One of the first questions we receive is how to assess how much your digital marketing agency is currently worth. There are many ways to measure the value of a digital marketing agency. The simplest and most widely used variant is profit margins. Numbers vary widely both in averages for a digital-only agency as well as the true calculation. For our purposes, we work off of both a multiplier on EBITDA as well as general Net Profit margin. Generally speaking, agency buyers are looking for companies that boast a profit margin of at least 17% but we’ve seen successful acquisitions for much less profitable agencies that boasted IP value, headcount strength, revenue growth or plain geographic diversification. Regardless of if you’re pursuing M&A, if your agency profits reach or exceed that number, then you’re in great shape. If not, there are ways to improve this but don’t be afraid to determine the other methods of evaluation with us or another acquiring group.
You can’t target everyone and expect to be successful; it’s impossible. You need to have an idea of your ideal clients or customers, then you need to do some market research to find out everything you can about them. This section should answer: Who are you targeting, specifically? What will they do, where will they live, what challenges will they have, where will you find them?
Apple. Apple (AAPL) stands as the one technology company that truly gets marketing. It defines the next big thing and creates game-changers in existing markets before people themselves even know what they want. It doesn't use focus groups or research; Apple is its own focus group. It controls its channel and message better than any company on earth. Not to mention the 1984 Super Bowl, Think Different, and iPod silhouette ad campaigns.
When it comes to brainstorming, sit down with your team and think about phrases and words relevant to your brand. You can think of this as brainstorming ideas for content topics, as it’s very similar. For example, if you are creating content for a company that produces vacuums specifically designed for pet hair removal, your list of keywords and topics might look like this:
Who should see your plan? All the players in the company. Firms typically keep their marketing plans very, very private for one of two very different reasons: Either they're too skimpy and management would be embarrassed to have them see the light of day, or they're solid and packed with information . . . which would make them extremely valuable to the competition.
As among San Francisco’s leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Dino Elyassnia required a website that would display his commanding authority and expertise while still creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that mirrored his compassionate demeanor. The result was classically minimalist, yet edgy and modern, capturing the sophisticated, discerning clients Dino was seeking.
What's the relationship between your marketing plan and your business plan or vision statement? Your business plan spells out what your business is about--what you do and don't do, and what your ultimate goals are. It encompasses more than marketing; it can include discussions of locations, staffing, financing, strategic alliances and so on. It includes "the vision thing," the resounding words that spell out the glorious purpose of your company in stirring language. Your business plan is the U.S. Constitution of your business: If you want to do something that's outside the business plan, you need to either change your mind or change the plan. Your company's business plan provides the environment in which your marketing plan must flourish. The two documents must be consistent.
Marketing Maven worked with a Los Angeles-based production company to elevate its social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Marketing Maven designed social media ads and shared relevant content to increase the production company's followers and engagement across all three social channels. After about 12 months, the production company had 17,000 followers on Facebook and its Instagram ads garnered 1.5 million impressions.
The first step in creating your buyer personas is to brainstorm who they could be. Once you have your full list, identify the ones who have similar needs or roles and consider merging them. From here, prioritize your list of personas by considering their impact on the final purchase decision, their relationship to your company, and the size of the audience persona group. Once you’ve finished brainstorming, create your actual personas.
Instagram is the new, up-and-coming Facebook. Remember to grow your account organically and not buy followers. Create original content, consider video content, interact with users. One of my tried-and-tested practices on Instagram is to like your followers and other users’ photos. Always follow users back because the algorithm rewards you for staying active. Shedding users regularly might not be too helpful.
Founded in 2008, Maxus is a global media agency part of WPP’s GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group. Maxus is one of the fastest growing media agency for six consecutive years with over 3,000 employees, 70 offices in 55 countries. They are currently serving as media agency of record for Jet, OLX and Huawei. Maxus will be merging with fellow GroupM agency, MEC, to create a new agency called WAVEMAKER. Learn more about Maxus.
In an earlier example we considered a case where “inexpensive widgets” had 10 times the search volume of “high quality widgets.” Nevertheless, some widget makers would completely ignore the higher volume term in their keyword strategy because they do not want to be perceived as low price or cheap. In many cases this thinking is shortsighted. If a widget maker captures demand (i.e., attracts traffic) for the “inexpensive” keyword, it has captured a lead – one that can be sold on a high quality product. without the traffic, there are no opportunities to upsell.
sometimes, chasing the biggest volume keywords is a recipe for disaster. the term “packaging supplies” generates 110,000 monthly searches and is enticing for large volume wholesalers of packaging supplies. However, the people doing those searches could be individuals looking for a mere handful of moving boxes, all the way up to a fortune 100 company looking for a supplier for a $5 million contract. not only that, searchers could be collecting information, looking to order online, or seeking a consultation. Most firms would be better off focusing on more precise keywords that relate more directly to the products and services they offer, and the segments of the market they serve..
Geico. The road from the niche Government Employees Insurance Company to 10 million policyholders, $28 billion in assets, and one of the most widely recognized insurance brands in the world, is all about two things: Warren Buffet and marketing. Geico also has some of the best ad concepts on the planet: The Gekko, the Caveman, the little piggy, and my current favorite, the electricity-generating guinea pigs in a rowboat: "It's kind of strange. Such a simple word. Row."
And the best part of the services above? You can prove the value of your work to your clients. As an agency professional, you know having clear analytics that show the ROI of your efforts not only helps you improve your strategy but also helps you illustrate your agency's value to your client. By offering inbound services you can guarantee that your leads are tracked through to sales.
Knowing these big goals will also facilitate backing out the math. How much marketing will be needed to get to your biggest goals? You probably don’t have the budget to achieve that on day one. So, break it up into milestones, and identify the marketing needed to get you to each marker on the journey. One of the first will be hitting that crucial breakeven point, and paying your founding team enough to be able to afford to stay in business, and enjoy it.
The purpose of a marketing plan is laying out how a company will achieve its stated business goals, and providing a framework to ensure that activities stay true to the vision and mission of the company. When starting the process of developing a marketing plan, there are five critical areas for consideration – positioning, objectives, strategy, tactics and execution. Our intention is to help prime the thought process prior to creating a marketing plan.
Forty percent of this traffic equates to nearly 30,000 very targeted and niche specific potential customers visiting your website each month. With window tinting not being a cheap service this could result in thousands or hundreds of thousands of extra profits each month. Above you can see an example of how traffic from search engine optimization and link building services helped increase sales by 57% for one of our customers.
A marketing plan supports the business strategy and business objectives. It must also align with the company values. For example, L.L. Bean believes in selling good merchandise at a reasonable profit and treating customers like human beings. If one of the business objectives was to increase profitability by 2%, the marketing strategies put forth in the marketing plan should not recommend significant price hikes or cutting back on customer support.
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Though each company organizes its marketing team based on its unique culture, budget, and expected outcomes, you can choose from three general approaches to take: do-it-yourself (DIY), in-house, or outsourced. Each one has pros, cons, and cost variations to consider and thoroughly evaluate before making the best choice for your company. Often, the ideal approach is a hybrid one that optimizes existing resources and areas of expertise (such as technical content development) and focuses outsourced efforts on marketing gaps.
Captured thinking: You don't allow your financial people to keep their numbers in their heads. Financial reports are the lifeblood of the numbers side of any business, no matter what size. It should be no different with marketing. Your written document lays out your game plan. If people leave, if new people arrive, if memories falter, if events bring pressure to alter the givens, the information in the written marketing plan stays intact to remind you of what you'd agreed on.
This section will make up the bulk of your plan, and you should take as much space as you need to give an overview of your marketing strategies and list each of the corresponding tactics you'll employ to execute them. Here's an example: A client of mine markets videotape and equipment. One of her goals is to increase sales to large ministries in three states by 20 percent. Together we've developed a strategy that includes making a special offer each month to this prospect group, and one of her tactics is to use monthly e-mails to market to an in-house list.
I was fortunate to start my career on the marketing team at WordStream, where I was able to develop my paid acquisition skills. What might be unclear to those who have never been on a marketing team specifically is how much actually goes into it. Aside from the pressure to produce, you have to learn complex systems, and if the team is small you have to develop a variety of skills to get even the simplest campaigns off the ground.
Weber Shandwick is a leading global PR company and a unit of Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup. The agency was the only public relations agency included on Ad Age’s Agency A-list in 2014 and 2015 and the only PR firm designated an A-List Agency Standout in 2017. They have 77 cities across 31 countries and serve as agency of record for Sealed Air Corporation, American Cancer Society, Covered California, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaboration, Excedrin and Ragu.
You should allow yourself a couple of months to write the plan, even if it's only a few pages long. Developing the plan is the "heavy lifting" of marketing. While executing the plan has its challenges, deciding what to do and how to do it is marketing's greatest challenge. Most marketing plans kick off with the first of the year or with the opening of your fiscal year if it's different.
Marketing companies can help your business develop a marketing strategy, plan and manage campaigns, or provide specific services, such as telemarketing or market research. You can retain their services for a specific project or hire them on a retainer basis to assist you over a period of time. You can also hire individual consultants or freelancers with specialist marketing skills to plan and manage projects.
In a direct distribution channel, the product or service goes directly from the manufacturer to the consumer. In a one stage distribution channel, it goes from manufacturer to retailer to consumer. The traditional distribution channel is from manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Outline all the different companies, people and/or technologies that will be involved in the process of getting your product or service to your customer.
When you’re just starting out this may not be the best option as you will want to grow your network, but over time you will realize that having larger clients is far more beneficial to you for a number of reasons. The downside is if you decide to conduct business fully on a percentage of spend model because there are many internal factors within businesses that are going to dictate budget. Some of these factors are within your control (results) but many others are not (internal decisions, seasonality, other costs). You don’t want to get into a situation where your client is spending a very small amount per month and you are only getting 10% of that with the expectation of being on calls and putting the time into it.
Organik SEO is a digital marketing company offering SEO, paid advertising, social media, and web design services from its headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. As a B Corps company, Organik SEO holds itself to high standards of social and environmental accountability and performance. Since 2008, the team of about 10 has worked with companies in the consumer packaged goods natural product space, educational institutions, non-profits, and other B Corps companies.
Now that you’ve created your marketing goals and have a budget, you are ready to develop your activity plan, also known as a marketing communications plan. The most effective way to approach turning your marketing strategy into an execution plan is by using a campaign structure. You can think of campaigns as buckets of activities focused on a common theme or goal.
Because someone who is looking for something that specific is probably a much more qualified searcher for your product or service (presuming you're in the blogging space) than someone looking for something really generic. And because long-tail keywords tend to be more specific, it's usually easier to tell what people who search for those keywords are really looking for. Someone searching for the head term "blogging," on the other hand, could be searching it for a whole host of reasons unrelated to your business.
For over 40 years, Epsilon has helped drive business growth for brands. The global marketing company employs over 8,000 people in 70 offices worldwide and is a subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems Corp, a loyalty and marketing services company. Epsilon specializes in data, customer insights, loyalty, email, CRM and digital strategy. Ad Age recognized the agency as the #1 World CRM/Direct Marketing Network, #1 U.S. Agency from All Disciplines and #1 Largest U.S. Mobile Marketing Agency.
PHD launched as the world’s first planning-led media agency back in 1990. Today the agency is one of the most awarded media agencies being named Media Network of the Year in 2016 and 2015 by Campaign and Global Media Agency of the Year 2016 by AdWeek. The global media agency has over 4,000 people in their 80+ offices worldwide and is part of the Omnicom Media Group. PHD is the media agency of record for HP, Delta, Carnival, Volkswagen and Converse. Learn more about PHD here.
Do you like knowing exactly how people come to your website? If you are already using UTM parameters to track your links, you can utilize the optional UTM_term (used mostly by AdWords advertisers) to track your keyword usage. For example, if I create a Facebook ad for my business, I could use the following to note that the ad was targeted toward a specific audience, such as content managers, and the ad used the phrase "freelance writer."
Southwest Airlines. By focusing on the customer, doing things the right way instead of the way they've traditionally been done, allowing its staff to have a little fun on the job, flying short-haul routes to regional airports, and becoming the first no-frills carrier, Herb Kelleher broke the airline industry mold and made deregulated air travel profitable. Southwest (LUV) broke the mold. And not only that, but hey, Bags Fly Free.
Once you’ve connected with a reputable buyer and answered their initial questions, they should send you a Letter of Intent (LoI)—a document that specifies how much the buyer believes your agency is worth and their proposal for the deal. If you agree with their evaluation and plan, you can move into setting up more specific terms. If not, then this is a great time to ask them questions on how they reached their evaluation and negotiate for changes. If you’ve done your homework up until this point, you should have precise information on how much your agency is worth and why, which you can leverage to reach a more agreeable number. Above all else, make sure that you’re happy with the evaluation the buyer gives you before you move forward. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting time you could have spent closing with a more compatible buyer.
In 2014, an industrial engineering company hired TopSpot Internet Marketing to improve the quantity and quality of traffic to its website. The project focused on paid search for Google and Bing. TopSpot Internet Marketing developed, executed, and managed all paid search campaigns. The client was impressed with the number of new leads that resulted from the more informed and strategic paid search campaigns.
The list of elements involved in a marketing plan may sound quite comprehensive, but writing a plan doesn’t need to be difficult. Of course, it comes with some effort, but doing it step-by-step will help you master this challenge. To get started, use our marketing plan template. This document will guide you through the process. But first, let’s dive into the different elements of a marketing plan, and figure out how to outline them.
MANY FORMS OF INTERNET MARKETING HINGE ON KEYWORDS, YET ONLY ONE FIRM OUT OF 100 UNDERSTANDS HOW TO PROPERLY SELECT AND USE THEM. AS A RESULT, 99 OUT OF 100 MARKETING PROGRAMS FLOUNDER, WASTING VALUABLE TIME AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES. THIS INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING WILL GIVE CEOS THE HIGH LEVEL UNDERSTANDING OF KEYWORDS NECESSARY TO DRIVE MARKETING RESULTS.
In terms of measurement, I recommend a marketing dashboard featuring the most important metrics that define marketing success for you. These metrics will likely come from multiple areas, including your funnel metrics (leads, opportunities, etc) and your campaign KPIs, and will indicate whether you are on track to achieve the marketing goals and objectives you defined in your strategy. Just as a car dashboard has indicator lights for low fuel or high speed, the metrics you include in your marketing dashboard should serve as these indicator lights, or warning signals, for marketing success. For your marketing dashboard, select these key metrics and add the monthly objective for each. Then, each month, add the actual results for each metric and consider an easy “indicator light” system such as highlighting each metric result red, yellow, or green based on whether they are below target, on target, or above target.
I mentioned above that one of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to build different relationships. This is not always easy or even possible if an organization and it’s marketing agency are not culturally aligned, meaning you may have very different visions for what constitutes success or your teams’ communication styles don’t match up, for example.
The marketing plan offers a unique opportunity for a productive discussion between employees and leaders of an organization. It provides good communication within the company. The marketing plan also allows the marketing team to examine their past decisions and understand their results in order to better prepare for the future. It also lets the marketing team to observe and study the environment that they are operating in.