Project Management Update

Admation Blog

Best Practices Session 3:  How Small Digital Agencies Can Compete with Larger Ad Agencies

Posted by Jodie Byass on Oct 3, 2017

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For small digital agencies, one of the first questions you will ask yourself is “how can I complete with larger agencies?”. With business being highly competitive, there is pressure for start ups and small businesses to hit the ground running and outshine their larger competitors. We’re here to tell you it is possible; you just have to know how to go about it.

There’s already some good news. In 2016, more brands outsourced specialised work to small digital outfits, with the trend set to continue throughout 2017. That doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels though. You still have to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

Here are our best practices on how to compete with larger ad agencies.


1. Shine a light on your expertise to differentiate your agency

One of the main reasons brands are turning to smaller digital agencies is for their specialisation. Whether it’s behavioural marketing, digital analytics or social media management that you do best, make sure you market your greatest assets and demonstrate to your potential clients why your agency is the best in the field. Be bold, be creative.

2. Foster more intimate relationships with your clients

Some clients get lost in the complex matrix of larger ad agencies. As a smaller agency, you’re already ahead of the game in that your clients will naturally have more access to the decision makers and team who’ll be working on their projects. Leverage this advantage by establishing and maintaining open and direct communication from the beginning. Demonstrate to clients that their projects matter to you by being available and going the extra mile when need be to show that they are valued.

3. Remain agile and adaptable in the way your agency manages creative projects

With less departments and bureaucracy, you’re in the perfect position to offer faster turnarounds on projects while churning out quality work. Prove that this is indeed the case. And if and when an issue arises, instead of it getting bogged down in the complex processes in larger ad agencies, make sure you get the issues fixed quickly and the project moving along in no time.

4. Offer greater transparency so your clients feel secure working with your agency

More brands today are demanding full transparency over their creative projects to check off their marketing compliance and understand how their money is being spent. If you don’t already have a seamless digital solution that can provide an accurate audit trail of work and reporting tools, then it might be time to think about implementing one. Approval workflow software or agency project management software not only offers greater transparency but it can also eliminate much of the tedious administration that goes with managing creative workflow. Remember, less administration equals more time to be creative and dazzle your clients with your incredible ideas.

5. Showcase your great work culture and employ the right talent

Small digital agencies are typically the brainchild of creatives who have been in the industry for a long time and experienced the good, the bad and the ugly. Usually, they’ve weeded out the aspects that aren’t conducive to creating a fresh, collaborative and creative environment - and that’s exactly what brands are looking for today. After all, happy workers are productive workers. So, keep the passion burning! Great talent and work cultures naturally go hand in hand, so keep employing talent that fit in with your vision, and who are creative and willing to take risks to take your agency to the next level.

6. Market your agency in a way that showcases your unique and creative flair

Your brand says everything about who you are, so make sure you showcase your agency’s unique style and services on your website. This is your opportunity to demonstrate the way you think and how amazingly creative you are. Offer some of your keen knowledge by way of a blog or video content that smashes convention – it has to represent exactly who you are. Client testimonials and case studies also demonstrate to potential clients that you can deliver on your promises. Make sure you put your name in the creative awards pool and get your agency and accomplishments out there for industry heads to see.

If your small digital agency is looking for ways it can complete with larger ad agencies, then consider adopting agency project management software. Download our guide to review the potential benefits.

Benefits For in-House Agencies Using Project Management Software

Topics: Marketing Industry Trends, In-House Studios