Agencies can partner with businesses on more than just executing campaigns. Great agencies offer insights that can help shape their clients' overall strategy.
Business leaders might be missing out on the full value of hiring a creative agency.
Many businesses hire a creative agency for help with a specific task, such as video production or content marketing. Creative agencies, however, can offer a myriad of possible opportunities for both clients and their respective agencies.
From rethinking organizational structure to go-to-market strategies, there are a number of ways that creative agencies can assist their client to achieve their strategic goals.
In this article, we’ll examine the top 3 ways creative agencies can help clients improve their overall strategy.
1. Clients Want Protection Against Changing Trends
From social media to artificial intelligence, the world is changing rapidly. Many small businesses do not have the resources to stay on top of the latest trends and leverage new technology.
Many small and mid-sized businesses turn to an agency to help them succeed. This is especially common among marketing agencies, which can help small and mid-sized clients navigate social media, influencer marketing, and more.
For example, Kickstick, a Thai aromatherapy stick, recently created an influencer campaign with some of Vancouver’s most popular influencers. Influencers Cam Lee Yoga and Alicia Haque created a unique, innovative, and cinematic long-form commercial, all contained within Instagram stories.
Although many companies host influencer events and later publish a reel of video highlights, Kickstick takes it a step farther by using Hollywood-like production.
Aside from merely providing their expertise to clients, a handful of forward-thinking agencies have created training facilities to help clients master strategic concepts that will help them keep pace with changing technology and trends.
Jelly Academy, for example, is a training program my agency’s team runs. It allows attendees to learn from professionals who are working full-time at a creative agency.
As you can see from the video still above, Jelly Academy teaches current industry practices to help raise the bar of digital marketing for small and local businesses. The 8-week course teaches pay-per-click advertising, video production, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and public relations.
Your agency can replicate these best practices by providing forward-thinking services and training materials that will enhance your clients’ strategic capabilities.
2. Clients Want to Master Data and Analytics
As agencies and digital marketing strategies increasingly provide content marketing services, many are less than transparent about how these efforts earn ROI.
As noted by WARC, clients do not always know if they can trust their marketing partner. Trust is the core of any services business, but it can evaporate in seconds if a client and agency are not speaking the same language.
As seen with Edelman’s pivot toward analytics, helping clients become more data- and analytics-savvy can help agencies reduce the average agency churn rate of 30%. In any other business, a churn rate like that would give CEOs palpitations.
Instead, agencies should eliminate jargon and help clients understand how their investment produces valuable results for their business. Nobody cares about the CTR or the CPM if they cannot accurately track them back to what matters most: conversions.
If an approach isn’t working, tell clients what you are doing to get them on the right track.
At Jelly Marketing, we use custom analytics reporting through DashThis. The tool provides visualizations of critical data, allowing clients to see which goals they are hitting and which ones must be updated or addressed in a simple-to-understand interface.
DashThis dashboards are also customizable. We currently have Jelly Marketing’s DashThis set to display our social media following, video views, and organic traffic. It also allows our team members to know which marketing activities are working and which are not.
You can change this display to showcase the metrics your clients care about most, improving transparency and proving the value of their investment.
Once you set up your client’s analytics dashboard, schedule additional training or a monthly webinar to provide the client with a detailed walkthrough of how the tools work and how they will be used.
Finally, your agency can go above and beyond by providing an hour or two of consultation to help your client understand the metrics that you’re sending to them weekly. This empowers the client while building trust between your agency and their business.
By supporting the client, an agency is not just building trust, they also assisting the client in building a more resilient and strategic foundation for the future.
3. Clients Want to Explore New Communication Tools
In an always-on world, communication should be effortless. With so many different options, however, clients and agencies can reach a tipping point where nobody knows how to contact each other effectively.
Your agency can help clients master tools that keep communication simple. Once a client is onboard, provide a document that clearly explains each communication channel you plan to use and how they can get the most from them.
Agencies should use a platform that shows a project’s progress so clients can log on whenever they wish to see how tasks are coming along.
For tracking task-level completion, I recommend Basecamp. The tool allows creative team members, account managers, and clients to communicate and collaborate.
Basecamp and similar collaboration platforms also provide a space to share drafts or concepts that are visible (or not) to the client. My team uses Basecamp’s to-do lists to track every task’s status and deadlines.
As you can see, Basecamp allows stakeholders to see not only what project is due but also how it fits into the overall project ecosystem.
Communications tools empower clients to answer their own questions while also ensuring that agency team members can track how their efforts are working towards a campaign’s success.
Agencies Can Help Clients Improve Their Long-Term Strategy
Small and mid-sized businesses hire agencies because they lack internal resources or expert knowledge.
Beyond delivering on specific projects, agencies can help clients improve their long-term strategies. By helping clients master changing trends, data and analytics, and communications tools, you can build trust and improve your agency’s reputation as a strategic partner.
Agencies that are open, honest, and upfront can make a significant – and positive – impact on their clients’ businesses.
About the Author
Darian brings over 15 years of experience in marketing, communications and public relations. Throughout his career, he has also been a founder and board member of various foundations and charitable organizations. Through his award-winning company, Jelly Marketing, Darian has worked with various local, national and global brands building and executing on their digital & PR strategy.