Love marketing journalism? Apply here to become a full-time associate editor of our sister publication, Marketing Dive.

Dear Digital Agency, I Am Stealing Your Clients: Here's Why

digital agency best practicesI'm seeing a common theme in the accounts that I’m winning from digital agencies. Little ole me, stealing from the major players... I’d like to share WHY these accounts came to me.

You suck. JUST KIDDING! It’s about your lack of account oversight and continued training.

  • You didn’t tie the activity back to metrics that the client could use – so even though you may have made an impact, they may not have understood the difference it made.
  • There was no strategy – or at least not one that tied back to client goals and needs – so the client couldn’t substantiate the spend or didn’t see results where they were needed.
  • Once you won the account, the team didn’t deliver on the initial pitch – leaving the client high and dry wondering what the heck happened.
  • The team handling the account doesn’t have enough experience – so the results were poor and the client ended the relationship due to lack of results.

So how can you avoid losing business?

10 Agency Best Practices

  1. Create a culture of continued learning and tie compensation to it.
  2. Don’t try to do everything digital without the right training and support. It will ruin your reputation.
  3. Do a SWOT analysis -then recognize your shortcomings.
  4. Bring in experts (like me) or hire to close those gaps.
  5. Pitch business you can handle – don’t oversell or force your staff into a role they aren’t qualified for.
  6. When you lose business, contact the client and the incumbent replacement to find out why.
  7. Use what you’ve learned to vigorously grow your agency skills in that area.
  8. New client? Create a strategy and metrics that fit their needs, not yours.
  9. Make sure your skill levels support your claims. If you can’t do SEO well, bring in help or don’t sell it.
  10. Stay on top of the team to keep quality high and make sure they are on task, on strategy and delivering results that fit the right metrics. Don’t abandon the team and assume all is well.

I say this with love, digital agency. I’m not sorry that I’m pocketing the revenue that was yours, because I deserved to win the business, but I’ll bet the loss stings. So whatcha gonna do about it?

(digital agency losing out / shutterstock)

Join The Conversation

  • CarrieMorgan's picture
    Oct 7 Posted 3 years ago CarrieMorgan

    Alan, I'm so glad it is helpful! I just love hearing that kind of feedback - it makes my day.

    You might like this post, too, if building more influence is an important part of your agency biz dev strategy:

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog! =)

  • Alan Holmes's picture
    Oct 7 Posted 3 years ago Alan Holmes

    I really needed to read this Carrie! After going through a rough stretch of not landing clients, I have added two this month. Keeping them, and adding more is key! Your wise words will help me do just this.

Webinars On Demand