• 12 Questions to Guide Your Pricing Model Transformation

    “The future belongs to dynamic agencies with more efficient management systems, integrated services, versatile talent, value-based pricing models, a love for data, and a commitment to producing measurable results.” — The Marketing Performance Blueprint

    Pricing can have a positive impact on productivity, accountability, client performance, agency growth and profits. Yet, many agencies still rely on billable hours as the key component to their pricing strategies. This wrongly ties agency performance to outputs, instead of outcomes, and lacks the transparency clients demand.

    There is an opportunity for agencies to shift to value-based pricing models that focus on client needs and goals—rather than how long it takes to complete an activity. Without hourly quotas looming over their heads, employees are empowered to focus on results and value creation. And clients aren’t left asking how their money was spent.  

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  • Improve Collaboration With Enterprise-Grade Cloud Services

    This is a guest post from Frank Sicilia (@egnyte), chief solutions architect at Egnyte, a platform that powers adaptive enterprise file services for thousands of customers worldwide.

    To envision, pitch, win, produce, deliver, measure and bill a campaign takes a tremendous amount of teamwork—both inside the agency and with partners and clients.

    Such collaboration involves moving a lot of data around to a lot of different people. Creative briefs, proposals, mock-ups, proofs, budgets, invoices, creative output, market and research data, and financials: the list is endless.

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  • Awards Are More Than Fancy Paperweights — They’re Good for Your Agency’s Bottom Line

    This a guest post from Drew McLellan, a veteran of the advertising industry for nearly 30 years.

    Events such as the CLIO Awards, the Cannes Lions and The One Showare opportunities for creative agencies to receive recognition for themselves and their clients—not to mention a chance to glam it up and have a party.

    Yet agency leaders are often reluctant to enter these competitions. They mistakenly view the process as a distraction at best, and a waste of time and resources at worst. Creatives are usually the ones driving award initiatives, trying to convince their bosses that submitting their work isn’t just about their own ego.

    The truth is that awards are more than fancy, feel-good paperweights; they’re actually good for the bottom line. Here’s why.

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  • Why You Should Make Yourself Redundant

    Have you ever stopped to wonder what would happen if you had to step away from your agency for three months unexpectedly?

    For some, I’m sure this brings images of the apocalypse. Perhaps you’re the agency owner who has your hands in everything from operations to sales to account management, or maybe you’re an account manager who prides yourself in your ability to tackle all client requests and projects singlehandedly. 

    And while some may view this irreplaceability as a badge of honor, the reality is that it’s often a sign that they’re failing to fulfill their most important role: leading.

    The best leaders make themselves redundant. Here’s why.

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  • How to Conduct an Agency Brand and Culture Audit

    By | February 17, 2015

    When outlining your agency’s mission, vision and values, it’s easy to employ a top-down approach. Executives or other key stakeholders often define them items based on their own perceptions or desires, and then force-feed them to the rest of the team.

    Yet, this usually results in statements that don’t truly define the organization or aren’t adhered to in real life by employees. This is often because they lack buy in or miss critical aspects of the company that only those on the frontlines are privy to.

    Before you embark on a company rebranding, culture code deck or other grand-vision piece, I recommend following the Zappos approach. Audit your current employees and build their feedback into the final product. After all—we all want to create positive and fulfilling careers for our people, right? This starts with knowing what makes them tick, and what keeps them happy and engaged.

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  • The Profitable Agency: How Tracking Time Can Impact Agency Profits

    This is a guest post from Chirag Ahuja (@ChiragAhujanz), head of marketing at WorkflowMax, a cloud-based agency management software.

    A profitable agency is an efficient agency. As a service-based business, the speed at which high-quality work gets done and approved by the client has a significant impact on your overall profitably.

    Regardless if your agency’s pricing model is billable hours or value-based, time tracking should be an essential element to your project management process.

    Armed with timesheet reports, you’ll have access to the data required to effectively evaluate your agency’s profitability across the following three key pillars.

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  • How to Differentiate Your Agency by Delivering Results

    By | December 19, 2014

    Consumers are in the driver’s seat more than ever before, dictating when and how they communicate with brands. With a flood of information at their fingertips, they crave personalized experiences that educate, enable and entertain. Agencies, and their clients, must strive to deliver these highly relevant communications across channels.

    Marketers must also connect actions to goals (e.g. website visitors, leads and sales). In tracking the right metrics, campaigns can be tied to bottom-line business impact, budgets can be justified and strategies can be adapted based on performance.

    In a recent HubSpot (@HubSpot) webinar (available on-demand here), Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint, shared 10 steps to becoming a performance-driven agency—one that builds and measures integrated marketing campaigns for maximum client ROI.

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  • Running a Lean Digital Marketing Agency

    By | November 19, 2014

    Below is a guest post by Ryan Chester (@ChestNut_Ryan), a business development manager at AnnexCore. He has helped develop digital marketing strategies for enterprises across the globe.

    Most manufacturing companies operate lean, and luckily; our agency was started by someone with an extensive background in both software and electronics manufacturing. Unlike the marketing agencies of the Mad Men era, new-age agencies are built to do more with less.

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  • Data Security Tips for Your Agency and Clients

    By | November 10, 2014

    Below is a guest post from Tom Smith, VP of business development and strategy for CloudEntr by Gemalto. In this role, he helps define and execute Gemalto’s identity and access initiatives in the cloud. Tom has over 30 years of experience with security, mobile, and cloud technologies, including founding executive roles at four technology companies. Read more on how to keep your agency’s data secure though two-factor authentication and password management here.

    When you think of all the things that drew you to the marketing and advertising industry, information security probably doesn’t spring to mind. It likely didn’t even occur to you that dealing with clients’ strategies could make you responsible for handling sought-after secrets.

    Yet look at how government leaks have happened. NSA servers weren’t hacked. Contractors like HBGary Federal and General Dynamics that work on government projects were targeted. This means you—a third-party vendor—could be at risk. Should confidential client files be leaked, you could be subject to the subsequent investigation.

    If you want to land big accounts, you need to prove that you’re not a weak link. Agency collaboration is difficult without sharing access to online services, but you can do so securely with these four practices.

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  • How to Create a ROWE™ at Your Agency: Q&A with Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds (@michaelreynolds) is president and CEO of SpinWeb, a digital agency in Indianapolis that specializes in website design, inbound marketing and app development.

    In this Insider Series, he discusses the benefits of a Results-Only Work Environment™ (ROWE™), and his experiences implementing one at SpinWeb.

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