How to Know if your Marketing Agency is Successful

Marketing agencies often measure their client’s marketing campaigns, but what about their own performance? Most agencies neglect their own analytics, however, by looking into their own business the way analyst due towards their clients can not only make their marketing teams more efficient, improve sales and be the agencies that actually lead by example. So what kind of KPIs matter for a marketing agency?

KPIs that marketing agencies should monitor:

  • Sales: measuring total revenue, month to month or year to year, is important to understanding the trend. Most agencies have a very flat yearly marketing revenue, with some big wins here and there. While consistency is good, analyzing your sales numbers can tell you a lot.
  • Pipeline: Looking at win rates and knowing the idea client is key for success. While most agencies are not dealing with hundreds of clients but more like tens or a few large ones, it is important to have alignment into the marketplace and understand why you lost the pitches, and more importantly analyzing the wins can help ensure success in the future. Looking at what’s still active in the pipeline is a great predictor of future revenue success.
  • Marketing Efficiency: Agencies prospect differently, some go based on who they know, others speak at conferences, some run digital marketing ads while others have unique way of generating opportunities. Regardless of what channel you use, it is important to track return on investment, on a high level you should include all revenue that was generated, and cost associated with it. Is it sustainable long term, and attribute success to your marketing will not only help you become a better marketer for your clients but also ensure you are not spending more on acquiring customers then your prospecting investments.
  • Client Retention Rates: How often do you lose clients? What is the average time they sign up? Some agencies see turnover every couple of years, others every year, and some have been with their clients for 5+ years. While you may not be able to do anything about it, knowing your average and when clients approach that time frame can help with business development decision and help prepare account mangers for the hard conversations.
  • Client’s marketing KPIs: Monitoring your clients KPIs can have a great impact on their overall success While account managers, do audits on campaigns, present findings on a monthly basis and communicate successes to their clients. It is important to look at marketing KPIs of your clients holistically and on the same page. Is there a client that is lagging behind? Is there one area that the agency can use help on?  Is the trend going up or down? If you are servicing a specific industry, you can use that data to acquire new customers by sharing industry benchmarking. Giving that insight on a holistic level can take your agency to the next level.

Now that you have your main KPIs set up, it is time to do a quick audit on your team’s performance and see if there are any places for improvements. This could be based on processes, personal, or tech that you are using.  

Evaluating the efficiency of your agency:

Here are the top 3 ways to audit your agency for being efficient, effective, and innovative.

  1. Processes: Processes can hinder innovation but increase efficiency, finding the balance is the art form that when found can be the world of difference. Some of the questions to answer is: Is there well documented processes in place? How consistent is account monitoring? Are there checklists for employees to follow? What tasks are being done manually? How different do account management look like between different clients? While you want to have a team that is consistent, you want to be able to tailor your services to client’s needs. For example, take the simple task of reporting, while most clients will have year over year or month over month KPI changes, one client may care about engagement rates while the other on number of leads. Therefore, while both dashboards should be automated they can look completely different. Another example, if employees checklists, while it is great for employees to check off simple tasks like steps to take when launching a LinkedIn campaign, the type of campaign, creative, targeting, and even reporting can look completely different between two clients. Another example, is manual work, if there are employees that are doing more manual work that can be automated it is time to look into technology, training or process changes. Or if alternatively, if all clients have the same processes when launching and reporting on digital marketing, then your team is not adding value to each individual client.
  2. Personal: While some agencies do human resource training and evaluations, others do not, they simply do not have time. Your team culture can also be hurt if certain employees are singled out. However, what if you had to evaluate your personal based on their strength so they can excel in the role that they take. For example, if one employee is super innovative and gets new technology why not task them on finding innovative tech to test and implement across the board. If another employee is great with numbers, but maybe is not a great content creator, get them to run analytics. Talking to your employees and matching tasks to personalities and personal strengths can help strengthen your team. Finally, training, years ago corporations would spend a big part of their revenue on training their employees anything from how to communicate to using of new technologies, now days, we are too busy to learn. But taking the time to learn a new skill, tool or simple to get inspired by someone’s story can be the creative recharge that your team needs.
  3. Technology: Technology can help the agency become more efficient, effective and innovative. However, it can also increase cost, decrease creativity and hinder results. Therefore, using the right technology for the right purpose with proper integration to other marketing platforms is the key to delivering the results without the risks. For example, if you are using HubSpot, but are not using lead scoring, then you are underutilizing your tool, and you could have used a cheaper option to just deploy emails. If you are using a BI tool like Datorama for monthly reporting but are running pacing in excel, you are not utilizing your tool properly. If you are using AI to create your press releases, but are not getting the pick-ups and mentions that you are looking for you are probably outsourced the wrong job to a robot. As a marketing tech stack consultants, we advise clients to do a marketing tech stack audit to ensure all tools are correctly integrated, they are being used properly, and they do not hinder results. To do the audit, you would need to first map out all the technologies that you have available for your agency, (for advanced audit you can overly cost/time analysis), investigate links between the tools (integrations) see if any are missing or redundant, outline usages and analyze results. Another important part is to identify gaps in your marketing tech stack, for example, you may realize that your BI tool does not connect to TikTok, this is an opportunity to fix that and automate. Or maybe you are still inputting sales information by hand as your marketing tool is not connected to sales tools. Once the audit is complete, you can address each issue, platform as well as employee training to ensure your tech is working for you and not against.

Outside Perspective: When to bring in a marketing efficiency consultant to your agency?

Marketing efficiency consultant can help bringing your agency to a new level. Identifying gaps in processes, technology and improving performance for your clients. They are not there to run your agency, make creative decisions but simply to make it run better. Some examples of what a marketing operations consultant can do for your firm includes:

  • Doing a marketing tech stack audit for your agency and your clients.
  • Can identify more efficient ways of running your campaigns, reporting and in some cases even communication.
  • Identify opportunities for your sales teams from lead generation to identifying a perfect target market.
  • Map and train your current employees on how to interpret results, how to identify issues prior to them becoming problems and identify efficient ways of working.
  • Build out automatic processes and reports, so the team can spend more time focusing on clients, creative and strategy.

These are just some examples, but as marketing consultants we have seen great efficiencies for very simple changes such as doing A/B testing on subject lines or using a third party connector to get data all in one place so there is no need to pull anything manual, or automating pacing dashboards.  The marketing agency audit can also help save money by either eliminating redundant processes or technologies or making team more efficient so more client work can be taken on without expanding human resources.

About StrategicDB:

StrategicDB is a marketing analytics and technology consultancy, specializing in marketing agencies. We work with small and large scale marketing teams to automate their dashboards, help improve their internal processes, and audit their clients performance for opportunities. The way we do it is simple, we audit, provide a strategy, test tactics, and analyze results, and then we do it all over again to provide continuous improvements. Contact us today to see how we can help with automation today.