How Your Digital Agency Can Thrive in a Crowded Market

Meryam Lehoufa
Meryam Lehoufa   -   January 27th, 2022

The digital agency industry has seen tremendous growth in the past few years. This growth is led mainly by the increasing and seemingly infinite demand for digital marketing services worldwide. According to PRNewswire, the global market for Digital Advertising and Marketing was estimated at US$350 Billion in the year 2020 and is projected to reach a revised size of US$786.2 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.9%.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the acceleration of this growth. As the number of internet users skyrocketed, more businesses were urged to keep up and adapt to the new normal by increasing and optimizing their online presence, especially for companies where digital marketing initiatives were considered a relatively low priority.

Whether they offer services in design, strategy, development, marketing, or consulting, digital agencies play a vital role in helping businesses gain visibility in the virtual world and stay up to date with the constantly changing digital landscape.
Depending on its marketing goals and budget, a company can either choose to hire a full-service or specialized digital agency. Full-service digital agencies can provide a complete set of services, and that’s by handling the entire marketing and advertising process of a company. While specialized digital agencies focus on a few very specific services like social media marketing or web development.

Why do companies hire digital agencies?

There are many reasons why a company or organization would choose to hire a digital agency over an in-house team (some might use a combination of the two). These reasons include but are not limited to the following:

  • The need to focus on core business operations by outsourcing marketing processes and responsibilities to the industry experts. Instead of having to spend time and resources on hiring, training, and managing an in-house team.
  • Aiming to gain access to the latest marketing and IT technology.
  • Aiming to acquire new ideas and an unbiased perspective on business strategy, decisions, etc.
  • The need to keep up with industry-relevant marketing trends and best practices.
  • Aiming to boost productivity and efficiency by automating processes and tasks.
  • etc.
In general, a digital agency should be able to facilitate and improve a company’s digital transformation efforts, help it set and achieve realistic online marketing goals, offer ongoing support and maintenance, and help explore new sources of growth.

What challenges do digital agencies face today?

The digital agency industry is competitive and ever-evolving. Although this environment of continuous and rapid change brings exciting new opportunities, it also brings serious challenges that digital agencies need to efficiently address in order to survive and stay ahead of the curve. While we won’t be able to discuss every challenge in detail, we will, however,  go through some of the major challenges that today’s digital agencies are facing.

  • Growing the client base: The first challenge that many digital agencies struggle with is landing more clients. According to the State of Digital Agency Report that was carried out by Databox and HubSpot, 60% of digital agencies named “finding new clients” as their top pain point.

    Extensive industry knowledge, personalized service, effective communication and full transparency, deployment of robust and modern technologies, agency size, and clear pricing are some of the essential items that companies look for when considering a digital agency.

  • Finding and retaining talented staff: Another two big pain points that hamper digital agencies’ growth is finding the right talent for open positions (70%) and employee retention. According to Digiday, agencies lose 1 out of 3 employees each year.

    The ever-increasing number of digital agencies makes the competition fierce for the best talent. Oftentimes, digital agencies find themselves competing on the top talent in the market with their own clients as well when those clients are managing marketing operations in-house. As for employee turnover, some studies have shown that only 50% of agencies structure their companies in a way that encourages career growth. Other factors are related to toxic work environments, employee burnout, lack of flexibility, not equipping employees with the right tools that enhance productivity, etc.

  • Meeting clients’ needs and expectations: Regardless of the industry they operate in, brands and companies expect the best service and want guidance and advice on how to effectively navigate the current digital climate, all at the most competitive price. What this means for agencies is they often find themselves bound by realities that don’t live up to the high goals their clients believe are achievable. The Marketing Agency Growth Research conducted by Hubspot stated that hitting clients’ goals and expectations is a big challenge to 23% of digital agencies.

  • Adapting to, and effectively implementing, new technology: From artificial intelligence to voice-activated systems to the internet of things to zero-code web development, the digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace. To maintain growth and competitiveness, digital agencies must stay ahead of industry changes and adapt quickly to emerging technology. While it is not indeed possible to offer expertise in every new solution, digital agencies are nonetheless expected to research and select the best latest technology in the market to use it in-house, recommend it to their clients, or both.

    The top software and solutions that agencies usually suggest to their clients are web and mobile analytics, CMSs, email and social media marketing solutions, automation platforms, e-commerce, and CRMs. As these solutions evolve and improve rapidly, it’s crucial for digital agencies to stay up to date in order to help their clients choose what would work best for them.

    Effectively implementing and integrating new technology can also be a daunting task that digital agencies need to cope with. Besides the technical challenges, employees might find it overwhelming to learn and use a new technology that they’re not familiar with, especially if it’s not user-friendly, which can affect their productivity.
Again, this is by no means an exclusive list. Other challenges include maintaining cash flow, scaling the business, managing data and analytics, keeping existing clients, moving on from bad fit clients, legal challenges and contracts, increasing regulation and stricter privacy standards, scope creeps, profitability, etc.

How your digital agency can thrive and stand out from the competition

Now that we’ve covered some of the major pain points that digital agencies struggle with, it’s time to discuss how your digital agency can overcome them. Addressing these challenges efficiently will not only help you stand out from the competition, but it will also improve your company’s internal productivity and hence boost its overall growth.

  • Diversify your digital agency services offerings:  Oftentimes, clients require an array of services as part of a launch, revamp, or new campaign. What’s more, they might prefer a one-stop-shop service provider that can offer a comprehensive and cohesive solution. By offering additional services, you will not only deliver more value to your current clients, and thus keep them longer, but you will also attract new clients who’re interested in other services than those you usually offer.

    That said, as your brand identity defines the role you offer to play in your client’s journey towards success, It’s crucial that you remain close to your core competencies as you diversify by only introducing new services that complement, align with, and build on your current offer, positioning, and values.
  • Manage expectations correctly: Setting and proactively managing the right expectations is a big key to having a good relationship with your clients. When expectations are not rooted in practicality, the client-agency relationship can become strained.

    In order to better manage customer’s expectations, there are a few tactics that you and your team can apply:
    • Set SMART goals and know how to detect unrealistic ones
    • Communicate clearly and regularly
    • Document every decision and be transparent about the process
    • Allow your clients to participate directly in the development of the project and express their considerations.
    • Educate your clients and know how to prove your value
    • Underpromise and overdeliver
    • Learn to say no when necessary

  • Boost employee satisfaction: Whether you run a digital agency or any other sort of business, your employees remain your biggest asset. High staff turnover has many severe consequences; it can lead to increased recruitment costs, more time spent on training new employees, decreased productivity, disrupted company culture, and lost sales. Furthermore, your company’s high employee turnover can negatively impact your brand reputation and thus significantly reduce your chances to attract top talent.

    Your workers’ brainpower is the engine that drives growth and high performance, thus ensuring their satisfaction is of utmost importance. In order to keep your staff content, motivated, and productive, strive to create a positive, engaged, and collaborative team environment. Also, make sure your employees are adequately compensated for their time and equipped with tools and technology that help facilitate their day-to-day work and maximize their productivity.

  • Choose technology wisely: Another crucial element that has a direct impact on the performance and success of your digital agency is the technology that you use in-house and/or recommend to your clients.  As we’ve mentioned earlier, your agency is expected to stay updated on the latest trends and the best technology in the market. In order to help them be more efficient and competitive, your clients will rely on you to do the following:
    • Research, recommend, and maybe even purchase a technology solution they need;
    • Set up the new technology properly,  integrate it with other business systems, and train staff on how to use it;
    • Oftentimes, as part of ongoing client services, you might also be required to operate and maintain the technology.

For you to succeed in every one of these roles and position yourself as an expert that your clients can count on, there are fundamental factors you need to consider upon choosing a new technology. Here we’ll list the top 8 factors:
  • Features: Does the technology provide all the necessary features out-of-the-box?
  • User-friendliness: Is the user interface intuitive and easy to understand?
  • Security: Will your clients’ data be safe on the technology?
  • Flexibility and customizability: How easily can the solution evolve as your clients’ needs and requirements evolve? And to what extent is it customizable?
  • Interoperability: How well does the technology integrate with other business tools and systems?
  • Innovation: How much effort and investment is going into improving the technology and its adoption?
  • Documentation, technical support, and ease of implementation:  Is the technology easy to set up and implement? Does it come with comprehensive documentation? And how good is the technical support provided?
  • Cost: This one includes costs related to the setup, license, and maintenance.

How Redakt can help your digital agency achieve differentiation in a crowded market

The perfect formula for success is to provide clients with exceptional business value at a competitive price, and that's exactly what Redakt is committed to helping you do.

Allow us to introduce the first enterprise-grade content management system that’s entirely built on the new, cutting-edge Microsoft .NET 5.0 technology. With a future-proof architecture, user-friendly back-office application, and blazing-fast performance, Redakt is designed to facilitate and improve the work you do for your clients and, at the same time, help you boost your own company's productivity and competitiveness. All at an unrivaled price.

We understand that your clients expect you to deliver high-quality services as fast as possible. To help you meet and exceed your clients’ expectations, Redakt offers flexible hosting, hassle-free setup and deployment, flexible modular architecture, numerous customization and integration options, and an easy way to host multiple websites on one single platform.

Unlike legacy systems that provoke frustration and drain productivity, Redakt is committed to facilitating your software developers’ work when implementing a CMS-based website for your clients, and that’s by providing clear APIs and architecture patterns, code-first content models, future-proof ASP .NET 5.0 technology, fast response times and implementation guidance, comprehensive documentation, and much more. All to give your developers the best user experience possible and boost their productivity.

With Redakt, you can rest assured that your clients will benefit from all the advantages of a hybrid CMS, a modern and clutter-free interface, future-proof and scalable technology, a secure platform, and blazing-fast websites at lower hosting costs. What’s more, Redakt offers all enterprise content management features out-of-the-box.

Choose Redakt to impress your clients, outpace the competition, and keep your employees both satisfied and productive. Book a demo here to explore all that Redakt has to offer for your digital agency.

Conclusion

In an increasingly competitive market, your choices must help your digital agency achieve differentiation, navigate upcoming challenges, and find continued growth and success for the years to come.

With Redakt, you will not only be able to handle your clients’ projects faster and more efficiently, but you will also provide a solution that fits perfectly into their existing business systems and help both your developers and their marketing and content managers be as productive and efficient as they can be.

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