Digital marketing has become an epitome of business strategy in recent years. The industry has boomed, reaching 5,523 agencies in the United States in 2021. The caveats to the rapid rise of digital consumption and advertising are saturation and getting customers to take action.
The click-through rate (CTRs) fell dramatically on several platforms, including a 41 percent drop on Google search ads year over year at the beginning of the pandemic. As people become more desensitized to online marketing, agencies will need to find a way to create ads that are engaging enough for customers to take action.
Overcoming the stress test in the industry takes mastering how to stand out in a saturated market of digital agencies. Flynn Blackie attributes the success of his six figure digital marketing agency, MOD Digital, to engineering a strict psychologically led, human approach to their marketing and having scalable processes.
Blackie, 18, dropped out of high school to grow his digital marketing business full time as soon as the value proposition of the agency began to exponentially grow, and he started acquiring multimillion dollar clients. Some of the driving factors behind his success has to do with niching, scaling and psychological marketing.
Avoiding the “do everything” trap
It is crucial for an agency to identify what services generate the most value for clients and avoid overburdening resources on services that don’t provide as much value. In the two years Blackie had spent building the agency, he had witnessed the shortcomings that led him to revitalize his strategy, and to pinpoint what was most important to make it succeed.
Upon realizing the “all in one” marketing strategy would set up the business in a dangerous spot, he quickly pivoted to capitalize on the service that brought the most value to his clients.
It might be tempting for a new agency to offer clients comprehensive marketing packages in an attempt to secure higher ticket sales. Particularly if an agency is relatively new, there will be a lack of experience and most importantly, resources. These short term ambitions may create a scenario where the business is positioned for burnout or failure.
Making a promise to a client to perform everything for them at the highest level, is something that is extremely difficult to take on. Promising to do less, but completing that aim to its highest potential will create better raw results for the client, satisfaction and probably lead to repeat services and better testimonials.
A digital marketer’s first priority should be to locate their area of strength, and utilize that to provide the maximum ROI for their client. This may take a few trial and error runs, beginning with implementing a proper plan, testing services and gathering data from monthly results.
In Blackie’s case, lead generation became the strongest contender and profit maker for his clients. His process involved using Facebook and Google Ads to generate leads, driving traffic to client website funnels and inspiring them to take action. The goal was to turn a stranger into a paying customer for the lowest cost possible. As this was implemented, the clients started seeing better results and were more willing to provide testimonials.
Creating hyper-personalized campaigns
The differentiating factor that makes an agency thrive above the crowd, comes down to how effective they are at acquiring leads for the client. Identifying the “trigger points” that capture the audience and to make them resonate with the ads, is what is going to lead them through the sales process.
For example, instigating a feeling of fear, or losing out on something appears to be an effective tactic in marketing based on psychological experiments. The loss aversion principle refers to the preference to avoid loss over gains with the same magnitude..
The common mistake Blackie observed in many agencies was it was centered around what the agency could provide, instead of what the customer would “lose” if they didn’t choose this service. Negative emotions are shown to produce longer lasting effects than positive ones.
Changing the way the ad is framed to suggest that the customer might “lose” more potential customers if they don’t go with this service, will invoke this fear of loss and will play into their decision of choosing one agency over another.
This is what Blackie means by “injecting human psychology at each step” of the marketing process. Instead of creating generic content when it comes to ad design, each message is hyper-personalized, according to the specific buyer’s personas. Personalization is implemented in all the copy, creatives and email campaigns. The end goal should be “to deliver a unified, compelling message that drives action”.
Understanding human emotion and objectivity, will help immensely in serving the clients and building fundamental relationships. At the core of every business is the client-business relationship; sales and growth are a result of it (Blackie, 2021).
Having scalable processes
Structuring an organization so that it is positioned to handle growth is a huge proponent for the longevity of an agency. An agency might be able to grow in terms of employees or clients, but if there’s no order to the way things are performed, the agency is inevitably positioned for failure. Why are fast food chains like Starbucks and Mcdonald’s so successful? These are examples of expansive franchise models that utilize specific steps to offer tremendous consistency to its loyal customers.
First, a proof of concept must be established. If what makes customers go back to Starbucks is it’s offering of a decent product (coffee) plus good marketing and fast and efficient service, then these standards for quality must be solidified into the plan.
Standards are easily transferable and scalable, and once these are determined, the next step requires the proper management to implement the guidelines, clarify responsibilities and procedures and provide adequate training. Once these steps are solidified, you have a system that you can repeat over and over until you have successfully expanded your company.
Blackie asserts that having a time proven system that produces results for the client is key. Regardless of whether the client is a personal trainer or e-commerce business owner, the system can be applied to help them generate more leads, which is what primarily MOD focuses on.The goal is to retain client trust and loyalty by building a system that doesn’t compromise quality for quantity.
In the increasingly competitive domain of digital marketing, the new challenge for aspiring entrepreneurs will be to provide enough value to clients for them to choose their service over competitors.
Digital marketing goes beyond bombarding prospective customers with ads, or adding redundant services to marketing packages for clients. It has evolved to become a game of who can excel at creating personalized experiences for a customer, by appealing to their emotions and desires. Having a proven concept that works and processes in place that allows you to scale the business will position you in a place above others.
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