What your startup clients want your marketing agency to know

Change is something that startups deal with regularly. Therefore, marketing agencies need to be adaptable. Adaptability, based on the startup’s fresh ideas, will make a difference for both your agency and the client.

Communication can make or break your client-provider relationship. It’s essential to understand your client’s wants and needs, and even more so, their processes. All that about adaptability? Startups are already under a heap of pressure and are constantly dealing with changes. Your agency shouldn’t be a cause of that. Your agency should adapt to your clients’ needs, not the other way around.

One of the most common reasons a startup chooses to fire their marketing agency is because of poor communication. Agencies should be able to communicate their goals and tactics clearly and conversationally.

Get ready, get set

Startups rely on their unique ideas. Marketing has to be well planned for startups because of the sensitive content they develop. Competition can crush a small business. So startups need marketing agencies that know when to pounce without giving too much away. Marketing agencies must therefore have a good understanding about how to scale to their clients’ needs.

Marketing (vertical) content

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The overall preparation is more important than the initial release. Without communicating your agency’s tactics, your client may feel belittled and unimportant. If the startup client doesn’t receive the information or attitude they expect, they may conclude that the agency doesn’t know what it’s doing, or that the agency doesn’t have time for their business.

When it comes to communication, give your clients a representative they can count on. It’s important to introduce the startup manager or in-house marketing team to key people on your team. However, it can be overwhelming and underproductive is there is not a clear line of command at your agency. The client will appreciate having a sole representative that they can contact, that can direct their inquiries and forward their concerns.

Keep in mind, if a startup is putting their faith in your agency, they’ll want to know and understand your plan. This includes how your agency will counter competition, and how your agency will represent and develop their brand.

To wrap up, plan and communicate. Be the voice of the startup, without muffling the suggestions and concerns they give to you.

Know your clients’ industry

A good marketer is specific to their client’s business, their industry, and the needs of each. Startups will more than likely be considering agencies based on their current and previous clients. Experience in their field is an obvious first step; otherwise getting your agency up to speed will take too much time and energy.

Next, your clients want to be assured that their brands are being represented. Familiarity with your client’s brand and mission is key to building a good relationship and to developing a great campaign.

In order to build your startup’s brand and credibility, you must understand who you’re talking to. You already understand the importance of vocabulary, particularly in terms of SEO. But the words you use and your tone also matter in order to relate to the market (not just Google). Aside from industry keywords, you need to respond to the needs and wants in the field. That takes some research.

Does your agency have the right connections and relationships based on the industry and target market your client is based in?

Reach in the right direction

One way to get closer to the industry is to understand what competitors are promising. Know the difference between a plan and a sales pitch. Trying to keep up with your competitors’ promises won’t make your agency any better. It might instead make your team and client confused and frustrated.

Stop overpromising. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s easy to make bold suggestions, but when the time comes to communicate your exact plans with your client, you’ll find the big-picture ideas don’t connect. If you keep your ideas clear, sensible, and concise, you’ll be able to explain and execute effectively.

To show your agency’s dedication to their promises and practicality, charge based on success. Much too often, startups invest in outsourced agencies that have underwhelming results. This can create an unappealing name for marketing agencies, and scare startups into taking on overwhelming tasks in house.

It’s important to have a team that does more than just find a solution. Your team should be actively trying to find the best solution for the client based in its industry.

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Go means go.

Startups have the tendency to grow (hopefully). The startup you met a year ago is bigger and more complex now. Marketing agencies have to work with that fact and provide the opportunity for their clients to scale. Know the appropriate audience for your startup clients.

Finally, once you’ll need to reflect on the work you’ve done and continue to do.

Your clients should be encouraged to view your analytics. Yes, it is their business. Literally. Use the most efficient and transparent business intelligence tools to help share and communicate your success in a way that startups are able to read. It’s not fair to use a bunch of fancy lingo that your clients don’t understand. That’s why we have doctors.


Startups that put their faith in your marketing agency should feel secure and well-represented. Be honest, clear, and understanding when it comes to communicating with your client. Teams that flow together, grow together.

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* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.