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Ask an Agency...volume 9

This week we tackle an age old issue - how can an agency prioritise their own marketing strategy while balancing client work? Agency marketing advisor Sarah Edwards, shares her framework for smashing both!

Sarah Edwards, founder at Purple Banana Marketing

Purple Banana Marketing was founded by Sarah to help ambitious leaders and passionate marketers drive their growth by providing a framework to address their own branding and marketing. 

For agencies trying to find time to prioritise their own in-house work, Sarah says 

"It’s an age-old problem I’m sure many agencies can relate to when it comes to having a well thought out marketing strategy of their own… client work always comes first!"

Sarah Edwards, founder at Purple Banana Marketing

Q: Where do agency leaders and marketers go wrong when working on their own strategy and what could be done better?

Agency leaders and their marketers find themselves in a constant cycle of…

>> They know strategy because it’s what they do for their clients everyday – they just never seem to find the time to work on their own.

>> They have a talented bunch of people producing amazing work for clients – but their own marketing assets look tired, and their communications aren’t consistent.

>> And when they do finally find time to develop their own marketing ideas, they get halfway into the planning process only to have to down tools and jump onto a new project that’s just landed - because client work comes first after all!

Now, of course delivering on promises to clients is paramount to building a successful agency, but it’s also important to strike a balance.

After all, you don’t want your dream clients to think “If you can’t look after your own brand, how can we trust you with ours?”.

So how can you show your own agency some love and get to grips with your internal marketing?

We believe there’s seven fundamental aspects to good agency marketing that will help attract, convert, and increase the lifetime value of your dream clients. So, maybe this is a good place to start.

  1. Know what you want to be famous for and who will buy it! When was the last time you spoke to your clients to truly understand why they love to do business with you?
  2. Be clear on your agency vision for the next 12 months to 3 years. And agree on the marketing objectives, strategies, and metrics that will help you get there.
  3. Build a scalable and disciplined new biz system. How did you get your last five clients? How long does it take to convert good leads and how do you nurture the relationship through the buying cycle?  Are you deliberate with your existing client growth strategies, or do you wait for them to come to you with more work? Are the tools you’re using working hard for you?
  4. Develop communications that are on point. Stop talking about you and start talking about them. What problems do you solve? Give away tonnes of value and be consistent with your content! Make what you do as simple and easy to understand - and buy - as possible. 
  5. Involve everyone! For greater strategic impact it’s crucial that your marketing, business development, and client services teams are aligned with a common sense of purpose and understand the value of open communication and collaboration.
  6. Allocate time and resource. Treat your own brand as you would do for a client! Have you included time for your internal creatives and subject matter experts in your marketing budget to facilitate resource allocation? Would “Agency hours” and job codes encourage engagement and commitment, and why not manage your own marketing briefs using your internal project management system so tasks and time are allocated, and your own marketing doesn’t slip?!
  7. Who owns your marketing plan? This person needs to be comfortable taking a seat at the leadership table to ensure marketing is always part of strategic decisions and isn’t just perceived as a “nice to have” but as an essential part of the future health of your agency. Does this person have the ability and authority to ensure you stick to your plans and can they engage your teams to bring everyone along for the ride?

Sarah's final words of wisdom...

"I encourage you to practice what you preach to your clients and be your best example! Perhaps do a quick audit of your internal marketing using this checklist and identify where some tweaks might be needed to take things to the next level. 

You’ll have the makings of a great agency marketing strategy within no time, and that sense of frustration when everyone else seems to be hogging the limelight will be a thing of the past!"

A winning formula for an agency looking to step up their own marketing strategy to be sure. We'll be back with another instalment soon!

Want to know more about how you can get involved?

Reach out to our team today to find out how you can make the most of the platform and get your agency listed today!

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