Running a digital agency isn’t easy.
That’s why nine out of ten startups fail.
You have to market, advertise, build your a-team, and the list of things doesn’t seem to stop.
However, what if you could prevent a lot of marketing mistakes that lead to failure?
All you have to do is simply be aware of the most common agency blunders and avoid them.
This will secure your business in the long term and prevent obstacles.
I’ll be teaching you some of the most prevalent agency mistakes (and how to avoid them) if you continue reading.
1. Not establishing clear KPIs and benchmarks
You have the greatest marketing and advertising operations known to man.
Cool. However, if you don’t set clear key performance indicators, there’s no real way to know how they’re performing, if they’re worth continuing, or if they need to be removed.
Oppositely, set a few benchmarks and suddenly all of these issues are solved.
You will know what strategies to double-down on and what needs to be moved to the backburner.
You’ll stop investing in campaigns and channels that aren’t moving the needle, making your pocket happier, too.
I recommend that every organization sets personalized KPIs, but here’s some food for thought:
- Customer lifetime value
- Conversation rates
- Cost per acquisition
- Website traffic
- Social media followers
- Client retention and churn
- Annual recurring revenue
2. Offering too broad of services
It’s easy to think that you’re going to offer everything under the sun. Slow your horses. This can make things much more complicated for both the agency and clients.
We’ve all been there. You start full-service and do web design, social media, copywriting, SEO, PR, lead generation, etc. You’ll drive the most revenue doing that, right?
Rather, niching down might be one of the smartest decisions you make. This way you offer a single vertical of services, master them, and create a good reputation for yourself.
This also allows you to simplify everything else including buyer personas and team structure.
Starting wide can be positive as you determine what you excel at and what customers demand the most. Nonetheless, if you’re a newer agency then it’s better to start niche right away.
Use previous clients, case studies, and feedback to determine what your main service should be. Then, work on packaging it and refining the deliverables.
3. No clear onboarding
Onboarding new clients can be one of the most exciting parts of building an agency. Your hard work has finally paid off!
You can easily fumble new accounts without the proper steps in place to onboard them, though.
Here’s a five-step onboarding process you can use as inspiration:
It all begins with the discovery call. This is a non-committed phone call to figure out if you and the client are a match. Ask questions about their goals, needs, and problems.
Looking good? Move onto a trial period or pilot after this. This further ensures that you mesh in terms of workflow and personality.
Finally, send in an NDA and contract that outlines the deliverables, payment, and other terms.
Learn more about this in my article on reducing client churn.
4. Broken tracking and analytics
Going back to KPIs and benchmarks, some times our greatest enemy is ourselves. A.K.A Human error.
Our report on agency confessions found that 29% of marketers admit to being negatively impacted by broken links, forms, and related assets.
Unfortunately, this leads to delayed campaigns, inaccurate information, and worst of all–irritated clients who want to know why they aren’t seeing results.
That’s why we developed Morphio, the world’s first marketing security software. It solves human errors like broken analytics, campaign overspending, and integrations no longer working. Learn more here.
Using software like ours helps agencies discovers these faults before they snowball while not needing to search for them by hand.
5. Not keeping up with trends
You can’t be complacent.
Agencies have to reinvent themselves and stay modern or face the problem of slowing down while competitors adapt.
I’m talking about strategies, technologies, and consumer behaviour. They’re constantly evolving.
So, how can an agency avoid this pitfall?
I recommend keeping up with industry and market reports. These will literally tell you everything you need to know about consumers, changes, threats, and opportunities.
For illustration, if I search Google for “B2B market report” I get results like this:
I can click one of them to get a free report with deep insight.
What do they say about opportunities and future outlook?
Are there certain strategies, audiences, or channels that are yielding the most return?
Start including those in your agency’s business plan.
Wrapping up digital agency mistakes
Marketing agencies can skyrocket or sink to the bottom of the ocean as fast as a bullet.
It all depends if you’re making or avoiding regular mistakes.
The first of which is not having clear KPIs for the company as a whole, departments, and campaigns. Check out my article on the most important agency metrics to get further inspiration.
Then, don’t try to service every industry and client under the sun. You want to master a few different services and become known in the industry for them. This will trickle down and simplify every other branch of the business.
Onboarding clients should be smooth, too. Have predefined steps you can take them through to ensure a good transition and the best relationship.
After this, you want to avoid analytics, integrations, and tracking breaking. While you can manually watch for this, try Morphio today for free and our software will automatically alert you of marking failures and lucrative insights.
Lastly, stay modern. Reinvent your agency, what it offers, and who it works with to stay up to date with trends.
Doing all of these things will help maximize the lifespan of your agency and secure its success.