4 Reasons Why Previous Attempts to Scale Your Digital Agency Have Failed (and a Solution for Each)
For any business to be successful, leaders need to keep a close eye on the company’s health and proactively work toward continuous growth. Too often, business leaders are satisfied with wherever they are now. This state of mind leaves no room for expansion, which could be detrimental for a company, especially if the competition is working hard to overtake you.
Digital marketing agencies in particular are growing in demand, especially as we enter the post-pandemic era. But many agencies are targeting the same set of potential clients and offering the same types of services, which only draws them a small share of the market each — thus, promoting no real growth.
Here are four reasons why your agency might not be growing as rapidly as you’d like.
1. You Simply Lack the Skills
This one might be hard to swallow, but a big reason why your digital marketing agency fails to grow could be due to a lack of expertise. It’s common for digital marketing agencies to hire inexperienced employees or use lower-quality resources or tools. While this could be due to an effort to lower costs, it’s typically just a lack of thorough research.
Consequently, this leads to poor leadership decisions, like setting short budgets, unachievable goals, and unrealistic timelines and expectations. Any smart client will see this lack of skill and choose not to convert themselves as regular customer. Hinge Marketing recently found that high-growth marketing service consultancies are more likely than other firms to have superior skills in five specific areas: data analytics, SEO, social media, project management and research.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your agency provides the types of expertise that are most in demand. Your goal here is to educate yourself in the best marketing tools and recourses, and test different combinations of tools to find the right mix for your digital marketing needs.
Likewise, search for high-level talent. Doing so is particularly difficult amidst a highly competitive industry. But by positioning your company as transparently as possible, highlighting your positive work environment, and showcasing relevant benefits, higher-quality candidates are more likely to come knocking at your door.
This calls for investing extra time, patience, and yes, money. But it will all be worth it once you’ve gained a greater knowledge of your deliverables and services, making it easier to scale up your agency.
2. You’re Satisfied With Smaller Clients
All too often, digital marketing agencies will stick with their list of smaller customers and give up any efforts to expand their clientele further.
While this might be the easiest, most comfortable option, it’s risky for an agency in today’s ever-growing market. Sure, smaller clients are more manageable, but it restricts the growth of your business to those regular set of clients.
Instead, you should always be on the search for bigger clients. Notice we didn’t say more clients. It’s a common misconception that adding more clients will bring in more revenue. But in reality, more low-paying, low-value clients will only result in your agency overworking and not generating enough income.
Pia Silva, founder of No BS Agency, says it best. “You don’t need MORE clients. Instead, you need BETTER clients,” she writes. “Clients that hire you because you are an expert, NOT a service provider. Clients that pay you more because of that expertise. Clients that listen to your guidance.”
3. You’re Failing to Deliver Expected Results
The best digital marketing agencies know how to provide specialized types of service. As a leader, it’s your job to make sure your customer’s needs and expectations are met most seamlessly and efficiently.
Sometimes all it takes to fill these gaps, though, is a smart partnership strategy, vcita’s Danit Ianovici is quick to point out. “Your clients are important to you, and making them feel like you are their go-to guru for all things business related will help build and foster long-term relationships which will lead to an increase in your bottom line,” she writes. “A successful partnership will help unlock new revenue potential, expand your business offering and boost customer engagement in ways you might not achieve on your own.”
Unfortunately, not all digital marketing agencies can say they’ve achieved this. Without a great network of partners and a dedicated workforce of skilled leadership, your agency will fail to deliver the expected results. Eventually, your agency’s value will fade, and the company will fail to grow. When your company is failing to deliver, it’s time to take a look inwards.
The solution comes in the form of optimizing your workflow processes and thinking outside the box about how you go about delivering solutions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your employees and ask them where they think the company could improve. Identifying ways to streamline all processes will inevitably help you meet your client’s expectations with greater ease.
4. You’re Skimping on the Budget
When discussing scaling up a digital marketing agency, the cost is generally the first topic that comes to mind. Unfortunately, when it comes to investing in the right tools and capabilities, digital marketing agency leaders underestimate the required budgets.
Companies frequently find creative ways to reduce their total costs while still expecting to produce grand results that high-end digital marketing promises to deliver. However, this simply will not work. If you’re going to invest in the cheapest products and strategies, you can expect to attract only the cheapest clients.
While there is nothing wrong with finding cost-effective solutions, you can’t expect to skimp on your budget and still achieve maximum business value. And if you aren’t doing this wisely, then you’re likely falling behind. A recent survey from Digiday found that over the course of 2021, some 64% of independent agencies expanded the list of services they offer to clients.
Focus your energy on determining where and when to spend your money. Start by understanding your costs and revenues and clarifying your business goals. Then, you can better align your budget with your goals and ultimate vision for growth. Over time, you’ll learn how to adapt your budget accordingly.
Wrapping Things Up
Have trouble scaling your digital marketing agency successfully?
You might want to consider analyzing these issues and determine if your company falls into one (or more) of these categories. Then, you can determine the best solution for your agency.
This article, “4 Reasons Why Previous Attempts to Scale Your Digital Agency Have Failed (and a Solution for Each)” was first published on Small Business Trends