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  • Writer's pictureKamila Stopka

Navigating the agency marketing crisis to come out on top

It’s been a tough year for agencies. From economic downturns, shifting buying behaviours, budget constraints and increased competition, agencies had to jump hurdle after hurdle continuously. 

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The volatile times faced by the agency world have led to difficulties winning work and, no wonder, have caused marketing to fall off the priority list. However, it's clear that now, more than ever, a strategic marketing approach is essential if agencies want to stay afloat. Unfortunately, our research shows this isn’t what’s been happening. While our 2023 Agency Marketing Report showed many poor agency marketing practices, our latest 2024 report suggests agency marketing has declined even further. 


What we found:


Our data paints a sobering picture of the state of agency marketing. A significant portion of agencies scored - 58% - are still falling short of meeting last year’s benchmark. Even more concerning is that 60% of the agencies re-scored from last year’s research have shown a decline in their total marketing scores. The steepest drop was seen in the “Practise what you preach” section, where scores were down by an average of 8%, meaning agencies consistently fail at championing the tactics they sell to others!


However, what’s puzzling is that while we see a general drop in total scores, proposition scores rose by 16%. Although this increase suggests that agencies continue fighting to break through the saturated market and connect with their target audiences, this surge is not translating into other vital areas of marketing, such as strategic web and social content. However, this failure to consistently amplify their enhanced proposition across channels could be costly. 


Why is this a problem?


Uncertain times create a need for reassurance and expert guidance. Clients are more likely to be extremely picky with whom they spend their money, seeing as there’s more to lose than before. Creating content that positions you as a leader in your field can show clients you are trustworthy and reliable, instilling confidence in them to trust you with their limited resources. Ensuring that you practise what you preach also helps push you towards building trust, as it helps you demonstrate your unique expertise and its value to your audience. After all, if you don’t have enough faith in your services to use them, why should they?


Moreover, despite having a great proposition, it’s really important to maintain visibility in a saturated market. Regular, multi-channel content serves as a beacon, cutting through the clutter and keeping your agency at the forefront of clients' minds. When others scramble to maintain a regular social media presence, an opportunity is presented for those who can remain consistent and prove their leadership through challenging times.


I get it - but what’s the solution?


It's time to take proactive steps to revitalise your marketing efforts. Start by reassessing your budget allocation and identifying areas where additional resources could bolster your marketing initiatives, whether monetary investments or time gained during quiet periods, which can be redistributed to marketing efforts. 


Next, create content that aligns with your agency's proposition and resonates with your target audience. Consider how to create strategic content that ladders back to your agency’s mission and stays on top of the latest trends in your and your clients’ industries. Consistency is key, so ensure your messaging remains cohesive across all channels.


Lastly, creating a Hero Moment is a great way to tackle your marketing challenges. Hero moments are like a secret weapon - a big, bold project that encapsulates the essence of your agency, its mission and vision. Whether a large-scale research project, whitepaper or roundtables, a hero moment ticks many boxes. Not only does it ensure all your content has a strategic angle as it’s directly related to your proposition, but it also provides a base for generating a steady stream of smaller-scale content for an extended period. Hero moments pack a serious punch, providing the fuel you need to keep your audience engaged and reinforce your position as the go-to expert in your field.


In the face of adversity, there's opportunity. By embracing strategic marketing practices, agencies can navigate the crisis and emerge stronger. If you’d like more insights and actionable strategies for navigating the agency marketing crisis, grab your copy of the 2024 Agency Marketing Report now or drop us a line to see how we can help. 


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