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Business Type: Marketing Agency

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About Business Type: Marketing Agency

Marketing Agencies and Digital Marketing

Marketing agencies, generally known as advertising agencies, create, plan and manage advertising, promotions and marketing for their clients. Marketing agencies carry out their operations independently from their clients, shouldering the majority of marketing responsibilities for their customers. These services can be vital for a variety of businesses who work with small marketing budgets or possess limited marketing capabilities.

Most marketing agencies are digital agencies, providing a variety of online marketing and digital marketing services. Digital marketing services provided include:

  • Social media management
  • Content marketing initiatives
  • SEO optimization and PPC
  • Web design services
  • Brand strategy and ad creation
  • Campaign creation and management
  • Creating case studies
  • Copywriting
  • Digital branding
  • Public relations
  • Influencer marketing
  • Full-service digital marketing
  • Print advertising and direct mail

Agencies range in size from full-service digital marketing agencies to smaller, boutique agencies offering specific, concentrated marketing services.

What is the Difference between Marketing Agencies and Marketing Consultants?

Marketing agencies and marketing firms essentially provide the same services, except agencies typically provide more than firms do. Marketing firms, niche agencies and boutique agencies generally provide up to two of the following:

  • Strategy
  • Planning
  • Execution

Marketing agencies possess more resources and can provide all three services. Digital agencies and consultants' services generally overlap frequently on strategy and planning.

Firms are great, cost-effective choices for companies who only need to focus on one or two areas of their marketing initiatives. Some consultants and firms focus solely on branding initiatives, whereas others focus solely on creative development like web design services and social media management.

Digital marketing agencies are the best, one-stop option for customers seeking full-service agencies who can execute high-quality, end-to-end marketing initiatives.

Digital Marketing Services Explained

Digital marketing encompasses all online advertising initiatives, from web design to brand development initiatives. Most digital marketing initiatives and services include the following:

  • SEO - Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential service provided by many digital marketing agencies. SEO affects all online marketing strategies, and it's vital in ensuring a company's website appears in online searches. Without SEO companies lose prospective customers and sales.

    SEO optimizes all online content so that it's easily discoverable through search engines. Digital marketing utilizes SEO strategies like pay-per-click, content marketing and website design to boost a company's online presence and brand awareness.

  • Web design - A company's website serves as an important first impression among customers. Digital advertising agencies provide web development specialists to develop user-friendly website features and web designs to deliver memorable first impressions.

    Web development optimizations focus on optimizing images, inserting H1 tags, designing logos and improving site load speed to improve online credibility. Web development also identifies digital branding opportunities for a company to differentiate itself from competitors. Results vary from increasing brand awareness to boosting sales figures.

  • Social media marketing - Social media marketing is another staple digital service in every full-service digital agency. More than three billion people use social media worldwide, making social platforms valuable places to serve ads and create branding on.

    Content marketing is used to create engaging posts and ads for audiences. Social media marketing experts create content that appeals to demographics companies aim to target. Social experts specialize in creating targeted ads and perform in-depth analysis of performance metrics across social platforms.

  • Content marketing - Excellent storytelling is essential in advertising and branding efforts. Content marketing builds relationships with consumers, establishing brands as essential partners to satisfy customer needs.

    Full-service agencies provide robust content marketing services, where copywriters, content strategists and web design experts create engaging content. Types of content produced include blogs, infographics, case studies, white papers, landing pages and more.

  • Email marketing - Email marketing is a reliable advertising tactic. Emails are useful for serving ads, communicating brand initiatives, providing retailer discounts and digital offers.

    Email marketers manage contact lists, personalize email advertisements and send targeted offers. Digital advertising agencies possess the resources necessary to manage all aspects of email marketing. They help companies of all sizes, from startups to B2B enterprise companies, grow email lists and develop effective advertising campaigns.

  • Integrated online marketing - Integrated, multi-channel digital marketing strategies cover a majority of marketing initiatives. These strategic efforts are fully coordinated to achieve multiple business goals.

    Full-service agencies ensure ad campaigns coincide with brand efforts to expand the reach of the companies they work with. Integrated digital advertising ensures marketing campaigns are optimized for each channel, reaching various audiences on their preferred channels.

  • Affiliate marketing - A useful digital marketing tactic where full-service agencies pay for conversions rather than traffic. Hiring an affiliate like a professional blogger or influencer to market your product to their audience attracts new customers. These experts are paid a percentage of profits every time a company gains a sale from these sources.

    A full-service advertising agency manages affiliate relationships for their customers, sourcing providers and affiliate advertisers and managing overall digital marketing efforts.

Characteristics of Successful Digital Agencies

Digital agencies operate in a saturated market, facing steep competition. Most agencies broadly perform and provide the same services. Offering diverse skillsets, unique positioning and insights is key to differentiating oneself in the marketing landscape.

  • They provide creative talent - Agencies need strong, unique creatives to deliver high-performing campaigns for their clients. Offering the right skills to fit each client's needs is vital in delivering success. Passionate, enthusiastic employees are the driving creative force behind campaigns and strategies.

    Successful agencies carefully evaluate the candidates they hire to ensure they bring the right attitude to their roles and have the creativity to help differentiate them from the agency's competitors.

  • They're equipped with the latest technology - Digital agencies rely on keeping their tech updated to best serve their clients. Successful agencies empower their employees with the latest, best tools in the business to deliver cutting-edge campaigns.

    Some agencies create their own internal tools to improve their own efficiency while offering a unique service to their customers. Technological innovation is key for digital agencies to stay competitive in the marketplace and continue offering top tier services customers want.

  • Their processes are fast and efficient - Executing marketing strategies efficiently and quickly is a significant differentiating factor for clients. Agile agencies that possess the right tools and processes to quickly expedite campaigns and obtain performance analytics are highly sought after.
  • They build trust with their customers - Digital agencies that encourage open conversations and honest feedback from clients build trust with them. Healthy methods of communication ensure the client feels empowered in decision-making processes. The marketing agency is also better able to build a stronger relationship and communicate strategy improvements and recommendations.

    Trust reduces friction when either the marketing agency or customer disagrees on the best course of action for a campaign or digital strategy. Providing enough face-to-face time and frequently communicating is vital to maintaining relationships with multiple parties in the customer's company. More healthy relationships communicates the marketing agency's value to multiple departments, ensuring greater buy-in from the team.

  • They clearly demonstrate and measure results - Successful digital agencies who align with company business objectives from the start ensure they set themselves up to achieve company goals. Agencies should be able to demonstrate a campaign or strategy's value on a monthly basis, using measurable KPIs and benchmarks to measure impact at all levels.

How to Strengthen the Client-Agency Relationship

The full service marketing agency-client relationship is an integral aspect to agencies business operations. Over time, the average lifetime of agency-client relationships have shortened over time, leading to higher consumer turnover. Forming a healthy, long-term relationship with customers requires following three core principles.

  • Provide clarity in messaging and communications - A clear, organized communication structure facilitates collaborative efforts and long-term success. Using one single point of contact on both sides eliminates potential communication errors, creating one source of truth.

    On the digital agency side, account managers gather information and feedback from customers. It's their main responsibility to send the right information to the right department or parties. They're also responsible for creating the right messaging and sending accurate information to agency customers.

    On the customer side, project managers are usually the main point of contact. Their role receives direction from various stakeholders and they present it to the digital agency.

  • Establish trust through relationship building - Honesty and a commitment to the truth are the formula for success in digital agency relationships. Providing direct, honest feedback builds trust in both parties. Both must have confidence in each other's ability to set, and meet, goals.

    Digital marketing agencies build trust by taking the time to understand their customers, their products and the stakeholders they work with. Understanding them on a personal level makes it easier to communicate when strategies don't go as planned.

    Customers who understand that digital agencies aren't their in-house employees, but contracted partners develop healthy collaborative work processes. Companies who provide ad agencies with thorough briefs detailing wants, needs and expectations from their advertising services ensures both parties align. Customers will also ensure greater ROI when they're upfront about their creative needs.

  • Establish trust in department processes - Partnerships that hold the level of trust and rapport between departments of full-service digital marketing agencies is vital to success.

    Successful advertising agencies inform customers about their processes and are transparent about how long they take. They provide scheduled update reports and use analytics to highlight progress regarding goals. They also energize customers regarding their goals, celebrating wins.

    To ensure high ROI customers set specific milestones and goals so advertising agencies can set realistic expectations. When companies understand it takes time to start seeing payoffs from digital strategies, it gives advertising agencies time to come up with the right solutions and implement strategic optimizations.

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