Marketing moves fast—there’s no denying that. How can your agency keep up with the speed?

 

Following industry news, learning at conferences, and keeping an ear to the ground isn’t always enough. Every once and a while something reminds you that you need to step up your game.

 

Maybe a “disruptor” is making you feel outmoded…

 

Maybe you’re struggling to out-market your client’s competitor…

 

Whatever it is, you’re not alone. This happens all the time. You need to dance on your toes if you’re going to keep up.

 

I’ve learned a lot while starting a tech software company with my co-founder, and I want to share it with you. I think these tips can help your marketing agency feel like it’s bright, shiny, and new again.

 

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1. Adapt or Die

 

All markets are in constant flux. Startups flourish and die because of this.

 

The difference between successful startups and unsuccessful ones is that successful startups don’t focus on one-trick ponies. They are able to change successful methods before relying on them too heavily, and before it’s too late.

 

The marketing landscape moves very quickly, and things are always changing. Just like startups, marketing agencies must notice patterns in the landscape and find methods that work with them.

 

At the same time, agencies can’t get attached to one single idea. What worked last year, won’t necessarily work this year. Learn to adapt by:

  • Not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
  • Constantly testing, reviewing, and revising all of your strategies.

 

2. Be Lean

 

Almost every startup struggles with resource constraints.

 

If you’re a new agency, or are trying to overcome a rocky patch, then you’ll understand the challenge of running on a thin budget.

 

Being lean means trimming the fat on everything from production, to workflow, to brainstorming.

 

It means being efficient to a “T.”

 

Every agency can use this to their advantage (even big successful ones!). Being lean helps you be more agile, quick, and resourceful. This will ultimately help you keep up with the speed of the market (because it’s changing fast), and work with more clients over time.

 

Become lean by learning how to:

  • Speed up your decision-making process and understand how to disqualify unnecessary (or non-essential) items whenever possible.
  • Create multipurpose roles, content, and processes (e.g. templates, iterations, and playbooks) that you can continue to repurpose in endless ways.

 

3. Focus on Your Identity

 

All startups are trying to be disruptors. This is a huge goal. There is a lot to do.

 

It’s easy to lose who you are, what your team’s identity is, how you relate to your market, and how everything services your niche.

 

Developing a company vision and identity is key for startups and for any agency that wants to champion their domain. However, it’s easy to lose sight of why and who you are when everything moves so fast.

 

A company identity helps you remain focused on your niche and your goals so you can do your job better.

 

There are three (and only three) organizational cultures that your agency might relate to (mother, mechanic, and missionary).

 

Find out which one your agency is and channel all your efforts and resources to master it.

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4. Your Team is Everything

 

Without a great team, a startup is nothing. The same goes for agencies.

 

Without a great team, it’s hard and almost impossible to achieve anything significant.

 

You must always hire according to your values. Never compromise because of short-term pains, even if the future looks tough.

 

Stakeholders might try to push you to hire people who aren’t a great fit because they match their values or objectives. However, you should follow your instinct.

 

Your team will make or break your company’s success. A good team will pull you out of a seemingly impossible slump through their own areas of expertise, and they will bind your company together through spirit and values.

 

If they don’t fit with your mission and values, then you will quickly see inconsistencies in your journey. This can fragment and silo your company, rather than create a cohesive and well-oiled machine.

 

 

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