How To Keep Up With Client Demands And Stay Ahead Of The Competition

Posted by Chris Duddridge, Business Director on March 17, 2014

It’s increasingly competitive within the marketing and communications industry, and to ensure your agency is winning client pitches you need to ensure you optimise your greatest assets, your people, and utilise their existing skills to deliver a more competitive range of services.

Your clients are demanding an ever-evolving mix of integrated marketing services that span multiple channels and disciplines, and it is often a huge challenge to stay competitive while generating revenue from new services and billing models. Combined with this, clients are increasingly requesting a move away from retainers and engagements are becoming project based – therefore it’s key that you have the right people on the right activities to ensure you keep winning the business.

Transparency is essential

In winning those new pitches, you are most likely delivering more integrated, full service activities than you did five years ago. But in doing so, you need to continue to ensure your teams are billing clients correctly and not under or over servicing them. Without transparency across the business, you will not have the most up-to-date and detailed information across projects that are underway or at the planning/pitching stage, which limits your ability to deliver. You should leverage enterprise resource planning (ERP) software purpose built for agencies to provide this insight and optimise your campaign planning and execution to keep all your client projects on track.

A new billing model for Marketing and PR Firms?

In years gone by it was common for agencies to be specialists – whether it was in advertising or PR – but now, as the channels blur and activity becomes more integrated it is also time to reconsider your billing model. When you were executing more ‘traditional’ marketing activity, you were able to use pre-existing benchmarks to forecast billing. However, with new marketing models, it becomes necessary for you to be able to bill all elements of the activity and so you require a more granular insight into time, skillsets and employees linked to the tasks delivered on each client project.

Staying profitable is the aim of the game but with increased competition from your rivals, help from an ERP system can give you the insight to stay ahead of the game.