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Grow your marketing agency with online collaboration

As this series of blog posts for marketing agencies has progressed, we’ve explored a series of major benefits that online collaboration can bring you.

Chief among these have been: 

  • Improving client service
  • Improving the efficiency of your agency
  • Speeding up your project and billing cycle.

In this last post, we’ll be looking at three ways online collaboration help you do something equally valuable — grow your business and retain your clients.

1. Attract bigger clients

If you are targeting larger or more prestigious accounts, it’s wise to offer them online collaboration tools as part of your standard client service package.

Why? It’s because research has shown that 1 in 4 clients insist that agencies offer them an online collaboration system before they will consider placing their account.

That number is sure to grow as online collaboration becomes even more widespread, so be sure to offer it before your competitors do. Not having it could increasingly become a deal breaker — whereas introducing it to your current client relationships will allow you to build up a track record of using the system for success. 

2. Partnerships and mergers

You may want to grow your agency by working more closely in partnership with other companies, or you may even have plans for a merger with a complementary agency.

In either case, online collaboration tools are perfect for helping you and your teams work more closely together — particularly from different locations — while secure workspaces allow you to share sensitive information as part of any merger process. Essentially, you can create workspaces that function as secure deal room, using your software’s audit trail for full accountancy and transparency in your sensitive negotiations.

3. Tender management

Online collaboration workspaces simplify the tender process when you need to choose suppliers. Potential suppliers can submit their bids securely using a dedicated workspace, and all candidates can have access to the same information. You can also use the workspace to answer supplier queries for the benefit of all candidates, and if you need potential suppliers to fill in a questionnaire (such as a PQQ or Pre Qualification Questionnaire) they can do it within the software, which should be able to generate instant reports that let you see the results at a glance.

4. Retain your marketing agency clients

If you want to see some eye-opening statistics, download a copy How to turbocharge your marketing agency’s performance.

One of the most significant figures in the report comes from research by a US software company. This found that 38% of clients have refused to give an agency business for one specific reason — it didn’t have good enough tools for managing the account’s work and communications. 

If you’re not sure whether your agency is in that position, here are some telltale signs that your systems aren’t up to scratch.

  • You mix and match tools to manage projects, communications and more — but find there’s significant overlap in the functionality those tools give you. For example, you might use project management software, file sharing software, image sharing tools and more with your clients — meaning they have to grapple with several systems, potentially causing confusion or alienating them.
  • Tools that don’t meet the needs of your projects. If some of your clients’ firewalls reject your attachments, team members aren’t kept informed about all contact with clients, or multiple copies of the same files get circulated, then you need to rethink the way you’re working — with the intention of making it as easy for your clients as possible.

Getting communications systems up to speed is wise, especially as the CMO Council (Chief Marketing Officer Council) has found only 36% of clients are committed to staying with their agencies this year.

But how can you do it?

If you ask the clients, many of them would point to online collaboration systems. In fact, a growing number of businesses insist that agencies provide online collaboration — they refuse to hire the ones that don’t.  

What is online collaboration?
We’ll be looking at the benefits of online collaboration soon, but if you’re not currently familiar with online collaboration software, it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to understand the concept.

In a nutshell, it’s a system that both you and your clients can access from any internet connected device, using an ordinary web browser.

There are many different kinds of collaboration software available, and it’s important to choose one that offers the right features and benefits for the way you work (we’ll be looking at what marketing agencies should be looking for in an upcoming post).

The features on offer might include some or all of the following:

•    Shared files
•    Document Co-authoring
•    Calendars
•    Task lists
•    Polls
•    Surveys
•    Databases
•    Web pages
•    Blogs

As you can see, this range of functionality has great potential — not only to improve the way you communicate with clients and manage their projects, but also to consolidate a range of functions within one software package. And as some online collaboration packages are highly cost-effective (not to mention scalable), adopting them can result in savings from the moment of adoption.

We now know that clients favour the use of online collaboration, have an overview of what it does, and that it can be economical and easy to adopt.

But… which collaboration software is best for me?

As we’ve shared these ideas for growing your marketing agency, you’ve probably had one question at the front of your mind — which online collaboration package is best?

The answer depends on how your agency works, but we’ve two simple steps that can help you decide.

  1. Download our short, simple guide Choosing the Right Online Collaboration Tool to make sure you match your choice of collaboration tool to your clients’ and your agency’s needs.
  2. Enjoy a free trial of Kahootz — it’s online collaboration software that helps marketing agencies deliver more for their clients on a daily basis. Simply log on to to claim a free trial that gives you full-featured access for up to 10 people, allowing you to put it through its paces in the real world.

And don’t forget, if you want the full picture on using online collaboration tools to give your business a series of competitive advantages, download How to turbocharge your marketing agency’s performance. We’re at the end of the phone if you have any questions.

Download our free guide – How to grow your marketing agency – delight clients and boost profits in tough times

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