Tools to help manage your marketing agency thrive

Marketing was once so simple. I mean, if you’ve ever watched Mad Men, you know that a lot of the stress involved in marketing back in the day really had nothing to do with the job at all.

Not the most accurate representation maybe, but 2019 is in very few ways reminiscent of pre-digital age marketing. Have you ever tried to explain SEO to someone who has never touched a computer? I’m assuming you are, at this moment, touching a computer or a mobile device and are most likely invested in digital marketing. Otherwise, we’re not going to be on the same page.

Before we talk about some useful marketing tools, we need to look at what will be “useful” or necessary in the near future. There are many helpful tools to aid marketing agencies, but will they hold up against the trends and issues of 2019 and beyond?

Of course, marketing managers have to balance the well-beings of the teams they lead and of the fluctuating consumer base. With this in mind, marketing agencies have to perform seamlessly.

For this reason, marketing managers have to consider the main issues facing the industry in 2019. These main concerns include collaboration, automation, social media outreach, and the metrics involved in each. With so much to consider, how can agencies balance the many marketing tools required? By making sure they’re all connected. Let’s see how.

Collaboration

It’s clear that marketing agencies are able to do a lot with even the smallest teams.

But even those small teams can be challenging to round up. When attempting to organize and schedule tasks, delegate roles, share reports, et cetera, marketing managers can become overwhelmed. Especially when more people become involved.

Now, if we’re talking about collaboration, there’s no reason we shouldn’t mention the word “cloud.” If your idea of collaboration involves SMS, Skype, and Microsoft Word, there might be some room for improvement. Although these modes do offer some grounds for collaboration, there’s also a bit of resistance. And if there’s one thing your marketing agency can’t afford, it’s resistance in your communication lines.

When it comes to team communication, big and small, many businesses use digital workspaces. Platforms like Slack allow for group and one-to-one messaging, file sharing, and tagging.

For scheduling tasks and providing team-wide transparency, there’s Asana, and for listing and brainstorming, there’s the very popular Trello.

What’s one common spark that these tools have in common? They allow you to stay connected. To do this, they use APIs (application programming interfaces). These APIs link software and allow you to share and connect across all of your platforms.

Thanks to APIs, content, schedule, tasks, and communication are all out in the open and accessible from anywhere. APIs make these transitions so smooth, you would almost think that the applications were built for each other, or even that they were a part of the same software.

Miscommunication hurts in any situation. And although it’s not exactly unsolvable, having a transparent marketing team can definitely help make team processes more convenient and efficient for everyone.

Marketing requires researching, planning, editing, evaluating, and so much more. All of which necessitate strong communication. Keep your marketing crew together, without the mess or hassle.

Automation

Automation eggs on an uphill battle. As marketing agencies work to optimize their strategies and teams, and up their scales, competition needs to keep up. Especially for those small business marketing agencies with limited staffing, efficiency is a requirement, not just a bonus. It’s not enough to find what works; companies need to be adaptive and explorative of new technologies that can help save time and energy.

Automation helps with consistency like no other, and with AI, marketing managers have the ability to be as personable as ever. There’s a ton of software to help automate your marketing strategy, such as the very popular ActiveCampaign. Check out this list for more options.

There’s a fine line between using automation to guide a customer through checkout or even to stay on the page and harassing them. Be mindful of convenience. Customers can be very impatient, and if your marketing involves pop-ups that seem too forceful, obstructive, or annoying, they might just take their business elsewhere.

Social media outreach

Social media has taken over the lives of many of us. Roughly 3 out 7.5 billion people use social media. Pair that number with the increasing reliance on those platforms. Excessive social media use is now seen as an addiction.

Younger generations have mostly known the world through a digital lens. It only makes sense to meet them there. Besides, staying socially active and relevant is the basis of marketing.

Managing a marketing agency has its challenges, including budgeting, communicating with clients, targeting effectively, and maintaining the brand voice.

Budgeting requires a bit of planning. Marketing managers need to consider the goals of social media and which KPIs (key performance indicators) will reflect their success. For budgeting, there’s Hootsuite and Buffer.

Metrics

Automation also helps with the backend of marketing. Your metrics can be as clear as ever using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. These tools help measure the effectiveness of your social media advertising using helpful visuals and engaging reports.

Your metrics can affect the decisions you make, in terms of scheduling and budgeting. How you plan and understand your metrics matters. Having a goal and good understanding of how to achieve it will save your marketing agency a lot of time, energy, and money.

Choosing appropriate metrics of focus is already a challenging task. But there’s also the issue of choosing a software that works for you. Don’t go for the flashiest, most advertised platform out there. Research your options carefully and pick software that will suit your business like a pair of gloves.

Using a poorly tailored software tool may be just as bad for your business as not using any at all.

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