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Informing the Agency 2024 Marketing Plan

Informing the Agency 2024 Marketing Plan

Ever wanted an inside peek at what your agency competitors are doing? Curious if you’re spending too much time managing accounts compared to other agencies? Wondering if your pricing structure compares to the competition?

We’ve got those answers for you (and more!).

WordStream by LocaliQ released its popular State of the Digital Marketing Agency report after a brief hiatus. This report includes valuable information about how agencies price their services, the services they offer, their biggest challenges, and more—based on survey results from over 300 agencies in North America.

Here are three of the biggest takeaways and how they’ll impact your 2024 planning.

The smaller agency does more with fewer employees

Of the agencies surveyed, 53% of those have fewer than 25 employees. Within these smaller agencies, this means employees are performing multiple job duties, including sales, reporting, account management, and more.

In fact, more than 50% of the agencies surveyed don’t have any employees dedicated to sales full-time and nearly 40% don’t have any employees fully dedicated to account management.

What this means: Agency employees are tasked with wearing multiple hats. This can limit productivity and prohibit your agency from effectively scaling and growing. Especially if employees are performing time-consuming tasks like creating budgets and proposals. 70% of agencies reported they’re doing this manually.

What to do about it: Think about ways you can outsource to give your employees more time to dedicate to the tasks and job duties that will make the biggest impact for your agency. This might include finding tools and resource that can streamline tasks that take a lot of time or partnering with other businesses to take on account management, reporting, and more.

Referrals are the biggest source for client acquisition

According to the report, 57% of agencies reported that client referrals were the main source for acquiring new clients. This was followed by content and digital marketing at only 14%.

What this means: Delivering the best possible service to your clients remains a top priority for both retaining and acquiring clients. You want your clients to refer you to their agency connections so you can continue to grow.

What to do about it: If you don’t already have an established client referral program for your agency, now is the time to start one. But you should also try a varied approach to client acquisition so you don’t run your client referral well dry. This can include speaking at industry events or tradeshows, creating lead magnet pieces, targeting agencies with LinkedIn or Facebook ads, and more.

The economy is the biggest concern for the agency in 2024

Getting new clients is a persistent challenge for agencies. But this report found that it’s not the biggest challenge for agencies going into 2024. Instead, agencies are most concerned about economic conditions and uncertainty.

What this means: It’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen with the economy. At the beginning of 2023, experts were all but certain the US was either in a recession already or that one was imminent. And while the economy seemed to improve in some ways, it’s still been a volatile situation that has many business owners concerned.

What to do about it: There are steps you can take to recession-proof your agency such as finding ways to cut costs, stocking up on products at a discount, cutting unnecessary subscriptions and services, and more. It’s also more important than ever to retain clients—as this is more cost effective than acquiring new clients. You might also consider adding products or services to your portfolio to add value for your agency while driving additional revenue.

Start planning for success in 2024

WordStream’s State of the Digital Marketing Agency report includes even more valuable data points that can help you see where your agency stacks up now and plan for success in 2024. Get access to 25 charts based on responses from agencies just like yours to put a plan in place now!