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Best Practices Session 3: How Small Digital Agencies Punch above their Weight

In the rapidly evolving landscape of 2023, small digital agencies face a fundamental question: how can they effectively compete with larger agencies? As brands increasingly bring tasks in-house, the competition becomes even fiercer for start-ups and small businesses. Establishing a strong foothold and outshining their larger counterparts requires strategic thinking and innovative approaches.



The industry trends of 2023 indicate a continued inclination among brands to outsource specialized work to smaller digital agencies. This presents a promising opportunity for agile agencies to make their mark. However, it is essential to recognize that standing out from the crowd still requires deliberate efforts. To position your agency for success and effectively compete with larger ad agencies, consider implementing the following best practices:


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

Emphasize your expertise to differentiate your agency: One of the primary reasons brands are increasingly turning to smaller digital agencies is their unique specialization. It is crucial to identify your agency's core strengths and areas of expertise. Whether it's behavioral marketing, digital analytics, content creation, or social media management, market your agency's greatest assets and showcase why you are the best choice in your field. Demonstrate your boldness and creativity in your messaging and brand positioning.

2. Foster more intimate relationships with your clients

Cultivate intimate relationships with your clients: In the vast landscape of larger agencies, clients can often feel lost or overlooked. As a smaller agency, you possess a distinct advantage: the ability to provide more personalized attention. Capitalize on this by establishing open lines of communication and fostering direct relationships with your clients from the outset. Make it clear that their projects matter to you by being readily available, proactive, and going the extra mile to showcase their value. Invest time in understanding their unique goals and challenges, and tailor your strategies accordingly.

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

Maintain agility and adaptability in project management: With fewer departments and less bureaucracy, small agencies are uniquely positioned to offer faster turnarounds on projects without compromising quality. Proactively demonstrate that your agency can deliver on this promise. When challenges arise, steer clear of the convoluted processes that often hinder larger agencies. Instead, address issues promptly, ensuring that projects stay on track and momentum is maintained. Leverage agile project management methodologies to optimize efficiency and responsiveness.


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

Provide transparency to instill client confidence: In 2023, brands are increasingly demanding transparency throughout the creative process to ensure marketing compliance and gain insight into how their investments are utilized. If your agency does not already have a seamless digital solution that offers an accurate audit trail of work and robust reporting tools, now is the time to consider implementing one. Streamline administrative tasks with approval workflow software or agency project management software, not only enhancing transparency but also freeing up  time for more creative tasks. Regularly communicate progress, milestones, and results to keep clients informed and build trust.


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

Showcase your vibrant work culture and attract top talent: Small digital agencies often emerge from the minds of experienced creatives who have cultivated a positive work culture by weeding out counterproductive elements. Such environments, characterized by collaboration, innovation, and a strong sense of purpose, are precisely what brands seek today. Remember, a content and motivated workforce is a productive one. Maintain the passion within your agency by consistently hiring talent that aligns with your vision and values, embracing individuals who are both innovative and willing to take calculated risks to elevate your agency to new heights. Promote a culture of continuous learning and professional growth to attract top talent.


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

Market your agency with flair, highlighting your uniqueness and creativity: Your agency's brand serves as a powerful tool for expressing its identity and attracting clients. Ensure that your website vividly showcases your distinctive style, showcases your portfolio, and communicates the breadth of services you offer. Leverage this platform to demonstrate your agency's innovative thinking and remarkable creativity. Share your expertise through thought-provoking blog posts or captivating video content that breaks convention. Client testimonials and compelling case studies further validate your ability to deliver on promises. Additionally, actively participate in creative awards programs to enhance industry visibility and recognition, showcasing your agency's capabilities to a broader audience.


7. Utilize marketing and approval workflow software

Utilizing marketing and approval workflow software like admation can greatly benefit small agencies by streamlining processes, enhancing efficiencies, and promoting transparency. This software provides a centralized platform for managing projects, creative assets, and client approvals, enabling small teams to effectively produce more work. It simplifies project management by offering a clear overview of project statuses, deadlines, and task assignments, facilitating seamless collaboration and reducing miscommunication or missed deadlines. With features such as task tracking, file versioning, and automated notifications, the software ensures everyone stays on the same page, promoting efficient project progression.

A significant advantage of marketing and approval workflow software is its ability to streamline the approval process. By providing a structured framework for client feedback and approvals, it minimizes delays, reduces back-and-forth communication, and enables faster turnaround times. Clients can conveniently provide feedback within the software, eliminating the need for lengthy email threads or confusing document versions. Moreover, the software offers transparent visibility into project timelines, resource allocation, and budget management. This transparency enhances client confidence and trust while empowering teams to make informed decisions. Real-time reporting and analytics provide valuable insights into project performance, enabling small agencies to optimize processes and allocate resources effectively.

By leveraging marketing and approval workflow software, small agencies can streamline operations, reduce administrative overhead, and focus more on creative work. The software's features foster collaboration, enhance transparency, and enable efficient project management, empowering small teams to consistently deliver high-quality work that meets client expectations.

By implementing these strategies, small digital agencies can effectively compete with larger agencies, build a solid reputation, and establish themselves as valuable partners in the ever-evolving landscape of 2023. With a clear focus on their unique strengths, fostering strong client relationships, maintaining agility, providing transparency, nurturing a vibrant work culture, and showcasing their creativity, small agencies can thrive and secure their place in the industry.

Benefits For in-House Agencies Using Project Management Software