• 15 Ways to Maximize Marketing Agency Profits

    By | November 28, 2017
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    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.

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  • Why Marketing Classes Need More Business

    By | November 14, 2017
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    This is a guest post from Kate Richling. Kate is a Co-Founder and CMO at Birdsnest, the only strategic performance management suite built for agencies by agencies – creating a single source of truth between agencies and marketers. You can contact Kate on Linkedin or at kate@birdsnest.io.

    Alicia Hatch, CMO of Deloitte Digital, recently wrote for Digiday that the old adage ‘Branding is everything’ is now ‘Everything is branding.’ This translates to significant change for the role of CMOs. With growing expectations from the rest of the C-Suite for marketing to garner business-level results, marketers and their service providers must be more strategic than ever.

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  • Dear Agencies: Stop Being Interesting. Be Critical.

    By | April 27, 2017
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    This is a guest post from Kate Richling. Kate is the head of marketing for Birdsnest, a strategic marketing and business attribution tool for agencies. With Birdsnest, your Client Services team can bank, manage and track client activity and opportunities – turning every relationship into a strategic one. You can contact Kate on Linkedin or at kate@birdsnest.io..

    Research has shown much of the C-suite believes marketers and their agency partners live in a creative and social media bubble according to the Fournaise Group. In an effort to provide instantaneous results, they’re too focused on parameters like impressions, shares and downloads, the kind of data deemed “interesting, not critical” to the C-suite. It’s a major challenge when you consider the shifting responsibility of CMOs to deliver on business-quantifiable outcomes.

    Expectations for today’s CMO and required capability sets are shifting, upping the ante on demonstrating ROI and impacting business outcomes organization-wide. While consultancies continue to swallow up creative agencies, and other agencies founded and built on digital respond with consultancy-like services, often under the moniker Business Transformation, the race is on for client dollars. And who can blame any of us for trying – considering advertisers spent over $600 billion last year according to eMarketer.

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  • 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 Birdsnest, an agency growth tool, built by agency veterans for agencies. With Birdsnest, 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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