5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Agency More Efficient
Marketing agencies are acutely aware that higher efficiency ratios and agency productivity leads to profit. But these are challenging times for marketing professionals, and it is not so easy to realize. With technology and digital marketing evolving so rapidly, working in a highly competitive milieu makes falling behind something to be avoided at all costs. Being effective and efficient is how marketers achieve impactful marketing metrics.
Whilst there are several approaches to improving efficiency, here are five key ways to achieve this.
1. Use software that supports marketing efficiency
There are several reasons an agency might have for changing their software, apps, and other tools of the trade. But it all comes down to this one question – Is the software you currently use suited to serving your agency’s objectives and supporting all your activities?
Unfortunately, rather than reviewing their current tech stack, most agencies take action to deal with any issues by adding new applications or software to compensate for the deficit in their original tools. Before long, more time is spent chasing after the right information and dealing with incompatible and disconnected computer systems than the actual work.
But when is it time to invest in a change? An excellent place to start is by involving your knowledge workers. They encounter issues every day and can tell you where the biggest bottlenecks in the workflow are, how they deal with those issues, and how much time is wasted due to outdated, incompatible, or ineffective tools.
Most importantly, how much is this impacting your clients? What are they telling you about your performance? Proving return on investment for your client’s ad spend and measuring the success of your marketing campaigns requires access to the best tools and talent. You can’t afford to lag behind when your software drags down your agency’s effectiveness and, therefore, your marketing success.
Make a plan and invest in high-quality marketing agency project management software that allows you to plan, manage and track teams, clients, and campaigns in one automated, integrated, digital workspace.
2. Measure marketing success by automating workflow
Automating workflow may require time and money, but the return on investment will significantly reduce costs due to a palpable boost in efficiency and lowered risks of loss due to the prevention of human error in manual agency tasks.
In a marketing agency, automation can streamline your marketing campaigns by automating everything from email marketing campaigns to content and social media marketing, freeing up your team’s time to be more creative. Automation lets you track more information, which empowers marketers to deliver more personalized messaging and nurture better leads.
As for how this works in practice, Zapier’s Quarterly Automation Confidence Survey – which measures the growth, interest, and usage of automation – reveals that 30% of employees found automation software saves their company money. A further 44% acknowledged automation saves time, and 33% recognized that automation software makes it possible to deliver more with fewer resources.
The survey asserts that automation may therefore be indispensable to the survival of small businesses, as it supports them in working smarter, faster, and better, especially in terms of online marketing. Despite some hesitation in taking this step – digital marketing is nothing if not competitive, agencies need to consider taking the plunge if they want their work to stay relevant.
3. Keep on top of your campaign’s workflow
There are many ways to organize work and teams, and each individual differs in their approach – not to mention that every marketing campaign will have its distinct requirements. When keeping on top of an ever-evolving and dynamic process, it can be tricky to get everyone on the same page and advancing collectively toward project goals seamlessly.
Clearly establishing your objectives with clients and within the agency will align everyone’s expectations and prevent any risk of misunderstandings or having to redo any work. In this way, resources are used most effectively and efficiently.
Efficient online marketing takes steady and resilient teamwork, so nurturing the team is essential to marketing success. When things get challenging, avoid blame, stay respectful and solution-focused. The problem is usually in the workflow, not with individuals, so the blame isn’t productive. Ensure communication channels are working well, and create spaces and opportunities for exchanging ideas. When things are going well, celebrate the wins and give credit where it is due.
When new or unusual situations arise, processes will need to be adjusted to the situation. However, these changes may lead to redundancies, so you should review your processes regularly to ensure that your agency’s time is being used most effectively. Automation can certainly help with reviewing this, as you will have much more information at your disposal, and more time to make the most considered decisions.
4. Track your team’s time
Knowing how everyone’s time is allocated empowers you to make smart, data-driven decisions and can transform your agency’s efficiency and success.
Time tracking allows you to know precisely how long your agency spends on completing projects, so you can bill clients fairly and accurately. Without tracking, marketing agencies cannot be sure of how profitable their clients’ projects are, leading to time and money being spent with no return on investment. Be confident that the clients and projects you take on are worth your time and if they are not good clients, devote your team to better clients.
If you are collecting clear information on how much time is spent on which activities, you can then make informed plans and more reliable estimates of project completion times. This sets up your team and your projects for success and fosters a better relationship with clients.
Keeping track of all your employees’ time commitments allows you to schedule and manage teams and individuals more effectively as a whole. At a glance, you can see who is performing effectively and who is struggling. If individuals or a team have been overstretched, you can allocate more downtime to support their work-life balance. You can also identify when your team will need more support. Having this data to hand can give you confidence in understanding what your people need to achieve the results you want.
Making use of time tracking also gives you a wealth of information on how much time is spent on which activities, so you get a clear picture of your productivity and efficiency. This can identify any productivity bottlenecks and illuminate general areas for improvement, letting you a correct course, enhance efficiency, and collect more profit.
5. Streamline your means of communication
There has been a proliferation of communication apps for businesses in recent years, all of which have pros and cons. However, the main disadvantage for professionals is how much time they lose communicating through so many means. Using multiple communication channels can also lead to overcommunication, miscommunication and missed messages.
This finds support in the MIT Technology Review, where they make the case that the expansion in the type and number of apps at work makes work and communications more complex.
So to summarize, improving marketing efficiency means working quickly and intelligently, so you are generating more leads, increasing conversions, and thriving in a competitive industry. To achieve this, you should invest in integrated end-to-end project management software that can boost both your marketing metrics and your efficiency by:
- facilitating collaboration and centralizing communication
- automating work to reduce costs and save time
- tracking leads, time, and costs to allow data-driven decisions
- managing client billing