The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

It's Official: Digital Marketing Agency Services Are A Commodity! Now What?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 17, 2019 8:10:00 AM

I hate to say it, but I believe it’s true. Most of the services now provided by digital agencies are commodities.

Don’t get me wrong, there are strong digital experience and digital transformation agencies working with Fortune 1000 companies who have effectively positioned their companies to drive significant value for high dollars, but most agencies are not in that space.

Almost every agency (at least at the top of the HubSpot partner network) have decided to low ball their retainers to win business, come in with small projects or start with training and that has caused everyone to be viewed as having similar services. In those circumstances history has shown we’re now selling a commodity where lowest price generally wins the business.

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Topics: inbound agency strategy, inbound agency planning, inbound agency team structure

The 6 Secret Questions You Have To Ask Prospects During Your Sales Process To Close More New Clients Faster

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 10, 2019 7:46:00 AM

We got three new clients at Square 2 to help kick start April on the new business side. But it’s not always so easy and over the past six months we’ve been working hard to make our sales process remarkable and an experience for our prospects.

One part of that process is the questions we ask our prospects during out Guided Sales Process. Some of those questions are not so easy to ask but we’ve found that they help us qualify, uncover key issues buried in our prospects’ business and help us have more strategic conversations with our prospects.

Here are the six secret questions that add big value to our sales process and they’ll help you add the same value to your sales process.

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Topics: Sales Process, inbound Agency Sales Process

Why Writing A Book Might Be The Smartest Thing You Could Do To Help Your Inbound Marketing Agency Grow

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 27, 2019 7:14:00 AM

Having run an agency for over 16 years, it’s clear that today the agency business is harder than ever. One of the biggest challenges is differentiating your agency from other agencies.

One of the other challenges, especially for smaller agencies, is creating enough content and enough thought leading content to get your prospect’s attention, drive search engine optimization and conversion on your website.

Writing a book might be one way to both differentiate and create content at the same time.

Here are some of the concepts you should consider if you’re looking to elevate your agency, thinking about writing a book or if you’re in the process of writing a book.

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Topics: Business Development, inbound marketing agency differentiation, content creation, Leadership

Cycle Your Client Engagements Faster To Get Better Results For Your Inbound Marketing Agency Clients

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 21, 2019 9:13:00 AM

It’s an ongoing battle with clients. How do we get them better results for the level of investment in their engagement? We know we can do more, but we can’t do more because they have a budget.

Some clients understand that, and others will push you to do as much as they can get you to do. Other clients, while not malicious about it,  are just unclear about where to draw the line.

Over servicing isn’t the answer but better processes, systems and methodologies around delivery is the secret to getting clients better results within the limits of their engagement.

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Topics: inbound optimization, agency operations

Clients Are Looking For Quick Wins, How Your Inbound Agency Can Deliver And Still Be Strategic

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Mar 13, 2019 8:16:00 AM

I’m not giving up on my belief that strategy before tactics is the secret to success when it comes to any type of marketing engagement with clients. I’ve talked to far too many companies who are unhappy with their current agency and upon further review, we found there was little or no strategy.

However, I’m not ignoring the fact that many agencies tell clients they don’t need strategy and clients are hesitant to pay for or value strategy work. While we look diligently for clients who understand and value strategy and we work hard to help clients understand the value of strategy, I’m ready to offer clients what they want to buy, instead of what I want to deliver to them.

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Topics: inbound marketing engagements

The Death Of The Retainer Model Is Coming, Are You Ready For It?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 27, 2019 7:44:00 AM

I’m fascinated by what’s going on in the agency ecosystem. Study after study supports the move by companies to take their digital marketing in-house. Agencies are reporting it more challenging to sign new clients and clients are not looking for long-term relationships with a single agency anymore.

If one thing is true, the changes taking place in the agency community are real and they’re happening quickly. You can’t put your head in the sand or think this won’t impact your agency. Instead, you should be prepared for slower growth, more challenging sales cycles and downward pressure on pricing.

How did this happen? What can you do about it? What should you be thinking about to position your agency for the future?

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Topics: pricing the engagement, agency operations, project vs. retainer

Having Trouble Getting Clients The Results They Expected? Help Is On The WAY!

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 14, 2019 8:28:00 AM

One of the most common stories I hear from agency owners is about the challenges associated with getting clients results, getting them results fast enough and getting them enough results to keep the client on the program and paying their retainers. Sound familiar?

This is a major aspect of growth. If you can’t keep your current clients, then you’ll only be treading water. Signing one new client a month and losing one current client a month is NOT growth. The best way to grow is to keep your current clients happy and getting them results is usually the one and only way to do that.

So, what’s the answer?

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Topics: inbound marketing results, client results, MaxG

Want To Know What's Going On In The Agency Selection Process? Just Ask Your Prospects

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 7, 2019 8:22:00 AM

The past two years have felt very different than the previous 14 years, at least for me. As a curious person and one who likes to solve problems, I started looking into it. One approach I took was to ask our prospects and new clients more questions about their buyer journey.

Their answers, comments and feedback have been eye-opening. It’s been directing our strategy for the past 12 months, but it continues to be challenging. In short, everyone seems paralyzed with confusion and apprehension AND as agency owners, we’re not helping ourselves.

Here’s a comment I picked up from a prospect last week.

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Topics: agency selection, prospect buyer journey

The Fastest Way To Produce Results For Your Inbound Marketing Clients Is Use An Upgraded Offer Strategy

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 31, 2019 7:03:00 AM

Sometimes I spend a few minutes in the HubSpot Agencies Facebook Group and noticed an agency owner asking about quick wins. The other owners posted the standard collection of advice like add a chat bot, look to improve conversions across the site and start a pay per click campaign. All good ideas.

But the best idea we’ve seen in 16 years of running an agency responsible for generating results for our clients is to rearchitect the back end of the buyer journey offers.

What does that mean? Let me answer it in this article.

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Topics: content marketing, lead generation, content strategy

Where Do I Go To Find Inspiration And Innovation For Our Revenue Growth Agency?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 24, 2019 2:42:30 PM

You might be surprised that most of my inspiration and innovation comes from outside our industry. While there are agencies who I admire and other larger professional services firms who we aspire to be like—there are still many interesting lessons to be learned from companies outside our direct space.

For example, a lot of what we do at Square 2 from a delivery and client services perspective has been adapted from the software development industry and the military.

The service experience we are working toward is modeled after the way Disney approaches taking care of its guests and our sales process is designed around the way a white-water rafting company would create a trip for your family.

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Topics: agency growth strategies

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