SERVICES THAT TETHER YOUR CLIENTS TO YOUR AGENCY Bret Giles @bretgiles
The Goals As agencies, most of us strive to price based on value, although reality often finds us pricing hourly, cost+materials, % of media spend, etc. As agencies, most of us look for consistent, long-term fee opportunities, although reality often finds us working on projects, month-to-month, easy to replace with myriad competitors, in-house capabilities or channel disintermediation, etc.
The Solution Tethered Services: Those services that are offered to a client that meet the following criteria: Fee- rather than media-intensive Long-term in nature rather than one-off Painful for a client to undo once started Difficult to transfer to a competitor or in-house
Depending upon type of SMS campaign, recurring revenue of at least $400/month/campaign; you often keep at least 50% of that
The Kicker Shared Short Codes: The opt-in by the customer resides with the short code, not with the marketer. If the marketer (your client), leaves you, so too do the marketer’s SMS contacts. In other words, the client needs to start over! (this example assumes they cannot work directly with the owner of the short code, if not you)
How to Sell… SMS tends to fit well as part of a larger, integrated Plan. It enables a measured transaction of information. Short codes are not cheap nor are they easy to own, but there are many providers out there. If you want to keep a client ‘entangled’, make sure you use a provider that works well with agencies.
How to Sell… SMS generally carries a set-up charge, monthly charges and small charges based on inbound and outbound messages. An agency can profit in all three areas. Set-up: Often $3-$5K, but providers are available to implement at a 50% margin for the agency. Monthly: Often $400-$600, again can be managed at 50% margin. Messages: Generally 4 cents bundled. An agency can charge what the market will bear.
Site Management / Hosting Many agencies outsource management and/or hosting services, but is that the best option for establishing long-term relationships? Design Develop Manage $$$$ $$$ Host $
How to Sell… Bring it in-house… or, formalize your relationships with 3rd party providers so that you share in the mix Ensure that you have a service level agreement in place with the 3rd party provider! Keep customers happy. You can charge $100-$300/yr for hosting a standard site (cost to you = $10-$20) You can charge $100-$125/hour for management/ maintenance; $150/hour for new development (cost to you = $50-$90/hour with a reputable outsource partner in the US, $20/hour if you go outside the US)
Direct Response Pay-Per-Click Tracking is hard to get on all of the pages and even harder to keep there. If sales tracking is important, clients don’t want to have to keep doing this over and over. Lots of IT time involved Start over with metrics / knowledge of system Fear of unknown
How to Sell… Margins are slimmer on this, but are still strong. The time required for a small campaign is not that much less than for a large campaign, so don’t worry if you are offering 50% of media spend pricing on campaigns under $3,000/month. Larger campaigns are more commoditized. Generally a 15-20% margin is appropriate. More if you have sophisticated tracking and realtime updating in place, or use a bid management tool like Omniture, Marin, Atlas, etc. to manage.
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Personalized Outreach Style: Modern No Kids Style: Traditional Married Style: Modern 2+ Kids CLIENT Style: Traditional
How to Sell… The better your information, the better your marketing effort. This is a unique proposition you can bring to the table most agencies are not. Certainly media companies and Google do not do this. This is a value-add, market driven service that is premium priced currently.
Brand Publishing Offering content publishing services on behalf of your client – a form of content marketing. Based on an editorial/production calendar and rooted in expertise developed over time. Needs someone who can make the client entertaining, engaging, educational, etc. to its audience – and that’s often not so easy to do!
How to Sell… Marketing = Publishing Publishing = Marketing As they converge, where will you as a brand play? To the early adopters go the spoils. This is a value-add, market driven service that is currently premium priced, plus it is not that difficult for full-service agencies to make the leap here.
Social Monitoring Position your agency as a business advisor with a firm knowledge of marketing, data analysis and statistics. Sell your ability to reduce the proliferation of data and topics, posts and chatter, and instead offer insight and meaning at a macro level for the business. This is your opportunity to get involved in departments and areas well outside the marketing realm.
How to Sell… HootSuite, Radian6, etc. functionality is not that easy to simply “unplug”. Brands would have to identify someone new to take over the workflow and assignments. Pricing is based on specific deliverables, including: training with client, reporting needs and frequency, number of client interaction points, etc.