10 Steps to Scale Marketing Success for Your Clients

If your agency is successfully closing deals with clients and launching profit-boosting digital campaigns, you’ve mastered an important part of agency ownership. But that’s not all there is to long-term agency success: you must also be able to scale marketing efforts to continue delivering impactful results for your clients as they grow. Knowing how to scale digital marketing is essential to future-proofing your digital agency and fostering the long-term client relationships that are crucial to ongoing success.

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Scaling marketing refers to relying on tools and strategies that are adjustable in response to growing sales, budgets, and business circumstances. Often, the approaches that worked for your client when they were a small startup won’t translate directly as they grow. Growth requires an adjustment of marketing approaches, and marketing techniques are well-suited to adapting to your client’s evolving needs.

In this blog, we’ll cover the essentials of scaling marketing along with 10 steps your agency or marketing consultancy business can take to effectively scale digital marketing strategies for your clients.

Understanding how to scale marketing

Scaling marketing typically involves adjusting your approach or digital marketing strategy to continue delivering a return on investment (ROI) for businesses as they grow.

A common problem that digital marketers run into, especially when starting with no experience, is dwindling returns. Strategies that worked perfectly in the past seemingly run out of steam for no apparent reason, leaving clients confused and agencies scrambling. This unpleasant scenario can be avoided with the right scaling strategies.

The key benefit of scaling marketing efforts is that they enable you to incrementally adjust your strategies to continue delivering results that satisfy clients over the long term. For example, a business with flatlining results from their email marketing campaigns might benefit from a scalable marketing strategy that refines your understanding of their target audience so you can deliver more impactful, sales-boosting emails. It’s a client-focused approach that also helps you grow your agency startup, thanks to the trust and credibility you’ll establish with customers.

So, what are some actionable strategies you can take to scale your digital marketing services for your clients? Let’s dive in.

1. Refine the target market

As a business scales, its target market might need refining. This can happen for many reasons: customer needs and preferences evolve, unexpected markets may have been discovered, or the business may have updated its offering, to name a few.

Deeply understanding the target marketing will help you craft content and campaigns that appeal to prospective customers. An industry-standard method for refining the target market is the creation of ideal customer profiles (ICP). These fictionalized representations of ideal buyers help guide marketing decisions since all communications and strategies can be tailored to appeal to the ICP.

Don’t limit yourself to a single ICP: often, businesses sell to a range of market segments. Conduct market research to understand who your client’s customers are, then create several ICPs to represent the biggest customer groups.

2. Expand and strengthen brand identity

While consistency is important to establishing a reputation as a brand, this doesn’t mean brand identity should never be revisited. To scale marketing efforts over time, it’s critical to consider how a brand can be expanded, refined, or strengthened in response to changing circumstances.

The key to expanding or refining brand identity is to maintain continuity with previous iterations of the brand. Don’t confuse customers with rapid overhauls. Instead, monitor brand reputation and make adjustments as needed to better connect with target audiences and convey the brand’s message and values.

3. Optimize the sales and marketing funnel

Lead generation is one of the most important activities for digital agencies, and your clients are no different. Whether your marketing niche is working with product-based businesses or service providers, every business needs a strategy to fill its pipeline with new customers.

As a business grows, its sales funnel is also likely to evolve. If you have a local bakery as a client and it starts as a one-location business but grows into a regional chain, the customer journey for its clients may change dramatically.

To meet these changes, agencies should consider what can be done to streamline the customer journey from awareness to conversion. Data is your friend: analyze how customers are currently discovering your client, and identify any weak points or bottlenecks that may be limiting conversions. Then, implement lead nurturing strategies to move customers along the journey from first hearing about your client to becoming a paying customer.

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4. Expand service offerings

Expanding your agency’s portfolio of tools and solutions can dramatically expand your ability to scale marketing efforts for clients. You also benefit by increasing the average lifetime value of each client and potentially finding new clients as a result of your broad offering.

Don’t blindly add every service you can think of, especially if you’re a specialized boutique marketing agency. Instead, conduct a market analysis of your clients to identify gaps in their marketing strategy that represent growth opportunities.

When you develop a new product or service, it’s important to effectively communicate what it is and how it can help your clients scale their marketing efforts. If it’s something they haven’t invested in before, they may need extra guidance before signing the dotted line.

5. Develop team members

When you start your digital marketing company, you may be the only employee. But as you grow your business and your team, it’s important to invest in their agency skills. The digital marketing space is constantly evolving, and ongoing education is a must if you want your agency to stay effective and competitive.

This can take many forms, from investing in courses for employees to having staff demonstrate their areas of expertise and successes to colleagues through internal seminars. A culture of collaboration and innovation is a valuable asset for any digital agency startup.

Recognition is equally essential: make sure to reward and applaud team members for their contributions and wins.

6. Focus on client retention

Every agency knows that finding new clients is more expensive than retaining existing ones. That requires forming strong, trust-based relationships with your clients, and involving them in the decision-making process.

You can do this by soliciting regular feedback from clients to identify areas in which your agency can improve. Nurturing clients with personalized communications is equally key.

Don’t hesitate to formalize your client retention strategy with loyalty programs to reward repeat business: everyone likes to feel appreciated, and offering perks to long-time customers is a great way to show gratitude.

7. Invest in technology

If you want to scale marketing efforts reliably even with a long client list, technology is your friend. Tasks you were able to complete manually when you had a shorter client roster aren’t feasible with hundreds, or even thousands, of clients.

That’s where data analytics and automation tools come in handy. Data analytics can help you identify the results of your campaigns, so you can make informed marketing decisions efficiently. Automation tools, in turn, enable you to streamline your agency processes and deliver services hand-off, so you can focus on other parts of your business.

Data analysis and automation technology are always changing, so stay up-to-date on the latest developments to ensure your agency benefits.

8. Market successful client relationships

Happy clients are the best proof of your value, so don’t hesitate to share your marketing success stories to attract new business.

Case studies and testimonials from satisfied customers can be used on your website and in other marketing collateral. Highlighting the results your agency delivered will help prospects trust you to scale their businesses.

9. Automate reporting

As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, a major part of this business is monitoring and optimization. To handle this as your clients and your agency scale, invest in the right automated reporting tools.

These solutions track key performance indicators (KPIs), giving you an at-a-glance view of exactly how your campaigns are faring. Having this information available on demand, without constantly spending time and resources to generate it, can help you make better, data-driven decisions for your marketing campaigns.

10. Outsource where needed

Scaling means accepting you can’t do it all yourself. Outsourcing can be a powerful secret weapon for your agency, enabling you to focus on your core competencies while letting others fill in the gaps. For example, this can be done with external white-label agencies and freelancers.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a hands-off approach: you should always monitor outsourced activities to make sure they align with your agency’s goals and standards.

How to identify the right time to scale marketing

Knowing when to scale marketing efforts is just as important as having the right strategies in place for the job. Use these guidelines to guide your decision-making.

  • Assess business growth and stability. Ensure your client has a solid foundation before considering expansion, to avoid costly mistakes. Evaluate their past business growth and budget.
  • Analyze market performance and ROI. Evaluate current marketing strategies to gauge effectiveness and weaknesses. Understand their current ROI to set reasonable goals for your scale digital marketing strategies.
  • Evaluate market demand and competition. Research current market trends, customer trends, and the competitive landscape to identify potential scaling opportunities.
  • Understand key indicators for scaling readiness. These include positive trends in your client’s market share, brand visibility, and online reputation. Indicators such as a growing customer acquisition rate also suggest it’s a good time to scale.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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