Is Your Agency’s Strategy Negatively Impacting Your Growth?

5 agency missteps getting in the way of health brands’ true growth potential.

Looking back on the short-, mid- and long-term objectives that you had in mind for your business during your last agency RFP process, what comes to mind? If you’re like most direct-to-consumer brands, or any type of business for that matter, you likely sought a reliable agency that truly understood your brand to build, develop, and implement an effective strategic marketing plan around it. Afterall, the goal of marketing is to sell. While advertising needs to engage, inspire, and sometimes provoke the audience to action, the desired outcome is always, eventually, to generate more sales.

While agencies are supposed to play a crucial role in driving growth, many frustrations often arise when they fail to deliver on their promises, leading to setbacks, missed goals, and wasted budgets. To position your brand for success, it’s essential to address the underlying root causes that can hinder your growth. In this post, we’ll highlight key areas where agencies tend to fall short and provide you with tangible insights on how you can overcome these challenges by incorporating a growth marketing framework for success.

1. Inefficient Project Management

While agencies often excel in generating creative ideas, they are notorious for ineffective project management. By consistently failing to establish and articulate their clients’ deliverables and requirements, they often misjudge the time required to obtain client approvals and input. As a result, their initial intake of projects is incomplete, and ultimately will require a re-work of marketing efforts. Today’s marketing landscape requires seamless collaboration with IT, finance, and web development teams. By embracing project management as a distinct discipline, agencies can ensure smooth implementation, tracking, and reporting, thus avoiding unnecessary delays and setbacks.

2. Inability to See Beyond the Brand

In the modern era, focusing solely on branding is no longer sufficient. Direct-to-consumer brands require measurable returns on investment (ROI) to validate their marketing efforts. Unfortunately, many agencies lack a deep understanding of tracking, measurement, reporting, and optimization. By prioritizing ROI and integrating data-driven strategies, agencies can be the connective tissue between advertising and predictable revenue generation.

3. Wasteful Tactics

To maximize growth, agencies must comprehend the entire sales funnel. Instead, their failure to understand the end-to-end customer journey often leads to double counting sales, misaligned reporting, and wasted resources on ineffective tactics. By adopting a holistic approach and optimizing each stage of the funnel, agencies can drive meaningful results for their health brand clients.

4. Inflexible Billing: Hindering Progress and Frustrating Clients

An outdated billing approach based on hours creates obstacles in the digital marketing realm. Agencies that stick to this traditional method face limitations and hinder their clients’ growth. Time-consuming processes and bureaucratic approval systems only lead to delays and leave clients feeling dissatisfied. To truly support their clients’ growth, agencies must embrace flexibility and efficiency in their billing practices, delivering prompt results without unnecessary friction.

5. Lack of Industry Expertise: Missing Key Customer Insights

When agencies focus solely on specific tactics like search, social, or direct marketing, they fail to grasp the full potential for their clients’ growth. By neglecting to specialize in particular industries, agencies miss out on valuable customer knowledge. Understanding the nuances of niche markets, such as health seekers, allows agencies to comprehend customer behaviors, address pain points, and cater to specific preferences. By leveraging industry expertise, agencies can provide tailored solutions and offer invaluable insights to multiple clients within the same sector, driving substantial growth.

A Marketing Framework Built for Growth – Not Frustration

To address these frustrations and drive growth effectively, health brands who seek to acquire high-value customers should embrace a dynamic marketing framework that takes a holistic approach to growth, including:

  • Comprehensive Tracking and Measurement

Implement accurate tracking systems to capture data across platforms, ensuring comprehensive and reliable measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs). This includes establishing a source of truth for KPIs and integrating data from various channels for comprehensive reporting and analysis.

  • ROI-driven Goals and Media Optimization

Define tangible financial objectives based on ROI, such as increasing leads, lowering CPL/CAC (cost per lead/customer acquisition cost), improving ROAS (return on ad spend), and revenue growth. Develop a media optimization strategy aligned with these goals, considering monthly/quarterly budgets and fluidity across channels, markets, platforms, and campaigns.

  • Continuous Testing and Experimentation

Implement a framework for consistent and ongoing testing. Allocate adequate resources for testing, including creative variations, platform diversity, and dedicated test budgets. Establish clear tracking and reporting mechanisms to evaluate the value and impact of additional tactics or channels on growth.

  • Persuasive Creative and Go-to-Market Strategy

Develop a network of creative solutions and understand the unique positioning of the health brand. Tailor creative strategies to align with the go-to-market approach and effectively communicate the brand’s value proposition to the target audience.

  • Integration of Data Science and AI

Leverage data science and AI capabilities to enhance marketing strategies. This involves utilizing advanced analytics, machine learning algorithms, and automation tools to optimize campaign performance, personalize customer experiences, and drive growth through data-driven decision-making.

  • Intimacy with Client Business and Industry Expertise

Cultivate a deep understanding of the client’s health brand, its business model, and growth stage. Develop expertise in the health industry to provide tailored marketing approaches that resonate with the target audience and align with specific business needs.

  • Trusted Advisor Role and Communication

Train agency staff to serve as trusted advisors, protecting and serving clients in their marketing efforts. Establish transparent and consistent communication channels between internal agency teams and client teams. Maintain a reliable cadence of communication, ensuring clients are informed about processes, needs, and deliverables.

  • Frequent Business Reviews and Strategy Adaptation

Conduct regular performance reviews, monitoring industry shifts, and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing strategies. Use the insights gained to inform the overall growth strategy, identify opportunities for improvement, and adapt approaches to increase growth and scalability.

By relying on agencies that incorporate these components into a growth marketing framework, health brands can establish a structured and data-driven approach to drive growth, increase brand visibility, acquire customers, and achieve their business objectives. Helping health brands stay focused on accurate measurement, media optimization, consistent testing, client-centric service, and regular business reviews, agencies have the capacity to be true growth partners and drive meaningful results that propel health brands to success in a competitive market if they stay focused on the right objectives for their clients.