Clients greatly value those services they do not have the knowledge or resources to deliver internally. Therefore, one of the best ways to grow your agency’s bottom-line, and ensure long-term sustainability, is to deliver where corporations currently cannot.
Below, we offer three steps to make your agency’s services indispensible.
1. Do Your Homework
The only way to capitalize on market opportunities is to understand them. The 2014 Marketing Score Report reveals how 318 industry professionals rate their businesses and marketing programs across more than 130 factors. It’s a great starting point in identifying marketing pain points and opportunities.
The average overall Marketing Score is 42%. Marketing agencies, however, have an average overall Marketing Score 27% higher than non-agencies.
In particular agencies scored 68% higher in content marketing, 61% higher in marketing team and 60% higher in social media marketing. As a result, agencies are in the prime position to supplement internal teams, adding expertise and skills in critical growth areas.
Other key overall findings from all respondents (agencies and corporations) include:
- Organizations lack confidence in their internal marketing teams, which are particularly weak in key digital marketing skills, such as social media (5.2), data analysis (4.9), and lead management (4.7).
- Many organizations lack, or are underutilizing, fundamental marketing technologies—despite positive correlations between implementation and campaign success. This includes call tracking, marketing automation and marketing analytics.
- Organizations lack strength and diversity in their lead sources. Key digital channels, including organic search (4.3), social media (3.7), blogging (3.0), and premium content (2.5), are all rated on average as weaknesses.
2. Fill In-Demand Service Needs
Do your agency’s strengths line up with corporate marketers’ weaknesses? If so, great! Highlight these capabilities on your website and in business development meetings to demonstrate the value you can bring to clients.
If not, then evaluate if new services make sense to integrate into your offering mix. Consider the following:
- Assess potential services for a fit with your agency’s current offerings. Highlight those that would be natural extensions, complement existing expertise and specialties, and/or would be highly profitable to deliver. For example, PR agencies have found success extending into content marketing.
- Identify partners that may be able to support you in the delivery of services that aren’t a natural fit for your agency, but are highly sought after by clients.
- Audit your current capabilities, and implement internal training programs to develop talent in in-demand skills and technologies. Look to online academies, technology partners and other third parties for supplemental material to jumpstart team development.
- Experiment, and practice new services first on your agency. The best way to learn something new is to try it, and your agency’s marketing program is the perfect playground. Remember: Don’t just say you offer a service if you haven’t taken the time to actually learn and apply it first.
- Integrate new services into existing accounts. Once you have a solid base understanding, weave new services into existing client campaigns to further perfect skills.
3. Keep Tabs, and Evolve
Don’t stop there. Keep your eyes and ears open. Soak in information, and keep a pulse on the industry at large. Read blogs and publications. Stay active in social. Seek out innovative strategies and companies.
Knowledge-seeking, agile agencies that notice and jump on new opportunities will be the first to identify emerging service areas. In an ever-changing marketing arena, this is a great competitive differentiator and a sure-fire way to prove your value to clients.
Do Your Services Align with Demand?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.