We often hear how difficult it is for agencies to “get more initial new business meetings”. Agencies struggle to get in the door with prospective clients to start a relationship. And experience tells us that, contrary to what most agencies think, it’s largely due to the fact the agency has little awareness or has not built any differentiating credibility with the right prospects.
So what is the optimal strategy to generate more new business meetings?
It’s a fact that the brand marketer is in control of if and when they will connect with your agency. So it’s critical to get your content in front of them in digital (and even analog) formats where they can easily find and engage with it when they are ready, or looking for information about marketing solutions and agencies. But that’s not enough – you also must monitor their engagement in order to convert them to those first meetings – which means adopting marketing automation.
Committing to a pro-active Content Marketing program, supported with marketing automation plus the back-end analytics required is a step that many agencies are hesitant to take. And when they do, it’s often a “do it in your spare time” effort, resulting in the ROI not being as strong as it should be.
In fact, in a recent infographic on Marketing Automation Agency Trends from our friends at SharpSpring, they note that 94% of agencies that use Marketing Automation have success with the programs implemented for their clients. The top 5 goals for implementing marketing automation are:
Our question is: With a 94% success rate, why aren’t more agencies utilizing the tools and processes for their own new business?
45% of agencies do use marketing automation extensively, while 35% of agencies use it for limited needs. But this is based on usage for client programs. So what is the challenge to using marketing automation for the agency’s own new business?
The most common challenges mentioned include a lack of:
1. A clear New Business Strategy. Successful content marketing requires the agency identify their right growth targets and how their agency uniquely can provide solutions to help prospect brands meet their business needs. These insights need to be the basis for the development of content, distribution via M.A., and follow up to ensure objectives are attained.
2. Prospect Focused Content. Agencies are concerned they can’t create enough content on a consistent basis. A brand contemplating a new agency needs to be nurtured through its own buyer’s journey before considering your agency. This requires content be available, and consistently shared that moves a prospect from awareness, education, evaluation and trial. One of the key Marketing Automation tools that help accelerate the buyer’s journey is automatic workflow of content that are triggered by a prospect’s online choices/behavior. This reduces the manual labor of identifying and distributing follow up content.
3. Dedicated resources. New business needs a commitment of people and resources to operate the Marketing Automation platform, develop a strategic content plan, write content, monitor online engagement of content, identify when it’s time to push a prospect into lead generation and then nurture until they are ready for a meeting and follow up proposal.
- This is why 69% of agencies with marketing automation platforms outsource all or part of their content marketing/marketing automation program. Let the experts in agency new business, content marketing and M.A. handle generating the right new leads, so your agency can focus on new business meetings, and your current clients.
- Agencies that do adopt a content marketing and marketing automation program realize it usually takes 6-12 months to generate a ROI even when the program is built on a clear strategy with objectives. (Key learning – Don’t wait until your revenue stream has dried up, so you can commit resources to creating an always-on business development machine that runs 12 months a year.)
Where is the Proof?
Below is a case study of a recent client that had no New Business Strategy or Content, but was at a pivot point to grow their business beyond CEO networking.
Is Content Marketing & Marketing Automation the Silver Bullet for New Business?
In our experience, Content Marketing & M.A. come as close as it gets to the proverbial “silver bullet” for new business success – because it takes the tactical, inconsistent manual labor out of the critical content marketing program, and provides a measurable ROI.
If you are interested in seeing how a marketing automation platform can be used for new business click here to schedule your free Linkergy demonstration. It’s combined with case studies demonstrating how other agencies leverage a content marketing based approach to drive new business success and more meetings!