Do You Need a Bigger Agency?

Large agencies have fancy offices, more resources, big name clients and shiny awards on their walls. Game over, right?

size

 

“Does size really matter?”

Not so surprisingly as a boutique agency we tend to take offence to suggestions we can’t play in the big sand pit. So we put together the top 5 reasons we believe size really does matter.

1. Communication

The number one reason marketing agencies lose clients, isn’t lack of talent or even poor execution, it’s ironically, as a result of poor communication. Lack of progress reporting, excessive technical jargon, erratic schedules, and unclear results all combine to create divisions in the client / agency relationship. Trust is gradually eroded until the end is all but inevitable.

Smaller agencies necessitate flat management structures. A system of management which allows for much greater transparency. Information is shared far more freely between team members working across a client account as well as between both businesses.

This is in stark contrast to larger firms where layers of management and departmental boundaries often create information silos.

“Departmental boundaries often create information silos.”

2. Specialists

Small agencies are able to become specialists in a chosen field. This can be a marketing discipline such as SEO or design, or within an industry vertical, like Hospitality or Retail. This specialisation allows them to often out-skill their much larger rivals.

Larger firms have to support a much larger overhead, which forces them to become what’s referred to as “full service” agencies. They rarely focus on individual sectors or channels, needing to aim instead at larger national or multi national clients. Perhaps the expression “jack of all trades” exists for a reason after all.

“Small agencies can specialise!”

3. Accountability

When you work with a small agency, it’s extremely likely the person who presented you with the proposal, will be working on your account. This level of personalisation brings with it a different level of honesty and ultimate accountability.

A larger firm is likely to employ dedicated sales teams and account managers. Their jobs are selling and not necessarily linked to delivery. Depending on the compensation schemes utilised, it’s not surprising over promising is common place.

“Over promising is common place.”

4. Agility

Smaller agencies are able to anticipate and adapt quickly to changes in an incredibly fast paced industry. Larger agencies need to deal with the management and bureaucracy before hiring or training in a new discipline can even begin.

Small firms share ideas much more easily. This isn’t something limited to the world of agencies. Large hospitality brands are rarely labelled as agile or innovative. A 10-20 person team can all fit in a single room share new ideas and have a decision made in a matter of minutes. A multi-tiered organisation with departments competing for glory, reporting to a board of directors is a whole different story.

“Large firms are rarely labelled agile”

The days of doggedly following 5 year plans are over. Hospitality business, perhaps more than any other industry needs to embrace change as a way of life. Choosing a partner with similar capabilities is critical to success over the long term.

5. Customer Service

Last, but certainly not least. Small agencies care more! There are two main reasons why. Firstly, the owner is most likely engaged directly with your account. When was the last time you had a poor customer experience and blamed it on too much owner involvement? The second and perhaps most obvious reason, you mean more to them. The value of your account will represent a far larger percentage of their overall business than it would at a larger firm.

“When was the last time you had a poor customer experience and blamed it on too much owner involvement?”

Now thats not to say there aren’t trade offs. Larger firms can provide 24/7 call centres and layers of management through which issues can be escalated. And they’re far more likely to offer SLAs and detailed contracts with terms of service delivery. It’s a case of deciding which you value most.


Obviously we accept there’s a place for large agencies. Primarily working alongside businesses that share their working philosophy. If you’ve read this far, then we’re guessing that doesn’t fit your way of thinking!

We’re proud to say that LeadDigital is an agile boutique marketing agency that specialises in the hospitality industry. Our most amazing work has come from relationships with brands where owners are deeply engaged in the projects we’re working on. If that sounds like you then click below!

 

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5 Capabilities Your Next Hospitality Marketing Agency Must Possess

Marketing technology (Martech) is constantly evolving and the capabilities of Marketing Agencies must evolve as well if they are wanting to stay at the forefront of their industry. They need to be offering their clients the latest marketing services and executing successful and measurable digital marketing strategies in 2017 and beyond.

Does your marketing agency tick all the boxes when it comes to growing your hospitality business?

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Hospitality Marketing Agency Checklist – Data Analysis, Web Design, Marketing Automation, Content Marketing, SEO and SEM

Below are the top 5 marketing expertise, we believe, any hospitality marketing agency must possess to deliver successful marketing campaigns for their clients.

1. Data Analysis

Arguably the most important aspect of any marketing effort in 2017 and beyond is data analysis.

“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed” Dan Zarrella

Data is everywhere and in everything we do! By now, you should be aware of data and how it can be captured in every digital interaction we make. With the ever growing importance and abundance of customer data (which is only going to increase further with the development of the Internet of Things), every marketing agency must have the capability, knowledge and passion to measure, analyse and interpret data.

Data enables you to;

  • Create more effective and targeted marketing campaigns
  • Create comprehensive customer personas
  • Improve marketing personalisation
  • Reduce bounce rates
  • Improve customer experience
  • Attract more and higher qualified leads
  • Increase customer retention

Ultimately, data is the driving force to increased revenues.

If your marketing agency doesn’t analyse data, how can they decipher what marketing initiatives are working for your resort, restaurant or events venue? If they don’t know what’s working, how can they develop strategies that achieve your marketing goals?

2. Web Design

While “web design” includes the aesthetic design of your website, there is a lot more to it than this. There are too many websites that look visually stunning, but don’t actually work.

Websites MUST work on a technical level, aligning to your business goals and supporting you in achieving them. Website design must include all the backend processes that enable your site to track and generate leads before converting them to customers. This includes but not limited to; data tracking, landing pages, forms, CTAs, and integrating payment processing and booking systems.

Without this capability, your web presence is just for show and is not working for you. If your website isn’t working for you, it’s working against you, generating more demand on resources and if not optimised properly, wasting your resources. A good hospitality marketing agency knows how to deliver your visuals and make them work for you, converting visitors into customers.

3. Marketing Automation Tool Mastery

The marketing platform landscape is vast. Social media alone presents at least 5 major platforms for the Hospitality Industry (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest) for posting and sharing content.

With the growing network of communication platforms, for various types of content, marketing automation tools such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Buffer, Salesforce Pardot and Marketo have become a necessity. However, it is important you have an expert in these automation tools, that can guide you on best-practices and efficiency.

Automated emails, social media and content marketing campaigns deliver more and better qualified leads, culminating in more sales. Marketing automation tools allow for more marketing efforts to be achieved in less time, generating better ROI, let alone the opportunity for greater personalisation.

To get the best out of these tools, you need a marketing agency that has tried and tested the tools, learnt how to get the most out of them and only works with the best. They can either manage your in-house marketing team efforts or manage your automated marketing efforts for you.

4. Content Marketing

Content Marketing has evolved in the last decade, largely due to the development of data enabling it to be measurable, and become the foundation to any marketing strategy.

Nobody likes receiving unsolicited emails or advertising pop-ups that fight for your attention over what you’re actually looking for. These are the intrusive tactics of Outbound Marketing. Content Marketing on the other hand, is the foundation of the non-intrusive, Inbound Marketing methodology, first coined by Hubspot.

Inbound Marketing is the practice of creating content that is informative and useful for your target audience – Content that directly answers the questions you know your potential customers will be typing into search engines. By addressing their questions you will attract your potential customers (earlier in the buyer’s journey) directly to your website. It is from here that you use your landing pages as tools for converting visitors into customers.

For example, say you run a Hotel in London. Creating a piece of content on the ‘Top 10 Things to do in London’ answers questions your potential customers are researching before booking their trip. Clicking through to this content will subject them to your brand and you can use this opportunity to convert them from a stranger into a lead – Link them to why your hotel is the perfect choice for a trip to London or place a CTA (Call-To-Action) to the latest offers that are available.

Content has become one of the strongest methods for lead generation. Working with a marketing agency that understands Content Marketing and the Inbound methodology is incredibly important for the success of your marketing strategies moving forward.

5. SEO & SEM

Last but by no means least, Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing. To get your website, content and services in front of your existing and potential customers you need to get them ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Search engines are constantly developing and becoming smarter with their algorithms frequently being updated. It requires an expert with their fingers on the pulse of Google and it’s competitors to keep you appearing at the top of the results pages.

A lot of businesses try to take this in-house, unaware of the skills, knowledge and resources it takes to be successful in this area. It is important to work with a marketing agency that lives and breathes SEO and SEM, advising and optimising your keyword strategies, to ensure you consistently rank highly.

Achieving higher rankings for your website content generates more traffic, which coupled with your content marketing strategy develops better qualified leads and more sales.

Summary

Proficiency in data analysis, marketing automation tools, website development, content marketing and SEO & SEM are the top requisites for your marketing success in 2017 and beyond.

Marketing agencies that boast these services are going to be the ones with the most successful marketing strategies for your hospitality venue. Be sure to review your current marketing agency and check that they offer you all of the above, or risk being surpassed by your competitors in partnerships with those that do.

 

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