I spent the first six years of my marketing agency career chasing hourly quotas instead of results. Our goal was to bill a minimum of five hours per day.
Yes, we cared if the client was happy and successful, but the fundamental economic driving force behind the firm's existence, and my career potential, was the billable hour.
I discovered early on that the billable-hour model was a flawed, archaic, agency-centric system that wrongly tied agency performance to outputs, not outcomes.
In 2004, four years into my career, I became highly motivated to build a more efficient and profitable solution that shifted the focus to client needs and goals.
The idea was centered on making services tangible with clearly defined costs, features and benefits, almost like buying a product off a retail shelf or signing up for a software service.
My theory was that if clients understood exactly what they were getting, and agreed ahead of time what it was worth, then we could remove the mystery from the equation and focus on delivering value and results.
The problem was that the billable-hour model was the only one I had ever known. How would I build an entirely new financial model and productize a service business?Read More
“The marketing industry is moving too fast to internalize everything. Businesses increasingly rely on marketing agency partners for consultation and services to differentiate their brands and drive growth and success.” — The Marketing Performance Blueprint
Corporate marketers increasingly seek performance-driven agencies to fill internal marketing talent, tech and strategy gaps.
The most sought-after agencies execute integrated campaigns, measure performance in real-time, and adapt strategy based on results. Dynamic and nimble campaign management and execution, however, requires the proper technology infrastructure and a digitally savvy staff.
Is your agency equipped to thrive in this environment?Read More
Growth is the easy part. Retaining it, and making it profitable, is the real challenge for agencies. As the demand for digital services increases, many agencies are offering new services and/or are unsure how to attract and retain a profitable client base. This is where these 15 tips come in handy; use them to maximize your agency’s profits.Read More
I'm working on a new book with Wiley (coming in August 2014) that presents the processes, technologies and strategies to fill marketing gaps, and build performance-driven organizations.
We're looking for contacts and case studies to potentially feature in the book.Read More
According to Accenture’s Turbulence for the CMO report, “nearly four in 10 CMOs say they do not have the right people, tools and resources to meet their marketing objectives.” This leaves unprecedented opportunities for those agencies able to:
Below, I outline where the gaps exist in technology, talent and strategy, as derived from my Inbound 2013 VAR presentation. My hope is to arm your agency with the information needed to evolve your services, marketing, sales and brand to capitalize on untapped opportunities and areas of need.Read More
A little over a year ago, The Marketing Agency Blueprint hit the shelves. Written for marketing agency leaders, the book presents 10 rules for building tech-savvy, hybrid agencies that will disrupt and transform the marketing services industry.
Since its release, we’ve come a long way, launching an agency community, educational Academy and software product. But, the most rewarding part of the process has been interacting with other agency leaders, and having an opportunity to hear their stories of transformation and success.Read More
According to the CMO Council, only 36 percent of marketers are firmly committed to their agencies. So, how does your agency attract, retain and grow the right accounts? It starts with a thorough marketing assessment of your leads and clients that enables your agency to forecast potential, align expectations and build performance-driven campaigns.
By gauging the strength of an organization’s existing brand, website, marketing mix, team, technology, processes and performance, agencies can better identify areas of impact and reduce the risk of eventual churn. Now available in public beta, Marketing Score (@MKTScore) is a free assessment tool and marketing intelligence engine powered by PR 20/20 that can help agencies with this assessment process.Read More
In a nutshell, Youtility is a modern marketing methodology that shifts away from selling, and instead focuses on helping prospects and customers through useful information.
In this post, I offer a recap of Jay’s philosophy, and the impact it has on agencies.Read More
I believe agile principles are going to greatly influence the future of how marketing agencies position, plan and execute client services. For instance, if each marketing project (or epic as they are known in the software world) is tied to measurable goals, a set timeframe and an owner, then performance can be tracked incrementally, on a regular basis. This enables incredibly fluid campaigns tied to metrics and accountability.Read More
Versatile talent is at the core of successful hybrid agencies. These marketing professionals, who come from diverse backgrounds, are trained to break down silos and integrate services across mobile, analytics, social, advertising, web, search, PR and content.
But, there is a talent gap. Emerging marketing disciplines, along with increasingly rapid advances in technology, make it challenging for agencies to stay ahead of the curve.
In such a competitive talent market, how do you recruit, train and retain top agency talent? Below are three key takeaways from my BOLO 2012 session.Read More