The dangers of diluting your company offering

Many marketing agencies become successful as a result of being well known for excelling at a particular thing. For example, your agency might be renowned for your design services. Perhaps your current CEO started out as the first designer in the agency, and still actively works on your flagship accounts. As a result, your agency culture has been built around the love of beautiful, functional design. It’s your thing.

Or maybe you’ve built an agency that really excels at PR, thanks to years of building relationships in a particular field, say financial services for example. You know the industry inside-out, so you’re able to easily produce quality content for your clients and have an uncanny instinct for which media channel is best for publishing each piece of content. When there’s a crisis, you know exactly how to protect your clients’ brands.

While positioning yourself as an agency that does one thing really well can pay off, relying on such a limited company offering doesn’t always work out long-term.

At some point, every agency considers diversification. Maybe your revenue is flatlining – or worse, declining – or maybe you’re losing clients to more well-rounded agencies. At this point, agencies begin to look at what other services they can offer. Adding new services to your company offering will allow you to take advantage of the great relationships you’ve built with your existing clients by getting them to buy more from you.

For example, an agency that’s always focused on above-the-line design might decide to start offering web design and development too. Or the PR agency we mentioned earlier could decide to start offering social media marketing, as the two naturally go together.

There are two ways to diversify your company offering: acquire another agency or grow new services organically.

Some agencies add new services to their company offering by acquiring or merging with another agency. This can be an excellent strategy. When two agencies with different skill sets come together, you’re left with one multitalented agency with two healthy client databases.

However, most of the time, there isn’t a suitable agency on hand to merge with, and not many agencies are financially able to acquire other agencies. For this reason, the second option – growing your company offering organically – is the most common route. This means hiring a new team or tasking your existing team to start implementing the new services.

When you stop focusing on your core offering – the thing you’re really good at – and focus on new services, the quality of your work tends to drop.

The danger with tasking your team with adding new services to your company offering is that you risk dropping the ball on what you’re known for in the first place. Essentially, you’re ‘learning’ at the expense of your existing clients, which can result in a drop in quality of work and a loss of focus. Too often, agencies end up letting their existing clients down when they start expanding their company offering. If you do enough damage, you could lose accounts altogether or, worse, give your agency a bad name and damage your brand.

We offer agency-to-agency services that help you scale and grow.

We've seen agencies lose their touch over and over again as a result of diluting their initial offering. That’s why we offer agency-to-agency marketing services, where agencies can outsource digital marketing to us instead of trying to do it all singlehandedly. When you outsource digital marketingto us, you can get as little or as much help as you need, in areas that you’re not an expert in, for as long or as short as required.

You get to keep focusing on what you’re good at, while offering a wide range of digital marketingservices to your clients. We get to watch your agency grow and excel.

Author: Graeme Wilson