After working in various entrepreneurial pursuits over the years, I learned just how important digital marketing is to a company’s success. What I saw when I looked into digital agencies at the time was disappointing. They focused on a single funnel, were too expensive, and had a basic lack of teamwork and communication. I knew I could bring my experience and a team of experts together to create a new style of agency that would do more for clients.
Single Funnel Focus
Like I mentioned, so many digital marketing agencies that I came across were only focusing on a single funnel vertical. This means they were only providing one digital component, such as Web, PPC, SEO, or others. In this model, the agency is disconnected from the other funnels and everyone fights for attribution of what they provide (see our blog post on Marketing Attribution Models for more). They aren’t taking a holistic approach and focusing on the overall goal of the client or digital sales as a whole. That’s what I wanted to offer, and what I would want as a client; all of the digital marketing components collaborating as one ecosystem. We share content across mediums, optimize everything together and per their platform, and ultimately work as a team with the client to pull the lower performing verticals up as needed. Instead of an agency working for the goal of itself, we work for the goal of the client. A client’s success is our success, and that means looking at the honest truth of what’s working and what’s not with every aspect of the marketing strategy. We like to call it putting our “feet to the fire” by looking at the real digital ROI on a weekly basis with the client.
Expensive Pricing Models
Some marketing agencies use a CPA (cost per acquisition) model for pricing. This means that the client is charged a set amount for each customer the agency’s services acquire. As it becomes less expensive to acquire a customer the agency’s profits grow, but the client doesn’t share in that prosperity. Other agencies receive a percentage of advertising spend, which makes more sense because as the spend grows it does add more work. Larger budgets allow for more creative and copy tests, campaigns, and opportunities. But, there needs to be a limit, especially on branded advertising and programmatic. For a long time agencies got away with a range of branded and automated campaigns which hid under the same spend umbrella as the rest more deserving and labor intensive, essentially stealing from their clients (more on this here). Instead, I felt there had to be a model that paid fairly for the amount of work provided, yet fit the size of the company that received it. So, though we’re outsourced, we act as the entire in-house digital marketing team (of 10+) and our fees reflect the salary of only one superhero member relative to the size of the company. One of Firon’s internal guiding values that relates to this is, “put yourself in their (client) shoes.” We provide what our client needs and charge a lot less than it would cost them in-house as a consistent monthly payment. The stability this creates for both parties is a key foundation to the team (not vendor) relationship we build with our clients. We consistently give more than the agreed amount and never stop leveling up. Progress is the key to finding continued happiness in your work (and life). So asking “What’s next!?” is as much for the client’s success as it is for our enjoyment!
Lack of Teamwork & Communication
I remember being told, “performance reports are every other week.” and thinking, “I’d never be able to wait (and trust) for that long!”. The accepted distance and deliverables from some agencies is ridiculous. Most agencies don’t strive to be members of the team. They are vendors and service providers and every company I met with had been burnt by one before. Being a service provider isn’t fun for the provider, and I’d like to think it isn’t enjoyable for a company to have one. It may be wishful thinking, but I hope every company wants to have an agency feel like their internal marketing team. For both parties to feel like equals who care and treat their work accordingly and each other with respect. Anthony Bourdain’s feelings about someone who treats a restaurant waiter poorly is a great analogy for this.
Technology these days makes reporting and communication a lot easier than it used to be even 5 years ago. Having a client in our Slack channel for daily communication and providing weekly performance reports is not nothing, but it is so mutually beneficial towards building a team relationship that it is our standard. Though most iterations take time to produce results and the ability for that data to drive decisions may take weeks, it is the transparency and consistent communication about all the components in the digital ecosystem that strengthens the team connection. These discussions make the iterations a group activity and no one feels left out. We call this, “bringing it home.” No one in the group should feel out on an island.
Rising Tides Raise All Boats
As discussed above, Firon is a team of experts across all fields of digital marketing. When algorithms, technology, trends and competitors update we’re on top of it. From Google to TikTok and Privacy Updates, we’re able to adjust and explain. And our clients are experts in their field. They know who they are, their industry, and what their customers want most. With this feedback loop of sharing knowledge and a commitment to constantly improving (because: happiness) we grow together.
Bottom line is that we are honest. Not everything works, but doing the same thing over and over again (if it’s not working) or not trying something new will always lead to failure.
If you aren’t getting the holistic approach, fair pricing, and the real team feel that you feel your company deserves, reach out to me and we can make your digital marketing less stressful, more cost-efficient, and overall more effective.
Firon’s Simple Business Plan:
- Do better for the clients.
- Get better clients.
- Become better.