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The Profitable Agency with @PaulRoetzer at #Inbound14

Andrew Dymski
Andrew Dymski I'm a Founder at ZenPilot where I help marketing agencies buy back time by developing the processes and systems they need to scale without reinventing the wheel for every client. I'm co-host of the Agency Journey podcast where each week we interview an agency owner, consultant, or author.
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Paul Roetzer is the CEO of PR20/20 and the first agency to join HubSpot’s VAR program. He is a thought leader in the industry and is always sharing resources with the inbound community. He is the author of the Marketing Agency Blueprint and the Marketing Performance Blueprint.

His talk today covers how to build a profitable agency, how to attract, retain, and grow a profitable client base. Sounds like something all of us will eat up!! 

Consumers are driving the change that we’re seeing in the buying environment today. 

The zero moment of truth (Google research) – the moment when consumers start the research process. Consumers are looking at 10-15 pieces of information before they’re making a purchase decision. 

We can’t just know buyer personas anymore. 

Forrester found that 90% of the customer jouney is complete before a customer reaches out to a sales representitve. 

Every trackable consumer action creates a data point, and every data point tells a piece of the customer’s story. This isn’t a linear path – it is such a complex journey that the consumer takes. 

We’re now in the age of content, context, and customer experience. We’re trying to speak to our audience on a one-to-one relationships. This is the Amazonification of the marketing experience. (aka HubSpot Personalization through the COS.) 

There are growing gaps that are causing road blocks to taking advantage of all of the opportunity out there. 

Focus of Paul’s New Book

Talent Gap + Tech Gap + Strategy Gap = Performance Gap

To take advantage of the opportunities out there today we need people who are agile, adepts at advanced marketing tech, and savy at inbound marketing strategy. Where do we find these people?! 

Universities aren’t training this type of workforce. It is up to businesses to train this new breed of digital talent teams. 

Today, CMO are spending more on IT than CIOs. We need to help CMOs face the busy and crowded marketing technology space. 

Technology is having a huge impact on marketing stategy, too. 

We need to be able to come into companies, make an analysis of the foundation they have built, and understand where to take the strategy from there. 

As agencies, we take advantage of this confusion. We can come into organizations and share our services to bring clarity to the CMO’s confusion. 

As smaller inbound agencies, (compared to traditional firms) we have the ability to be adgile and come up with strategies to help organizations win in this mix. 

The opportunity is there – growth will happen when you get your systems set.

The next question for inbound marketing agencies is how to we take this opportunity to the next level by building a profitable agency by delivering amazing value and winning accounts over and over again. 

When PR20/20 got started with inbound marketing, they worked three years to bring on 15 new retainer cleints. Today, none of these clients are still working with PR20/20. (Love the honesty from Paul!)

Churn Factors on Client Side:

  • Consertive Culture 
  • Financial Instability 
  • Lack of Vision
  • Low Quality Product 
  • Makreting Tech Deficiency 

Theme of the book: work with agency partners that care as much about performance as business owners do. 

15 Marketing Agency Performance Points: 

  1. Prove Performance – you have to measure what you’re doing!
  2. Scalable Processes and Services – make things repeatable! 
  3. Reduce Business Development Time – reduce time spent winning the business. PR20/20 spends 3 to 5 hours of business development time on new retainers. 
  4. Achieve Financial Stability – you make dumb decisions when you’re living month-to-month and spending time staring at QuickBooks. We’re all good marketers, but we find it hard to actually run a business. 
  5. Know When to Say No – Commit to clients and prospects who value your people, time, and energy. Watch for red flags, trust your instinct, and be willing to walk away from an opportunity. 
  6. Get Paid for Planning – Sell a GamePlan! The strategy that you bring to the table is SO valuable. 
  7. Establish Value-Based Pricing – PR20/20 uses a point pricing system. Understand “What is that thing they’re paying for?” For HubSpot, this is contacts. Ask “What is that thing we’re creating for people?”
  8. Build Brand and Reputation – build an agency that means something. 
  9. Understand Service Delivery Costs – you can save money by establishing systems and processes. This gives you the chance to bring in junior professionals to come in and do the work that only senior level professionals were capable of doing. 
  10. Attract and Nurture Entry Level Talent – don’t need to worry about breaking bad habits. Attract people 
  11. Move to Campaign-Based Contracts – Know what work needs to be done in each month. 
  12. Fill Talent, Tech, and Strategy Gaps – are you able to fill the gaps that exist in bigger organization? 
  13. Track Time and Efficiency – eliminate wast within the organization. 
  14. Focus on Retention – Don’t just think about retaining clients, also build a culture that believes in the organization. 
  15. Diversify Revenue – Think beyond services. Software, Events, VAR programs, Publishing, Speaking, think about other revenue opportunities for your agency. (Checkout Marketing Score by PR20/20.)

Think about these 15 things as you’re evaluating your agency and where you want to go. 

Wow – awesome talk by Paul!!

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