Managing a successful advertising agency can feel like an uphill battle.
There are 54% more agencies in the U.S. today than in 2018. Margins are shifting downward — and there’s still a staffing shortage. To top it off, brands have come to expect more from their agency partners. This is forcing agencies to move from the “full-service” approach to focusing on specializations that drive the biggest impact.
For many agencies, digital isn’t their specialization. You may have someone (or a small team) who supports digital media strategy, buying, planning, execution and measurement, but you’re likely just scratching the surface of digital marketing complexity.
As a result, agencies of all kinds are teaming up with digital marketing partners to enhance their digital IQ, improve client service and decrease burnout.
Here are five reasons why agencies that outsource their clients’ digital media go from surviving to thriving.
1. Partner Consolidation
Agencies who have best-in-class partners, technology and tools can differentiate their services, boost market share, decrease risk and reduce client-facing costs. But this is easier said than done. It takes nearly three months to complete just one supplier search. You’ll likely spend an average of 40 hours vetting a handful of suppliers. Instead of wasting what would otherwise be billable client hours, many agencies are forced to put their search for new partners on the backburner.
Thankfully, there’s hope. Working with a digital marketing partner gives agencies access to leading platforms, tools and technology. This gives you time to focus on client needs while maintaining a high-level of sophistication with the industry’s most innovative ad tech, data platforms and inventory.
Pro Tip: Find a partner who takes a holistic and agnostic approach to platforms and partners. They will work with your existing platforms and tech stack to create the best client outcomes.
2. Digital Marketplace Access
In today’s marketing industry, clients expect agencies to be their “technology provider.” For example, if your area of expertise is strategy and research, you need a suite of solutions, like subscriptions to Statista and IBISWorld, to offer your clients the best market research available. This is a value-add for your client and helps you optimize results.
Similarly, agencies who aren’t specialized in digital marketing and media need support on which digital marketplace partners and platforms are necessary for client success. Instead of dealing with the frustrating vendor procurement process, agencies are working with digital marketing partners who have pre-existing relationships with leaders in the digital marketplace — many of which you may have not been familiar with without deep industry knowledge.
Another benefit to working with an outside digital marketing team is that your partner has internal talent to leverage these platforms to the fullest extent. You can leave the hassle of training and updating platforms to your partner, while you focus on high-value business initiatives.
3. Revenue Growth
Agencies who partner with a digital marketing services firm aren’t just bulking up their digital media capabilities. They also have revenue growth opportunities both in client retention and new business development.
This is because a digital marketing partner shares your business growth goals. They can work as an extension of your team to optimize and grow your clients’ campaigns. Additionally, they can support your internal team on outbound business growth initiatives to reach your revenue goals.
4. Staffing Shortages
According to the World Federation of Advertisers, 48% of all agencies, advertisers and ad tech companies believe the industry is facing the worst-ever talent crisis.
This issue is twofold. Agencies are struggling to retain staff, but are also losing top talent to firms with higher budgets or more flexibility. Most agencies lack staff who specialize in data and analytics, ecommerce and retail media, and measurement. As a result, 67% of agencies report that talent scarcity is a major growth blocker.
When a client approaches you with a project, you don’t want to turn them down because of staffing shortages. By working with a digital marketing partner, you can help fill the gaps. It ensures your biggest and most complex clients receive exceptional results, service and support. This frees up your internal team to focus on more high-impact tasks and activities..
Pro Tip: Make sure the agency partner you choose also has backups in place if they experience staffing shortages, too. Choose a partner who has the team, experience and employee retention needed to always have your back.
5. Specialty Services
Many agencies succeed by running a lean operation with talented staff who specialize in key industries or functions. But if your SEM or CTV marketing expert leaves, for example, this creates a gap in your ability to provide a niche service to clients. Especially if it’s hard to fill that role. You also may not have the internal staff to provide a service that a client asks for to begin with.
Because client requests can range widely and fall outside of your agency’s core strengths, leveraging a marketing partner expands your capabilities in new markets and sectors of digital marketing.
Offering speciality services can also help you stay competitive. While many agencies claim to be “full-service,” most of them are only truly specialized in one to three areas. As competition grows, the more specialized you can be for clients, the better your chances of winning new business and retaining current clients. Having a partner focused on only digital marketing can help you nail your digital strategy and optimize client campaigns for greater results at the same budget.
Strategize for Long-Term Growth
The agency model is quickly changing to fit the new era of digital marketing. Working with a sophisticated and trusted digital marketing partner like Goodway Group will prepare you to win now and in the future.
We act as an extension of your team, enabling you to spend more time on high-value outcomes and strategize about your clients’ business while we achieve their ROI goals and deliver meaningful optimizations and insights.
Contact us to learn more about Goodway Group’s flexible partnership models and how we can help your agency pitch and perform a level up from today.
Amy O’Hara is a sales and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience in digital media. As Vice President of Agency Partners at Goodway Group, she specializes in helping agency partners leverage analytics and insights to achieve better results. Amy’s expertise includes managing sales teams, developing business strategies and driving revenue. She has experience in both B2C and B2B with national, regional and local brands across all verticals.