The Agency Growth Blog - For Owners Who Want Growth

Inbound Marketing Agencies Need Systems, Processes, and Methodology

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 19, 2019 7:49:00 AM

You’re not running an ad agency. When you get a new client, you can’t pull your creative team into the conference room and start banging out ideas for print ads or a billboard campaign. You can’t treat every new client like they’re your first and only client.

Perhaps even more challenging, if you want to scale and grow, you can’t be the bottleneck, you can’t be in every meeting for every client and you can’t control every process.

When it comes to growth, the agency owner is almost always why the agency isn’t growing.  

The answer to this is systems, processes and a defined, differentiated methodology. Think McDonald's. Not the fast part, but the scalable, repeatable and trainable part. Want to know how to make French fries at McDonald's? There is a manual for that. Want to know how to wash the window? There is a manual for that. Want to know how to greet the customers? You guessed it—a manual. Today it’s probably a video tutorial, but you get the idea.

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Topics: agency operations, team member training

The Agile Marketing Agency: The Saga Continues

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 6, 2019 9:23:00 AM

We started transforming Square 2 into an agile agency back in September of 2014. As one of the first agencies to adopt the Agile Methodology (back then there were only two other shops that I was aware of who ran agile), today we have buckets and buckets of experience making agile work.

Last week at HubSpot’s Partner Day in Boston, being agile was again noted by a few of the presenting agencies as one of their “secrets” to success.

But the agile we practice is not even close to the agile we rolled out in September of 2014. Almost five years later, the way we use agile to service our clients has changed dramatically.

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Topics: agile marketing, agency operations

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

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

CASL And GDPR Regulations On Digital Agencies Coming? Are You Ready?

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Apr 18, 2018 7:07:00 AM

Most agencies are already aware of CASL and GDPR regulations, especially the European agency owners who are part of the Agencies 2 Inbound Cohort programs. While the markets outside of the US are behind from an inbound marketing perspective, (12 to 18 months), they are way ahead in terms of privacy, and protection from unwanted electronic marketing.

If you’re a US based digital marketing agency or inbound marketing agency,  get ready because the regulations are coming, and they are going to be challenging. How do I know? Why I am I writing about this today? Spend 5 minutes watching Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook, testify in front of the Senate committee investigating the Russian situation and you’ll see what I see.

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Topics: agency operations, CASL and GDPR Regulations

5 Ways To Be A Smarter Inbound Marketing Agency Owner In 2017

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jan 17, 2017 10:15:00 AM

When it comes to blogging, one of the tricks I deploy is keeping a running list of potential blog article ideas. Then, when it comes down to writing an article, I look at the ideas, select the one I like and get started. Since this one is time sensitive, I thought it might be relevant as we’re already halfway through January already.

Over the past few years, I’ve worked with over 100 agency owners, all going through some degree of evolution from traditional agency to inbound agency. Unfortunately, I see a lot of the same issues at a variety of different agencies. I classify this as unfortunate because I would expect owners in this community to be more aware of mistakes other agencies make and then be on the lookout to avoid making the same mistakes themselves. But as I stated, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

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Topics: Tips on Inbound, agency operations, inbound marketing agency owner support, agency management

Inbound Marketing Agencies Are Getting Out Of The Content Business: Why This Might Be A Horrible Mistake

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Oct 13, 2016 1:05:00 PM

The other day I was speaking to an agency owner who was proud to announce he didn’t write any website copy for his website development projects. I also see agencies who continue to outsource content to freelancers and services like Writer Access or Zerys. It seems like more and more agencies are recognizing the challenges associated with content creation and simply punting the task to someone else.

It’s hard to argue the economics associated with punting content to someone else. Clients are constantly changing their minds, over editing, rewriting their own edits, pivoting their entire marketing strategy in the middle of content creation and simply being overly picky. Not being responsible for content also does wonders for lowering your monthly investment requirements too and being very competitive on website projects.

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Topics: content marketing, content creation, agency operations

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