challenge, the drive to create outcomes that are V-ibrant, U-nreal, C-razy, and A-stounding. In a SuperVUCA world, the crazies reign and the speed demons rule.

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Agency / June 16, 2016 How to Perform an Agency Brand Audit to Improve Your New Business Results
How to Perform an Agency Brand Audit to Improve Your New Business Results

By Mark Duval

Why is it that some agencies do top-notch strategic work for their clients, but have a hard time doing it for themselves? Always crunched for time, agencies are prone to falling back on language that is a bit too broad, a bit too generic, and a bit too safe when it comes to their brands. The ability to spell out what makes your agency special is critical for new business, and they have the talent needed to pull this off. So why is it that so many agencies appear to be interchangeable?

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Agency / June 14, 2016 7 Surefire Ways to Annoy Your Clients
7 Surefire Ways to Annoy Your Clients

By Jami Oetting

Most agency people can quickly rattle off a list of all the annoying, frustrating, and infuriating things clients do. Stories of clients provide most of the lighthearted fodder for conversations over 5:00 beers and late nights at the office. 

But as in most relationships, there are two sides to every story, and agencies can be just as guilty of annoying their clients. 

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Agency / June 10, 2016 How to Get Client Approval for Scope Changes
How to Get Client Approval for Scope Changes

By Jami Oetting

It's always exciting to start a new project. The team is ready to go. You want to provide your client with customer service that matches the quality of your work. But sometimes, clients can make that challenging.

Not long after a project starts, the requests start coming in for "little tweaks." Things will "only take a minute." On occasion, you also get the "let's rethink this strategy" musings from client-side personnel coming in late to the project. Clients think these twists and turns are all part of the original project scope -- and of course, the budget.

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Agency / June 8, 2016 How to Build a Business Dashboard for Your Inbound Marketing Agency
How to Build a Business Dashboard for Your Inbound Marketing Agency

By Mike Lieberman

Most of us running marketing agencies come from any background other than traditional business. Some of you are creative types, others have technical backgrounds, and if you’re like me, I’m 100% marketing. So when it comes to business, we’re all learning how to help our companies run smoothly and make money. If we can’t make money, then there’s no point in doing what we do.

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Agency / June 6, 2016 How to Follow Up With a Client Without Being Annoying
How to Follow Up With a Client Without Being Annoying

By Jami Oetting

Good communication is the foundation of any good agency-client relationship. But as with any kind of relationship, certain types of communications are more challenging than others. Sending an email to let a client know that a recently launched landing page has a conversion rate that's through the roof -- that's easy. Having to send (another) email asking the client to give her approval on the latest design comp -- less easy.

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Agency / June 3, 2016 6 Small Things That Are Making You Less Productive [Infographic]
6 Small Things That Are Making You Less Productive [Infographic]

By Jami Oetting

In the past 30 minutes, how many times have you looked at your phone, refreshed your email, or checked a chat notification? 

We have more tools to help us be productive than ever before, yet these tools can also be a source of distractions, leading people to feel more stressed, have more anxiety, and spend more time completing tasks outside of normal work hours. 

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Agency / June 1, 2016 Madison Avenue Manslaughter: The Legacy of the Creative Revolution on Measuring Agency Work
Madison Avenue Manslaughter: The Legacy of the Creative Revolution on Measuring Agency Work

By Michael Farmer

The agency allergy to measuring work has a long history, but we only have to go back to the early 1960s to find a grand figure who not only wrote about it but may have influenced several generations of agency executives.

The grand historical figure is none other than Bill Bernbach.

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Agency / May 26, 2016 Why Agency Leaders Should Make Themselves Irrelevant
Why Agency Leaders Should Make Themselves Irrelevant

By Jami Oetting

"Irrelevant" doesn't sound good. But it is -- for you, your agency, and your employees. Stay with me here.

If you're necessary to the agency's success, that means your agency is at risk of failure. Certainly its longevity is at risk. No one is indestructible. We all get sick. We all have emergencies. We all need to take a break sometime. Yes, even you. If your agency can't function as expected when you're not around, that's like building your agency on top of a fault line. You don't know when the big one is coming, but you have no fail-safes in place to protect your agency when it does.

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Agency / May 25, 2016 23 Quotes From Bill Bernbach on Advertising & Creativity
23 Quotes From Bill Bernbach on Advertising & Creativity

By Jami Oetting

During the 1950s and 60s, there emerged two schools of thought on adverting. One side, led by Rosser Reeves and David Ogilvy (though his work rarely reflects this) was focused on selling by determining a unique brand position, reinforcing this unique message, and measurement and testing. Advertising was a science. 

On the other side of the debate was Bill Bernbach, who was more focused on using creativity to attract attention, and then sell.

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Agency / May 20, 2016 Your Agency Has a Sales Problem. Here’s How You Can Hire to Fix It.
Your Agency Has a Sales Problem. Here’s How You Can Hire to Fix It.

By Justin Hiatt

If your agency has found success in running inbound marketing programs and generating leads, then you’ve likely experienced a surprising problem: You’ve got too many leads to follow up with and manage.

As your inbound marketing programs have scaled, it has likely become more difficult for your new business director or sales rep to make contact, qualify, and nurture these leads to the point where they are ready for a sales conversation or a proposal.

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Agency / May 20, 2016 8 Tips for Mastering the Art of Email
8 Tips for Mastering the Art of Email

By David Freund

I absolutely despise email.

Perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic here, but the truth is that for most of us, this obligatory form of communication is a necessary evil for survival in business. But there's too much of it -- more 205 billion (that's with a capital B) emails are sent per day -- and it's too easy to lose track of communication, notes, attachments, and reminders. 

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Agency / May 18, 2016 10 Tips for Negotiating Better Deals With Vendors
10 Tips for Negotiating Better Deals With Vendors

By Kevin Brown

Actress Carrie Fisher (AKA Princess Leia) once wisely remarked: “Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.”

In agencies of all sizes, we purchase countless technology tools and partner with numerous vendors to better serve our clients. The problem is, few shops teach this all-important diplomacy skill before throwing you to the wolves.

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Agency / May 13, 2016 Just Because You Can Measure It Doesn’t Make It a KPI
Just Because You Can Measure It Doesn’t Make It a KPI

By William Stentz

Everywhere you look in marketing you hear the term “KPI” being thrown around. With more and more ways to measure activity, it seems everything has a KPI now. Just the other day I found myself discussing my 2-year-old’s preschool KPIs. And how often do you sit in a meeting and see that a project has dozens of KPIs? Just because you can measure it doesn’t make it a KPI, nor does it mean that it’s even the thing you wanted the customer to do in the first place.

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Agency / May 12, 2016 We Swapped Agency Employees for a Day. Here's What We Learned.
We Swapped Agency Employees for a Day. Here's What We Learned.

By Marc Herschberger

It can be difficult for an agency to take an unbiased look at their internal workings to see if things could be done better -- if efficiencies and improvements could be made. 

To you, that overly complex workflow process works for your team, even if everyone hates it. You’ve never been able to piece together a system to complete that one type of project, so it must be impossible. Don’t even get me started on the mess that is your project management tool. It’s a pain, but it’s your little pain.

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Agency / May 11, 2016 Do You Know Your Prospect’s Secret Process for Choosing an Agency?
Do You Know Your Prospect’s Secret Process for Choosing an Agency?

By Drew McLellan

Every prospect has a unique approach when selecting an agency -- a “secret sauce” he or she uses to evaluate potential partners.

Surprised by this?

So were we. We just completed a study in which we talked to 500 CMOs and business owners about their decision-making processes when hiring and firing agencies. Not only did we learn more about what a secret sauce for agency selection is, but we also learned the personal recipes of 92% of respondents. And what we learned will dramatically change the way your agency pitches new clients.

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