Today’s marketing and creative agencies experience an ever-increasing number of challenges, which often stem from multiple software that don’t talk together. As a result, customer relationships become difficult to manage, key business metrics start to blur, teams become inefficient, project costs increase and you start losing more deals.
Are you looking to close more deals for your agency, improve customer experience, become more profitable and get full visibility to your key business metrics? Keep reading because in this quick guide, you’ll learn:
- How to solve the most common challenges of marketing and creative agencies
- Why marketing and creative agencies should get rid of multiple fragmented software
- Why marketing and creative agencies should invest in PSA software
N.B. This is a summary of our free guide on how you can boost your agency’s efficiency, productivity and profitability. If you don’t want to miss out on all the insights, you can download the full guide here!
1. Biggest challenges in running marketing and creative agencies
Whether you’re a digital marketing agency, ad agency, design agency, branding agency or any other kind of an agency, first you need to know what you’re dealing with. If you don’t what causes the issues in your agency, it’s very difficult to solve any of them. To get you started, here are a few common challenges that marketing and creative agencies have in common.
Scattered customer data
Customer data is crucial to shaping the experiences you provide for your agency clients. When your customer data is isolated in spreadsheets and random software, losing track of your customers is inevitable. This means that the value of your customer data goes down significantly, rendering it useless. Bad customer data doesn’t originate from one source. There may be contradictions between multiple software, some information may be missing, incorrect, inconsistent or even inauthentic. When multiple software track your customer data, these discrepancies will happen – and nothing is more frustrating than that. As a result, all your customer data becomes unreliable and managing leads, accounts and projects is more complex.
When your customer data is isolated in spreadsheets and random software, losing track of your customers is inevitable.
Like customer data, projects also become more difficult to manage when there are multiple software in use. This is one of the biggest challenges for marketing and creative agencies. The number of client stakeholders increases, revision requests keep piling up, feedback from clients goes on and on, and the scope and expectations for projects blow up. If you manage your projects in multiple places, it’s very challenging to track your progress. At the same time, collaboration is more time-consuming and finishing projects on time and budget seems impossible. So the obvious goal here would be to increase productivity and efficiency of your team.
Work overload and bottlenecks
When more needs to be done in less time, your team’s to-do list will become longer. As a result, some people will have more work than others. There are many possible explanations for an unbalanced workload: poor task allocation and inaccurate project estimates, for example. Without proper software you won’t know what needs to be done, who’s supposed to work on what, or if project estimates are realistic. This will also affect profitability because tracking billable and non-billable hours becomes more complicated as the tasks and projects keep stacking up.
Inaccurate and complex invoicing and billing process
The complexity doesn’t end when you’re done with the project. Invoicing and billing take a lot of time and manual work without easy-to-use software. It’ll also be very difficult to avoid invoicing and billing errors, track payments, get them on time and report on your agency’s finances. When your business management and accounting software don’t talk together, billable hours will be left uninvoiced. And when it comes time to report on your invoicing and profitability, the numbers won’t add up.
Lack of visibility to key business metrics
Once you’ve invoiced the project, you need to report on it improve profitability, efficiency, productivity and future resourcing needs. When there are multiple software in use for managing your agency’s business and the data is isolated, the reports become less reliable. In other words, they won’t give you any actionable insights on your performance. A clear view of your agency’s profitability, utilization and billable rate is not only essential for its growth but also for competitive advantage. When everything about your agency’s business from sales to reporting is in one place, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions with more accurate insights and data.
A clear view of your agency’s profitability, utilization and billable rate is not only essential for its growth but also for competitive advantage.
Fragmented software killing productivity
Speaking of data, the more software you use, the more challenging it is to interpret the data and make it actionable. Unnecessary software also makes processes more complicated, time-consuming and disjointed, leading to lost productivity. That’s why it’s essential to centralize all of your agency’s business management activities in one place, making it simple to keep things under control and improving your business performance.
Want to get rid of multiple fragmented software and be more productive? This dedicated guide walks you through how you can boost your business productivity.
2. 6 tips for managing marketing and creative agencies
A unified business management system makes running your agency’s business easier, more efficient and simpler. To avoid or solve the aforementioned issues, your software must fulfill some specific requirements. Here are a few tips for you to unify your business management tools and activities.
Make your CRM one single source of truth
CRM is first thing to consider when looking for a unified business management solution. It’s is in the heart of any solution available today. Your agency’s sales CRM software should serve as a central database for customer data. It should also keep you up to date on sales activities and past interactions. When exploring and comparing different software alternatives for your agency, see if they:
- Give an easy access to the most up-to-date customer data for everyone in your company
- Allow you to track and manage your leads throughout the entire customer life cycle
- Help you automate manual sales-related tasks and processes
- Increase coordination within the sales team
- Give you actionable insights on sales performance or customer behavior
Centralize your project management to one place
The next consideration is project management. Having everything about your projects in one place is efficient, from tracking their progress to collaborating with your team and customers. Plus, companies using proven project management practices save 28 times more money than those who don’t. When exploring and comparing different software alternatives for your agency, see if they:
- Have the tools for you to create, assign and track tasks and projects
- Allow you to share files with your team and clients
- Make it possible for you to quickly respond to project-related challenges or requests
- Enable you to accurately track budgets and adjust them when needed
Streamline your agency’s resourcing and time management
Strongly related to your agency’s projects is time and resource management. Centralizing your agency’s time and resources in one place makes assigning, budgeting and tracking billable hours easier, and helps improve your utilization rate and profitability. This combined with the project management tools help you become more efficient and productive. When exploring and comparing different software alternatives for your agency, see if they:
- Enable you to identify and schedule resources to the right projects and tasks
- Help you identify skill shortages or training requirements
- Detect under-bookings and work overloads within your team(s)
- Give you visibility to who in your team is performing well and who’s slacking
Get paid faster with easy-to-use financial management software
Ideally, as soon as you’re done with the project, your business management software should enable you to invoice your agency client, too. Your invoices will be more accurate when your customer data, sales, projects and resources are in one place because that means all the information is also in one place. And even better, when it’s easy to manage your invoicing, billing and you’ve connected your PSA with your accounting, your finances are a lot more accurate and you’ll get paid faster by your clients. When exploring and comparing different software alternatives for your agency, see if they:
- Allow you to easily create, send, automate and track invoices, bills and expenses
- Can be connected to your accounting software
- Automate manual invoicing and billing processes
Make smarter decisions with powerful BI reports
As projects come and go, there should be increasingly more data to report on. Having advanced reports about your key business functions helps your agency make smarter business decisions 5 times faster, and gain competitive advantage. It’s especially important to have a full overview of your sales, profitability, productivity, hours, invoicing and utilization in real time to help your agency grow in the long term. When exploring and comparing different software alternatives for your agency, see if they:
- Enable you to measure and track metrics for multiple teams or departments
- Identify areas that require corrective action in your business
- Keep data up to date in a visually accessible way (e.g. customizable dashboards)
3. Reasons why marketing and creative agencies should invest in PSA software
What is PSA software?
PSA software is the unified solution for managing marketing and creative agencies. If you’re looking to centralize your agency’s key business functions into one platform, PSA software is for you. Here are a few reasons why your agency should also invest in all-in-one PSA software instead of running it with multiple fragmented solutions.
PSA software decreases project life cycle costs for marketing and creative agencies
As projects keep stacking up, they will take more time and effort than before, which makes the life cycle longer for your agency’s projects. This means that your work will also cost more for your agency clients, which in turn means that your pricing won’t be as competitive anymore. With PSA software, your agency will be able to automate manual tasks and save time. This is especially important when you need to track hours, expenses and margins of your project constantly, and need to make sure you’ll deliver projects on time and budget.
In fact, because PSA software centralizes your project management functions, it makes collaboration easier and progress faster, which saves you a lot of time. Because of this, marketing and creative agencies worldwide have been able to increase their project margins, decrease revenue leakage and complete more projects on time and budget. In other words, PSA software makes your project management streamlined, making your more efficient and productive.
PSA software streamlines resource management for marketing and creative agencies
PSA software doesn’t only streamline project management for marketing and creative agencies like yours: it helps you streamline your time and resource management as well. When you can budget, assign and track billable and non-billable hours where you need them the most, you’ll drive efficiency and progress within your agency and its projects. This way you can even the workloads within your team, increase your utilization, and ultimately become more efficient, productive and profitable, which will help you scale your agency business in the long run.
PSA software eases collaboration with customers for marketing and creative agencies
A system that you can help you keep up with your agency clients improve the customer experience you provide for them, and you’ll be able to communicate better with them. Like CRM, PSA software is also a single source of truth for your company with all your contacts, leads and deals in one place – easily accessible for everyone. With PSA, you can visualize your sales process, follow up on sales activities, manage your leads and deals, and hold record of your clients and all interactions with them.
With PSA software you’ll combine all the tools your agency needs for managing their business, close more deals, deliver client projects on time and budget, and get paid faster.
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