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Not Your Daddy's Marketing Agency Model

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 11, 2016 9:31:00 AM / by Jeff Thomas

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The days of Mad Men—the golden years of the agency business—may be gone, but rocking someone's world with great creative and the smart use of technology make life in a boutique digital marketing agency equally as exciting, even if not quite so glamorous. And given the very changed world we live in today, the results are arguably more impressive. 

There were few options for small- to medium-sized businesses to realize breakthrough, explosive growth in those days. The competition-crushing budgets of the bigs, and the high cost of big-city agencies made it extremely difficult for startups or smaller businesses to effectively market themselves. And with only a handful of TV and radio stations to choose from (each of whom could charge just about anything they wanted), the "little guy" was at an extreme disadvantage.

Certainly it's hard not to envy the high-rolling agency executive's life of entertainment, pricey cars, and fast times as portrayed in Mad Men. And that's not to say that some of the bigger agencies don't still enjoy the benefits of agency discounts on big media spends and crazy high rates. But agencies of that ilk are fading fast, and there's good reason for it. 

A boutique agency like 30dps can offer a lot of benefits, especially to small- and medium-sized businesses. Like so many other things, you get what you pay for... but the dynamics of a boutique digital marketing agency are very different from the traditional agency model of the past.

  1. Boutique agencies are much more likely to have carved out a niche, which means that they can provide a higher level of expertise within that niche than an agency that tries to do everything. Find the niche that best matches your needs, and your odds of success are higher.
  2. Digital agencies are not typically as dependent upon agency discounts on large media buys for their sustenance, thus, you are paying more directly for the expertise they provide and less on what amounts to markup.
  3. Where traditional agencies relied on big media spends to interrupt as many prospects as possible as often as possible to drive the numbers, inbound marketing agencies understand that today, your best prospects are those that are looking for your products and services, so your focus should be on being found, and greeting them with something important. 
  4. Traditional agencies depended heavily on the flawed concept of focus groups and other anecdotal evidence to determine what creative design might work. Digital agencies can use much more sophisticated and accurate measurement tools to determine what is working.
  5. Digital agencies utilize technology significantly more than traditional agencies. This enables them to usually run comparatively lean. Rather than interfacing only with high-dollar account executives whose role is, in part, to schmooze you, you're likely to benefit from direct relationships with the folks actually doing the work... which can be a lot more rewarding for everyone involved.
  6. Rather than total reliance on publisher-provided data and Designated Market Areas of likely viewers/listeners/readers to decide where to spend your marketing dollars, digital marketers can utilize cutting edge technology to put your information in front of the right prospect at the right time.
  7. While even traditional agencies are starting to realize the importance of things like search engine advertising, SEO, and social media, because they are playing catch-up, they lack a true understanding of how it all works, and lapse into traditional ways of doing things rather than current best practices.
  8. An inbound marketing agency that understands the importance of content marketing, and can help you develop and execute a digital marketing strategy will blow past the bleak results of traditional outbound marketing alone.
  9. A digital agency, armed with an arsenal of tools like HubSpot, will be excited not just to show you their creative work, but more importantly, the results of their efforts in tangible ways.
  10. By giving you access to a dashboard full of metrics, a digital boutique can also help you stay on top of your progress, and can work with you to keep the proverbial ball moving toward the goal line.
  11. A digital agency is much more likely to understand how an effective content marketing strategy drives search engine rankings, captures customer interest, attracts conversions, and supports customer satisfaction.  
  12. A digital boutique will understand that tools are just tools, and that execution is the single most important element of a successful marketing strategy.
  13. While the more traditional agencies these days can usually design a website, they generally lack the technical skills to produce a conversion-focused, money-making machine using a process of constant improvement like Growth-Driven Design.
  14. The agency of your father could certainly not even conceive of the kind of meaningful differentiation and power that a custom online app can deliver.

In the length of time it took to write this blog, millions of social media posts, thousands of new websites, and hundreds of new online apps have been created. The speed of change is truly staggering. A digital boutique marketing agency, very unlike its forefathers in the industry, must be constantly looking for ways to advance the interests of their clients—not just with great creative (which will always be critically important), but with a sense of awe and wonder at what all of this technology can empower them to do next.

If you'd like to explore how 30dps can help you explore this exciting new world of digital, inbound marketing, please let us know. You might well be missing out on some amazing results.

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Topics: Marketing & Advertising Agencies

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