Marketing agencies are well aware that higher efficiency ratios and agency productivity lead to profit. But these are tough times for marketers and it's not that easy to tell. Thanks to the rapid evolution of technology and digital marketing, working in a highly competitive environment means that falling behind is not an option. Being effective and efficient is how marketers achieve impressive metrics.
While there are various approaches to improving efficiency, here are five keys to achieving it.
1. Use tools that support marketing efficiency
There are several reasons an agency might have to change its software, apps, and other tools of the trade. But it all boils down to this one question: Is the software you currently use the right one to meet the agency's goals and support all of your activities?
Unfortunately, instead of overhauling their current technology stack, most agencies add new apps or software to make up for the shortfall in their original tools. Before long, they spend more time chasing the right information and dealing with incompatible computer systems than actual work.
But when is the time to invest in a change? It is highly recommended to start by involving your workers. They find problems every day and can tell you where the biggest bottlenecks in your workflow are, how they deal with those problems, and how much time is wasted due to outdated, incompatible, or ineffective tools.
Most importantly, how much is this affecting your customers? What do they tell you about your performance? Demonstrating the return on investment of your customers' advertising and measuring the success of their marketing campaigns requires access to the best tools and talent. You can't afford to be left behind when your software reduces your agency's effectiveness and therefore your marketing success.
Make a plan and invest in high-quality marketing agency project management software that lets you plan, manage, and track teams, customers, and campaigns in one integrated, automated digital workspace.
2. Measure marketing success by automating workflow
Workflow automation can take time and money, but the return on investment will significantly reduce costs due to a palpable increase in efficiency and lower risks of loss due to the prevention of human error in manual agency tasks.
In a marketing agency, automation can streamline your marketing campaigns by automating everything from email marketing campaigns to content marketing and social media; this frees up more time for the team to be more creative. Automation allows you to track more information, so marketers can deliver more personalized messages and nurture customers better.
As for how this works in practice, Zapier's quarterly Confidence in Automation survey, which measures automation growth, interest, and usage, reveals that 30% of employees found that automation software saves money. Another 44% recognized that automation saves time and 33% recognized that automation software allows them to offer more with fewer resources.
The survey claims that automation may therefore be indispensable to the survival of small businesses, helping them work smarter, faster, and better, especially in terms of online marketing. Despite some hesitation about taking this step, agencies should consider taking the plunge if they want their work to remain relevant.
3. Stay on top of your campaign workflow
There are many ways to organize work and teams, and each individual differs in their approach, not to mention that each marketing campaign will have its requirements. Keeping on top of a dynamic and ever-evolving process, it can be tricky to get everyone on the same page and collectively move toward project goals seamlessly.
Setting your goals with customers and within the agency will align everyone's expectations and avoid any risk of misunderstandings or having to redo any work. In this way, resources are used most effectively and efficiently.
Effective online marketing requires consistent and resilient teamwork, so team nurturing is essential to marketing success. When things get tough, avoid blame, be respectful, and focus on solutions. The problem is often in the workflow, not the people, so blaming is not productive. Make sure communication channels work well and create spaces and opportunities for the exchange of ideas. When things are going well, celebrate the victories and recognize your team's efforts.
When new or unusual situations arise, processes will need to be adjusted. However, these changes can lead to redundancies, so review your processes regularly to ensure that your agency's time is being used most efficiently. Automation can certainly help check this, as you will have much more information at your disposal and more time to make the most considered decisions.
4. Track your team's time
Knowing how everyone's time is allocated allows you to make smart, data-driven decisions and can transform your agency's efficiency and success.
Time tracking lets you know precisely how much time your agency spends completing projects so you can bill customers fairly and accurately. Without tracking, marketing agencies can't be sure how profitable their customers' projects are, leading to time and money being wasted with no return on investment. Be sure that the customers and the projects you undertake are worth your time and, if they are not good customers, dedicate yourself to the better ones.
If you're collecting clear information about how much time you spend on what activities, you can make informed plans and more reliable estimates of project completion times. This sets your team and their projects up for success and fosters a better relationship with customers.
Keeping track of the time commitments of all your employees allows you to more effectively schedule and manage teams and individuals as a whole. At a glance, you can see who is performing effectively and who is struggling. If individuals or a team have been overloaded, you can allocate more downtime to support their work-life balance. You can also identify when your team will need more support; having this data at hand can give you the confidence to understand what your people need to achieve the results you want.
Making use of time tracking also gives you a wealth of information on how much time is spent on what activities, so you get a clear picture of productivity and efficiency. This helps identify bottlenecks in productivity and illuminates general areas for improvement, allowing you to get on the right track, improve efficiency and make more profit.
5. Streamline your communication channels
There has been a proliferation of business communication apps in recent years, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. However, the main disadvantage for professionals is the time they waste communicating through so many different channels. Using multiple communication channels can also lead to over-communication, communication errors, and missed messages.
MIT Technology Review reflects on this issue as they argue that the expansion in the type and number of applications at work makes work and communications more complex.
So, to summarize, improving marketing efficiency means working fast and smart so you generate more leads, increase conversions, and thrive in a competitive industry. To achieve this, you need to invest in end-to-end integrated project management software that can boost both your marketing metrics and efficiency by:
- Facilitate collaboration and centralize communication
- Automate work to reduce costs and save time
- Track leads, time, and costs to enable data-driven decisions
- Manage customer billing