Five Ways Agencies Can Prove Their Value

To agencies operating in the “Mad Men” era, marketing today would be almost unrecognizable. Agencies used to sell media, giving away all their best ideas — even producing ads for free! — in exchange for media commissions. The end goal of that culture was creating the best creative content, regardless of how much time it took. That business model would now sink an agency within a month. As computers became commonplace, even non-marketers started to fancy themselves publishers, leaving professionals to wonder what really made them valuable. Modern marketers must realize that their value doesn’t lie in the commoditized pieces they produce. It lies in their ability to think strategically, understand audiences, create messaging and personas, and help clients gain outside perspective. Billing rates for agency executives have plummeted, but it’s not because they don’t do good work. Rather, it’s because they don’t know how to demonstrate to clients why their services are worth top dollar. Getting in Position To charge a premium rate for high-quality services, agencies must position themselves in a way that makes it obvious to clients why their services are so valuable. Client companies are usually made up of three parts: sales, marketing, and customer service. Agencies that understand the relationship among these three segments and can communicate to clients how they move prospects from marketing into the sales funnel and beyond create a significant advantage for themselves. The more an agency can directly tie its services to the client’s bottom line, the more willing a client will be to pay an appropriate rate. Understanding these relationships is just the first step, however. Agencies that work directly with sales teams to help clients streamline their funnels and track progress after the sale [...]