It’s no secret that most business owners want a scalable model for their company. What does seem like it’s a secret is that marketing agencies are no different. But if you’re considering outsourcing your inbound marketing to an agency, haven’t you thought about the fact that they might want to grow as well?
This is an important thing to consider, especially if you’re a smaller company. You may be concerned that a prospective agency won’t be able to give you the attention you deserve if the agency grows. The right inbound marketing agency, however, will set itself up for operational scalability, specifically when it comes to team structure, decision-making and operational design.
1. Team Structure
Can the agency handle bringing on more clients like you? A lot of it depends on the team structure. If there isn’t a proper workload balance for each team member handling your company, your marketing efforts are going to suffer. Projects will be delayed, scope will change and you’ll end up unsatisfied.
The right agency, on the other hand, takes growth into account. One good example of an ideal inbound marketing team structure involves a pod-style format with specific roles (e.g. strategist, inbound specialist, writer, designer and coordinator). Not only does this structure include all the major skillsets required for effective inbound marketing, it allows for easy building of additional teams.
What is the agency’s growth strategy? If it’s simply looking to add as many clients as possible, it’s a good sign that leadership isn’t making smart business decisions with the future (or clients) in mind. The right agency will only bring on clients that are a good fit and that the agency feels confidence it can deliver the results the client is seeking. Other business decisions that give you a good sign an agency is operationally scalable include recruiting decisions, history of client retention and high partner tier ranking with HubSpot.
3. Operational Design
Lastly, how the agency designs its operations is important for scalability. If existing processes don’t work for both large and small engagements, it means there’s going to be an imbalance in the quality of work from client to client. An agile marketing approach compensates for scalability in the following ways:
It breaks down planning and executing marketing efforts into short time periods known as “sprints,” so the agency can constantly evaluate and optimize what it’s doing for all its clients.
It allocates a specific amount of “points” to each client. Since points depend on the engagement level, every client gets its appropriate value, regardless of the size of the agency.
It reduces unpredictable costs and delays that often rise during scaling periods. This is due to a daily 10-minute stand-up meeting that allow team members to immediately identify obstacles and resolve them quickly.
In the end, if you do your homework and ask the right questions, you can be confident about a prospective agency being operationally scalable.