• Clients vs. Financial Health: Are You Making This Common Agency Owner Mistake?

    By | April 13, 2017
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    This is a guest post from agency consultant Karl Sakas (@KarlSakas).

    Argh. You just finished a call with another unhappy client, trying to smooth things over.

    You promised them free work to keep them happy, but that’s going to make the overall project unprofitable… and now you need to break the news to your team.

    What’s going on here? The truth is, you’ve made a key agency management mistake. You’re putting clients first, at your agency’s expense.

    When you make that choice, the outcomes are predictable—unprofitable work, low team morale, and stress levels through the roof. So how do you turn things around? The key is to shift your priorities.


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  • Point Pricing: The Story of How We (Finally) Eliminated Hours from Marketing Agency Pricing

    By | March 23, 2017
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    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?

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  • Profitable Agency Business and How to Sell It

    By | March 16, 2017
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    This is a guest post from Joe Olsen. Joe is the CEO of Rova, an agency growth tool, built by agency veterans for agencies. With Rova, dubbed The Client Services Engine, empower your agency team to manage, measure and grow strategic client relationships. You can get in touch with Joe on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Let’s start with a fact. Successful agencies create revenue through the ability to generate profitable business with new clients but also within current relationships. Show me your New Business and Client Services team, their processes and tools, and I can tell you how far you’ll go, your capacity for growth and your ability to thrive in this cutthroat industry.

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  • 4 Agency Management Trends to Follow in 2017

    By | February 17, 2017
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    Proper agency management ensures the firm is profitable, clients are happy and the right talent is in place. The new year brings the opportunity to refresh your management strategies.

    Below, I highlight some key trends to consider.

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  • The Key to Agency Profitability? Good Old-Fashioned Time Sheets

    By | February 15, 2017
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    This is a guest post from Drew McLellan. Drew leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises advertising agencies on how to grow and build profitability. He can also be reached via LinkedIn and Google+.

    Did you complete your time sheet today? Did your employees?

    If your answer is “no,” your agency is missing out on a crucial opportunity to increase profits and productivity. There are consultants out there who think agency folks shouldn’t have to do time sheets, but they’re wrong.

    People are your biggest asset and your biggest resource, but they’re also your biggest expense. Consistent use of time sheets is the only way to know how your employees are spending their time and whether that time is well spent. Without the use of time sheets, you cannot evaluate the performance of your business — both how your assets and resources are being applied and how profitable your clients are with respect to your time investment.

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  • The Future of Marketing Agency Pricing and Compensation

    By | January 23, 2017
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    This is a guest post from Jason Brewer (@jaybrew). Jason is founder and CEO of Brolik, a digital agency in Philadelphia. As an entrepreneur, Jason is passionate about helping other business owners navigate the complicated journey of owning a business and developing strategies to grow their brand.

    Ask agency owners about their pricing strategies and they might look at you with a blank stare. That’s because agency fees are commonly based on inputs, and are lacking any form of strategy for maximizing the skill and performance of their team to increase profit.

    Agencies need to be open to new compensation models that align their goals with those of their clients. Pricing based on an input like a billable hour puts a ceiling on potential profit and creates a perception that the agency’s service is a commodity.

    When it comes to pricing strategy, the hourly rate says commodity.

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  • Omnichannel Marketing: The Solution as Diverse as Consumers’ Habits

    By | January 23, 2017
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    This is a guest post from Tom Alexander, founder and CEO of PK4 Media, an omnichannel media company located in El Segundo, Calif. He can be reached on LinkedInTwitter, and Google+.

    Omnichannel marketing presents consumers with one clear, unified message across all platforms. Whether your client’s target consumer is on her phone, her laptop, or her couch with the TV in front of her, an omnichannel campaign will reach her. The idea is that each platform provides lift to the others, increasing user engagement, brand awareness and, of course, sales.

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  • 6 Ways to Advance Agency Talent

    By | December 5, 2016
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    Advancing talent at your agency is a vital piece to helping professionals grow. Without a core professional development plan in place, it may be difficult for individuals to expand their wings and fly. By providing them with the right resources and opportunities to grow, you can help them become strong, hardworking and even more talented i…Read More


  • 5 Everyday Ways to Find Creative Marketing Inspiration

    By | November 15, 2016
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    As agency marketers, we’re always looking for the next big thing. We’re constantly working to get an edge over every other brand and establish our clients as leaders in their respective industries. But it takes more than just looking for the next trend to take your marketing program to the next level. It takes time, research an…Read More


  • Offboarding 101: How to Gracefully Part with a Client

    By | October 20, 2016
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    It’s the absolute worst part of agency life; it’s the he-who-must-not-be-named of the marketing profession. Losing a client, however, is sometimes inevitable. Maybe the client wasn't a long-term fit for your custom services, perhaps the business was facing its own fiscal troubles, or in some cases, it couldn’t handle gro…Read More