A great way to approach the marketing strategy of your agency is to break it down in different parts.
That way, you can easily identify any leaky buckets and take the appropriate steps to correct the course of your agency growth.
The components of your marketing strategy can be broken down into five parts:
- Offer — You need a compelling value proposition
- Clients — You need to identify your ideal clients and their needs
- Channel — A profitable channel to generate leads
- Messaging — The messaging you’ll use to communicate your value proposition
- Journey — How your client buying journey looks like
Often, agency marketers have one or multiple components broken and this framework can help you quickly diagnose issues.
In this article, I will give you actionable examples.
The foundational part of your agency (and any business) is you need a strong value proposition.
In other words, you need to solve a problem worth paying for.
A strong value proposition is defined by “the outcomes that an individual or an organization can realize from using your product, service, or solution”.
Customer jobs and pain points
In the context of B2B, a good starting point to create a strong value proposition is to think in terms of “jobs” your clients have and the pain points they have.
Knowing your customer jobs will help you define how your solution will look like to solve their pain points.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you are running a B2B lead generation service.Your clients are SDRs at SaaS companies and their job is to get more demo meetings.
Here are some “jobs” they may have in their role:
- Identify ideal customers
- Build targeted list of leads
- Verify data and find emails
- Create cold email copy
- Keep their CRM up to date
For example, in doing #3 might be “The leads are low quality”, “It takes time to build a list of leads”
Thinking in terms of “jobs” your customers have, their pain points, and their exact goals help you come up with a strong value proposition.
You’ll then be able to tell them:
“We can help you achieve [x] by doing [y] and [z] for you”.
Next to value proposition, a key aspect of your offer is how you position your agency in the market.
In other words: Positioning helps prospective clients decide whether your agency services are a fit for them.
Here’s an example of positioning. Say you’re running a startup and looking for a bank. You have two choices:
- A generic bank
- A bank focused on startups
Which one would you choose? You will likely choose B as the bank is likely a better fit to solve your problems.
Positioning answers this, it helps you show which place your product or service has in the market.
So how do you create a good positioning for B2B?
1. Look at who you help
- What clients are you targeting?
- What problems do you solve for them?
2. Look at the competition
- What do you do differently from the competition?
Tip: Check reviews of agencies which are your competitors on G2, Clutch, and Capterra. Pay attention to what type of clients they serve and what their clients like and dislike about their services.
The mistake most agency owners make is to focus on the wrong clients.
If you’re running a service business, the truth is most clients will not be a fit for your business.
Some clients might not have the budget, or their industry has no need for your services, and so on.
So how do you solve this?
Create buyer personas
The starting point to attract right-fit prospects is by creating buyer personas.
Here are some attributes you could have for your client buyer personas:
- Company size
- Annual revenue
- Tools they use
- Content they are interested in
Here are two ways to create buyer personas for your agency:
1. Look at the existing data
Which of your existing clients seem to be the most successful with your agency? Try to understand how they use your service and which jobs your agency helps them achieve.
2. Test it out
Send cold email campaigns or hang out in communities where your prospective clients are and ask them for feedback.
Once you’ve got a great offer with a crystal clear positioning and who you help, it’s time to focus on distribution.
For agencies, there might be several channels:
- Inbound – SEO, referrals, partnerships, paid advertising
- Outbound – Cold email, cold calling.
Here is how you can improve channel fit:
Know your audience
Once you have identified your ideal clients, you also need to know the following:
- What content are they interested in?
- Which platforms do they use the most?
Say for example you decide to go for SEO. What kind of content are your prospects searching for?
One of tactics I usually use for audience research is to hang out in the following places:
- Facebook groups
- Slack channels
For example, if your audience is SaaS business owners, identify questions they ask on communities. This will give you an idea of the content they’re interested in.
Define proper goals
Be careful of vanity of goals.
While clicks or traffic might be interesting to show your strategy is working, they don’t matter much if they don’t amount to new clients for your agency.
When setting up your goals with each channel, try to define a goal which is as close as possible to “Closed” (new client). For example, for outreach this could be “New demos”, and for inbound this could be “New email subscribers”. That way you’ll directly be able to impact the number of new clients for your agency.
Start tracking results
Once you’ve identified your audience and the ideal goals of each channel, you can set up Google Analytics and track conversion goals.
Tracking results will make you able to diagnose any possible leaky buckets in your channel.
- Drop in new bookings? Check the targeting.
- Low email reply rate? Check the messaging (see more below)
- Drop in the funnel? Reduce friction in your client buying journey
Here are some examples of conversion goals you can set in place:
- Email Subscriber
- Start Trial
- Purchase Plan
By setting this up, you’ll be able to know exactly what channels are driving demo signups and new email subscribers.
Another important aspect of your marketing strategy is messaging.
The best way to improve your messaging is to speak with the words your ideal customers use.
To know this, check your competitor reviews, hang out in communities, or interview potential clients.
Here’s an example of a review:
Reading this review gives you a lot of info:
- Who they are
- Why they chose that service
- What they like/dislike about the service
Knowing this, you’ll be able to improve your copy, using the exact words used by your ideal clients.
Here are some low hanging fruits where you can improve the messaging of your agency:
- Website (Headline, sub headline, benefits, comparison pages, CTAs)
- Email sequences
- Cold email copy
The final component of your agency marketing strategy is to understand how your client buying journey looks like.
That way, you can nurture leads with appropriate tactics to move them through each step.
Here’s how your B2B journey might look like:
(Infographic by GetMatcha)
- Unaware — They don’t know they have a problem.
- Problem aware — They know they want to solve a problem but don’t know how.
- Solution aware — They’re comparing solutions.
- Product aware — They know about your product and need convincing.
For each step of the buyer journey, you will have different marketing tactics to move them from one stage to the other.
For example, offering a demo call to an unaware prospect might be too early. However, educational blog posts or ebooks could be helpful to make the prospect go from unaware to problem aware/solution aware.
Set up CRM and nurture leads
Once you’ve defined the tactics you will use to move prospects in your funnel, set up a CRM so you can track and reach out to most engaged leads.
For example, a lead might read a blog post, subscribe to your newsletter, and downloads an ebook. This lead is engaged and and could potentially be interested in your agency services.
In addition, you can use lead scoring to prioritize and reach out to the most engaged leads to offer them a demo or a trial of your services.
What you can do next
I hope this post helped you, if I missed anything feel free to let me know in the comments.
Here’s what you can do next:
- Join our community of 5000+ agency and productized service founders. Feel free to share the biggest mistakes you made with your agency, and how you overcame them.
- Read this related article: Client acquisition for agencies. This will give you a complete overview of how to think strategically and tactically about finding new clients for your agency.
- Start your 14-day free trial of ManyRequests. ManyRequests helps you delegate tasks to your team, while also helping improve your client onboarding process.