Digital Agencies In Crisis: Ordered To Survive

Digital Agencies In Crisis
Digital Agencies In Crisis

Two main phases of the crisis development for the agency market. One of the most important things to understand in the current life planning of a digital agency is what the two phases of the crisis development consist of:

Phase 1. Chaotic-Turbulent

This phase is underway right now and will continue, apparently, for one and a half to two months – before the weakening of quarantine measures. A huge amount of rapid and dramatic external changes, a shock factor. Your target audience is strikingly changing the problematic, it is not at all interested in offers and content that were relevant two months ago.

Emotional decisions. New pains. Freezing large production projects as the first reaction (and budget cuts in advertising). The rise in popularity of online courses, requests for the rapid integration of simple SaaS services for remote control and automation of basic processes, an increase in requests for operational support, and so on.

The first phase will end quickly. If you had time, you could get growth and catch the hype. Now it is also possible, if quickly, within a week. But if your idea “let’s make a package for transferring clients’ business online” takes another month before its launch – it’s too late to rush.

Phase 2. When Everything Settles Down And Becomes More Predictable

It will settle down, yes, and become more predictable – but predictably shitty, on a downtrend. The digital agency market (on average, with many exceptions that do not change the overall picture) will not rebound to the end 2020, at best – until the end of 2021, in realistic – until the middle of next year (third quarter). If you seek for Portland digital agency follow the link and learn more about us.

In the second phase, the successful moves from the first phase will die out rather quickly. Because there were different issues and a different rhythm of decision-making. Here everything will gradually return to the classic decision-making cycle – minus the general decline in activity and extinct industries.

Those who have not lost the core of the team (have not lost the product) and have already built marketing will win. Not a sundress (the most effective, but very poorly scalable), but marketing your own expertise and creating added value for the client. What we and our colleagues have been talking about over the past 12 years.

Clients will go to those agencies who have pumped expert positioning in their niche, who are remembered and respected – and can write out the name of the agency from the sheet when a problem arises.

Ups and Downs

The ups and downs of the client industries of the first phase can turn into (and will turn into) drawdowns (if half of the SMB businesses fail, will it be better for SaaS services, which are now at the peak of the hype “everything to remote”? basic needs, will online schools get better?).

Why am I doing this. Separate two phases in planning your agency’s life. If you found a local hobbyist and got into the situational problematic of clients – understand that this is only for a few weeks.

If you plan to “sit out”, then you will have to sit for a long time, perhaps until the very closing of the agency.

The most important thing in conditions of limited resources is not to rush every day from side to side with a new idea / landig / call-to-action, but quickly understand what you can really do in a chaotic phase – and prioritize tasks (and if the answer is “nothing “- start preparing for the next) – and what you will do when it inevitably ends, having correctly prioritized the second phase, taking into account the downtrend.

Agency Digital Market

Several times I met in conversations with those who plan to sit out the following thesis: “We will now take a break and wait until summer, the market will revive, and a bunch of agencies will die – and the competition will decrease. We’re in chocolate. ” It won’t be that way. For the most part, the agency digital market (again, with many exceptions that do not change the overall picture) has lived for the last 15 years with a supply that slightly exceeds demand.

In the agency market, this will not happen – the entry threshold is zero, and the total volume is spread over thousands of agencies with an even thin pancake in the case of productions and a slightly less even / slightly thicker pancake in the case of performance agencies. As soon as demand grows, supply will instantly double.

Digital transformation

Of course, this whole current situation will serve as an additional trigger for “digitalization”, “digital transformation” of business and other similar things. Many clients will understand from a living example that this is a trend, that there is a direct benefit and a set of technologies / tools, that it works and works effectively. And this, of course, will give an increase in orders in the segment. But not those – and not in the same direction as in the first chaotic phase that is going on now.

Now, having poked around, many small companies understand that they are not ready, that just the implementation of a CRM or cloud task tracker has not become a magic pill: it is necessary to rebuild processes and businesses.

And this will work, again, in the second phase of the crisis, when the situation settles slightly – and already in a more classical non-situational decision-making cycle – for agencies / productions that have pumped up their expertise (both in terms of product quality and in the external media field on expert positioning level) – and on larger clients who survived – and are really ready (including in terms of budgets).

Launch Cold Selling Through Analytics Now

Now, in the conditions of the first chaotic phase of the crisis, the most successful time for the method of cold selling in digital agencies / sales centers through analytics (as part of the general sales strategy with added value in high price segments).

The classic method works like this (described it many times): you choose a fairly narrow and specific niche and conduct research on it (if you are a web studio, then sites, if a performance agency, then marketing activities), which takes into account the specific nuances and subtleties of the chosen niches. Generate a report – data, their interpretation and a set of ideas ready for implementation.

Next, a list of people who decide to cooperate with companies of the target segment is compiled – looking for profiles on social networks or mail and throwing this information to them (sometimes in full, sometimes first a teaser, and after a response – the full version), creating value for the addressee even at the first stage contact (and immediately becoming an expert in the field) – and after that already leading them to talk about the situation in a particular company, problems and points of contact (for example, on the same spin mechanics).

Analytics and abilities

With the proper quality of analytics and the abilities of the agency manager, the response to the first message can reach 50% even among top managers of large companies (not to be confused with conversion into a deal, of course, but this is still one or two levels higher than if you just spam recipients its own commercial directly, which works the worse, the higher the price segment).

In the second phase (when direct communications have already been carried out), it is possible and necessary to slightly modify the initial report – and publish it on industry sites according to the profile of the selected target audience segment, doubling the effect due to the PR phase.

This scheme has been implemented in many agencies, is quite scalable and works even in the enterprise segment. If all is well with the processes, then a mini-group of three people is often formed: an analyst, a sales manager and a PR manager who work in a cascade. An analyst makes a weekly (a month, it doesn’t matter) segment report, sales contacts people on the research that the analyst did last week, and the PR man publishes the research that was done two weeks ago.

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