• Agency Pricing: Focus on Value and Results

    September 6, 2013

    As detailed in The Marketing Agency Blueprint, billable hours are contingent on the producer’s efficiency, creating what we believe to be a flawed pricing model.

    A project that may take one person three hours to complete could take another at the same level five hours. The underlying cause will vary—distractions, lack of training, misunderstanding of the project, etc.—but the end result is the same. In the latter scenario, the client pays more, but receives no additional value.  

    But it doesn’t stop there. Agency professionals are typically evaluated based on the number of billable hours they track. There are no incentives to be efficient, but rather motivators to be inefficient.

    Despite these inherent setbacks, one third of agencies rely on billable hours as their primary pricing model, according to the recently released RSW/US 2013 Agency New Business Thought Leader Survey.

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  • How to Price Your Digital Marketing Services

    April 24, 2013

    Earlier this month, I sat in on the Optifiy webinar, How to Price Your Digital Marketing Services. Rob Eleveid (@RobertEleveid), CEO of Optiify, and Jon C. Stone III (@jcstone3), CEO of Revenue Architects, presented.

    This post highlights some of webinar’s key takeaways. Before we start though, keep in mind that your pricing will evolve with your business, and it should be continually refreshed based on changing market factors, service offerings and historical data. 

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  • Inbound Marketing Agencies See Revenue Soar

    March 21, 2013

    Through integrated campaigns that combine search, social, content and PR, inbound marketing agencies are driving leads and loyalty for their clients, and themselves. They understand that today’s consumers are in the drivers’ seats, shutting out interruption-based communications, and dictating when and how they interact with brands.

    As a result, they’ve seen tremendous client success and strong business growth. Need proof?

    HubSpot’s Shannon Johnson (@shannopop) recently released a storybook, Transforming into an Inbound Marketing Agency: Stories and Advice from 6 Execs that details six companies that transitioned to inbound marketing, including the results they’ve seen.

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  • How to Measure The Financial Success of Your Agency

    September 20, 2012

    An excerpt from Second Wind's 2012 Small Agency Report—reprinted with permission.

    People ask us all the time how to measure the financial success of their agency. When we respond, many seem disappointed. "That's it?" they ask. "Those are the numbers you track?" The truth is, the agency business is a pretty simple business. In this post, we provide our ideas of the most important metrics for agencies.

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  • 3 Ways to Diversify Your Agency's Revenue

    September 4, 2012

    Diversified revenue streams are one way to better manage incoming revenue and gain more predictability. Because your eggs aren’t all in one basket, alternate revenue streams can help compensate when you have a low service month, and lessen the blow on your bottom line. There are three main opportunities to diversify agency revenue, which we outline in this post.

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  • The Insider Series: Q&A with Bob Ruffolo, IMPACT Branding & Design

    July 12, 2012

    Bob Ruffolo (@BobRuffolo) is the founder and CEO of IMPACT Branding & Design, an inbound marketing agency in Wallingford, CT. Bob has more than 10 years experience in online marketing and strategy development. Since founding IMPACT in 2009, he has overseen its growth and development to a thriving 10-person firm. Marketing Agency Insider spoke with Bob about his agency’s services, pricing, technologies, hiring strategies and more.

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  • Integrated Marketing Services and Value-Based Pricing [Exclusive Webinar Access]

    June 27, 2012

    Integrated agencies are few and far to come by, yet highly demanded. Today’s clients are no longer looking for one-off service offerings. Consumer buying habits, available technology and client expectations now require agencies to expand their suite of marketing services.

    That said, 60% of chief marketing officers are unable to find an integrated firm to meet their needs for hybrid services, according to a study by The Horn Group and Kelton Research. So how can your agency prepare for this shift, and deliver on the demand for digital and integration? Check out these eight tips to get you started.

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  • Publish Your Pricing, or Pay the Price

    June 18, 2012

    Clients (at least the smart ones) look for a good fit with a marketing agency, including goals, skill sets, expertise, personalities and reputation. Traditionally, the process of “fitting” took several live or telephone meetings in which the parties discussed goals and expectations, deliverables and, eventually, pricing. In this guest post, John McTigue, executive vice president and co-owner of Kuno Creative, explains what's changed in recent years and why publishing presales information and pricing on your website can help you pre-qualify and close leads faster.

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  • The Insider Series: Q&A with Joe Olsen, Phenomblue

    June 6, 2012

    In this edition of the Insider Series, we had the opportunity to talk with Joe Olsen, co-founder and CEO of Phenomblue, about his growing agency, why he chose to pursue private venture funding and how technology is shaping the industry. 

    Phenomblue is an interactive brand experience agency focused on developing creative solutions that harness the power of technology to tell a consistent story across all interactive consumer touch points.

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  • Adios Billable Hours

    May 21, 2012

    The billable-hour model is a flawed, archaic, agency-centric system that wrongly ties agency performance to outputs, not outcomes. Alternatively, set prices enable agencies to bundle services into packages designed to fit specific market segments, and dramatically reduce time spent building new business and account development proposals. Plus, they make make marketing agency services more affordable and effective to the under serviced market of small businesses. 

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