There comes a time when even the most successful digital agencies will experience issues within their industries. Some of these issues are small and can be handled with relatively no trouble, while some are potentially catastrophic and may result in a complete overhaul of the employed business model. What follows is a look at 6 problems that digital agencies of today may be faced with and the most efficient ways to deal with them.
Getting and retaining clients
The most crucial aspects of running a successful agency are without a doubt sourcing, satisfying, and keeping hold of clients. The skills of your marketing and PR teams mean nothing if you struggle with these aspects, because if you do not have those all-important clients hooked, then your business is doomed to fail.
Clients can become demanding and you should be wary of the fact that there are generally always competitors offering a similar product for a similar price. So, it should be your priority to ensure that you have a USP that will ensure the retention of those all-important clients, whether it’s complimentary services like webinars or a blog that will enable potential clients to learn from you without any upfront investment.
In addition, you should ensure that clients are aware that you know your niche; it’s all too common for agencies to be generalists instead of focusing on a particular aspect of the industry. By successfully conveying that you are offering a specialized product or service you are more likely to encourage clients to remain with you rather than look elsewhere on the market.
Standing out from the crowd
In a market saturated with choice, it is important that businesses do their utmost to differentiate themselves from their competitors. This ties in with the earlier point of gaining and retaining clients in the sense that if your business is indistinguishable from others out there, then it is highly likely that you may never attract the clients in the first place.
There are perks of choosing your business that can be offered to the client in order to make you look more appealing, including offering website performance monitoring as an additional service after their websites have been deployed and are online. Developers should also be able to demonstrate that they are there to deal with all aspects of the website’s life, from inception to future maintenance, so that potential clients will not feel that when they have published their website, that they will be without support should any issues arise.
An important idea to consider is presenting the client with data, and while it is important to not get bogged down with facts and figures, the usage of easily digestible data can allow you to clearly express that you are not simply interested in spewing out site after site all in the name of profit but helping maintain the clients well into the future.
Ensuring that ongoing support and maintenance contracts will remain profitable
One of the biggest problems that web designers and developers face is the issue that arises when offering ongoing fixed-fee support contracts. It can be that the presence of the fixed-fee support contract is what enticed the client to your business in the first place, so it is crucial to make sure that the pricing does not equate to much less work than they may have to perform.
An effective way of ensuring this could be for developers and designers to track the amount of time that they are spending on a client’s requests. It could be via a tracking system to establish how much time spent on requests and services, or by utilizing manpower and saving time through such methods as having clients log the requests themselves.
Finding the right talent and keeping it
It has been estimated that agencies lose one out of every three employees each year; this turnover of employees will more than likely lead to a mountain of extra costs. It is important to remember that agencies are service businesses and as such are completely reliant on the brainpower and know-how of its employees, so it is crucial to find the right talent for your business.
The first point to be made is that you should always consider candidates who live outside your geographical area, as this is bound to provide you with a much larger potential employee base. Another important point to note is that you pay a fair rate, because the amount you are willing to pay correlates with the quality of employee you get, and it is also more likely that they will stick around. Offering small incremental raises is another simple way to make sure you keep hold of your valuable employees.
Brands using in-house digital services
The number of brands using in-house digital services has increased over recent years. The 2014 report from digital society SoDA found that more brands than ever are using in-house digital services. There are of course a variety of ways for digital agencies to compete with the rising tide of in-house teams, but offering a tailored service providing constantly evolving products and services is the primary option. It could be potentially challenging for brands to avoid alienating potential customers by simply becoming a loudspeaker, and broadcasting the brand.
The digital sphere is developing at a rapid rate, with new products and technologies appearing on the market almost monthly, so a massive challenge that digital agencies face is keeping up with the needs of the constantly evolving market. To do this it is important for digital agencies to keep their pitch fresh, and tailor-made to suit the needs of each potential client. If an agency presents a client with a generic pitch that they could have heard time and time again, it is likely that they will look elsewhere.
An agency needs to ensure that the clients are aware that its team consists of people who think outside of the box, and will be prepared to deliver fresh, original thinking and products.
Being aware of the problems that your business may face in the ever-evolving climate means that you will be more prepared and able to avoid them. But if you do find yourself in unavoidable situations, then you will be better prepared to efficiently and professionally deal with them.