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Why you need marketing software for agencies

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Updated on:
March 10, 2024
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Running your own agency can be thrilling, but the path from entrepreneurship to a successful, growing business is fraught with challenges. An agency requires a significant investment to set up and maintain, but perhaps one of the most considerable hurdles you’ll need to overcome is marketing your services to the public.

If your business plan doesn’t incorporate successful marketing campaigns, it might fail to garner an audience and create a profit. This, in turn, can lead to a lack of cash flow, and before you know it, your business has only become one among many that have failed in their first years.

That’s why you need to use the best marketing software for agencies. These tools will help you identify your audience, direct you toward ensuring that you create content that appeals to them, and allow you to convert leads to customers. Read on to find out just how to do that.

Main benefits of marketing software for agencies

As an agency manager, you’re probably used to the hectic schedule of looking after multiple projects and clients simultaneously. Marketing software provides you with the tools to partially or fully automate repetitive tasks that prevent you from focusing on the ultimate goal: making sure that the business is prospering and the clients are happy.

Here are some of the main reasons you should incorporate marketing software for agencies.

Improved client communication

At its core, most marketing software focuses on getting more clients through your doors (even if only figuratively). It ensures that the business has a steady supply of clients and that each one stays with your company for the longest possible time.

This is primarily done through central customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. With these, you’ll find all the information on your marketing leads as well as up-to-date data on every client and project you’re currently running.

The data will help you maintain positive customer relationships. But you can also use the information to determine which clients are giving you the most work.

At first, you may think that each client requires the same commitment. That is only somewhat true. According to the Pareto Principle, roughly 80% of a business’ profit comes from only 20% of its clients. The information in your CRM software can help you determine which clients are the driving force behind your company’s profits. Those are the clients you will have to nurture more and to which you’ll have to provide additional attention. Otherwise, you risk losing some of your biggest contributors.

With the right CRM software, you can create customized communication pipelines for each client and assign your best team members to vital projects.

Apart from streamlining communication with existing clients, a centralized CRM tool can be a great precursor for converting leads into customers. You can input all the data from your other marketing tools (a bit more on that later) and determine the best way to onboard them with enticing offers.

This means that you can also put your sales team (or person) in charge of ensuring that the data is correct and up-to-date.

Finally, a centralized CRM tool allows your company to unify its marketing efforts and maintain a consistent brand presence. By allowing seamless communication between your CRM software and other vital tools, the company can double down on its unique mission proposition. This ensures that your intended audience can see your efforts and become trusted partners on your journey.

Improved onboarding and lead generation

As mentioned, your business needs to maintain long-term relationships with clients to ensure you maximize the expected customer lifetime value (CLV), one of the main agency KPIs you should be tracking. However, you’ll need to onboard those long-term customers first.

And that’s where automated lead generation and marketing software comes in.

These tools cover pretty much every marketing aspect. You can determine your website traffic down to the age, location, and even search histories of your visitors. Then, you can use that data to generate efficient email campaigns to ensure your clients stay updated with the new services you’re developing.

In general, there are two types of lead-generation tools you can use:

  • Inbound lead generation, which allows your team members to comb through data collected by social media or email campaigns, or website interactions to determine promising leads.
  • Outbound lead generation, which helps your team reach out to interested parties and form a rapport that can start a long-term relationship.

Proper lead generation tools can result in a 133% increase in profits. By combining these tools and supporting them with your CRM and project management software, you can create a customized onboarding path for every client to maximize your chances of conversion.

Improving productivity

Since marketing software streamlines your onboarding efforts and ensures long-term communication with existing clients, it increases your team’s overall productivity. More precisely, marketing software can help you achieve better throughput in a few ways:

  • Automating repetitive tasks
  • Streamlining marketing generation
  • Increased data analytics
  • Improved content creation strategizing

By offloading some of the critical data entry, generation, and transfer tasks to software, your team can focus on delivering stellar results to your clients. Additionally, since you have more relevant data points to utilize, you can more easily create the perfect sales and project fulfillment team to ensure your clients stay with your agency longer.

Diversifying your marketing efforts

If your agency is still in its growing stages, you might find it difficult to maintain multiple communication channels. Each social media platform is slightly different, which presents a unique challenge. You need to follow the trends on any given platform and customize your approach to potential clients and the general audience. At the same time, you also need to maintain consistent branding across these channels to ensure your audience receives the same message however they happen to find you.

With the right marketing automation software for agencies, you can create content for various social media and schedule them for posting. The tool will take care of posting the messages and ensure that the content stays top-notch for each platform’s requirements.

Additionally, you can use automation tools to provide your clients with a more consistent communication system. Implementing chatbots into your social media accounts and on your website allows you to respond to inquiries in real time without needing to hire personnel to stay on call during off hours. Chatbots can be integrated with your data procurement tools and your CRM software to instantly and reliably fill in data that your sales team can use to manage any leads that come your way.

Data-driven decisions

Marketing and automation software can store copious amounts of data. While much of it might seem immediately useful, your business plan will likely require tracking KPIs to direct your business. The data can help you monitor your growth and guide your decisions to better align with the results you want.

Additionally, the software can combine this information into useful reports. Typically, crawling through piles of data to make a report can take hours and requires extreme attention to detail. However, automated software can make reporting as easy as pressing a few buttons and searching for the correct phrases in the database. In the end, the software will save you precious time and money by allowing your team to focus on directing the reports into action rather than compiling them.

Marketing tools can also more precisely track your social media and campaign performance. With this information at your fingertips, you can change course quickly if the current situation demands it. Overall, the tools help you be both more proactive by gaining data and reactive by ensuring that you can respond to trends in time.

Types of marketing software for agencies

Somewhat confusingly, “marketing software” is a bit of an umbrella term for software solutions that ultimately help your company grow by gaining more clients. However, the actual process behind the tools can vary significantly. As a result, you will likely need a few different marketing solutions to help you get the best results. Here are some general marketing tool categories you should research.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Also called client relationship management, CRM tools are only indirectly related to marketing, but a digital-first agency should consider using them as a starting point for its expansion. This is because CRM tools don’t have dedicated marketing options. You won’t be able to create email campaigns or design social media posts directly from your CRM software.

What you can do, however, is make the CRM your base of operations. By compiling useful data about your current and potential clients into a single platform, CRM tools help you reduce the cognitive load involved in keeping track of ongoing projects and client demands.

Additionally, CRM tools frequently have extensive collaboration options. You can create a detailed role system to allow contributors or freelancers to join your ongoing projects on a case-by-case basis and monitor their progress on your team. Finally, the tools help you keep track of vital schedules involving your clients and freelancers such as upcoming meetings, deadlines, and key project milestones.

CRM software usually also allows you to integrate it into your project management solutions—or in the case of Bonsai, come prepackaged into a single platform. This means that you can manage your business with minimal juggling from one independent platform to the next. Integrations will ensure that the information can pass between platforms seamlessly.

Social media management

The power of social media is unparalleled. According to statistics published by Forbes, 77% of businesses use social media to reach potential customers and build their brand. And if it has worked for them so far, then there’s no telling how well it can work for you.

With that in mind, building a social media presence requires careful consideration. You don’t need a tool that can just post content and keep pushing it out. The best social media management tools, like Sprout Social, allow you to closely monitor the performance of both your social media accounts and how each piece of content contributes to your goals.

It will allow you to closely monitor your campaigns, crawl through social media posts for relevant keywords that should be included if you want your posts to reach top pages, and plan your marketing tactics on social media carefully.

When researching social media marketing software for agencies, it’s best to learn more about your intended audience beforehand. If your audience doesn’t frequent some social media platforms, investing in social media applications that focus on those platforms won’t yield nearly as much ROI (return on investment) as you might expect.

In some cases, you can only learn this by trying to break into the social media scene. However, you can also use information from your CRM to help you fill in the gaps before you commit. If you don’t have data on how your customers found you or what social media they use to locate brands, you can always make interactive surveys to existing clients to obtain that information.

Email marketing

While you may think that social media has made traditional email marketing redundant, that is far from the truth. Email campaigns are still an excellent way to convert potential leads into loyal customers. One of the key advantages emails have over social media posts is that they’re much more personalized and to the point.

With a social media post, you have to be careful to target your audience specifically, but not so much that only a select few truly identify with your message. Emails work the opposite. Since you’re sending emails based on preselected criteria—usually based on the information gathered from CRM and social media campaign results—the emails can be highly specific. They can target a particular pain point your clients need to solve and outline how your agency has just the solution for them.

You can dive deep into a lead’s particular situation, use the information you gathered to make the email more personable and explain how your agency can help them achieve those results. Social media posts can’t compete with that, and the stats back it up. According to Campaign Monitor, email campaigns can have as much as six times the click-through rate (CTR) of social media posts.

With smart email marketing management software, such as MailChimp, your email campaigns can utilize the extensive data records of your intended audience and proven market trends to maximize the potential ROI. Additionally, the tools can create a customized email sequence based on customer interactions and responses. For example, you can design a multitude of follow-up emails, and the tool will select the most appropriate one based on the client persona and their responses to previous campaigns.

Content management

The state of your company’s website will say more about your business than any marketing campaign you launch. If the website isn’t optimized for visitors, then even the most optimistic clients might change their minds about working with you once they find it. Client management software generally focuses on SEO (search engine optimization), which is the primary way Google and other search engines help your website stay relevant.

While search engines rarely reveal their secrets to the public, content management tools have been built on years of careful research and investigation into what makes one website popular and the other devoid of attention. To that end, SEO analytics tools such as Semrush or Ahrefs utilize this data to crawl through your website and indicate points of contention. The issues can range from technical ones, such as long loading times and improper security protocols, to content-related, like keyword cannibalization or stuffing.

Luckily, content management tools pair extremely well with general SEO tools and analytics platforms such as Google Analytics to help you comb and translate this data into actionable tasks for your company. Some content management solutions also integrate with WordPress or other content management platforms to track and display relevant SEO information and even predict the performance of upcoming content.

Creative tools

Marketing is an inherently creative industry, but most of the marketing work is analytical in nature. However, you won’t be able to make your social media and emails pop without a splash of color, evocative imagery, or smart use of fonts. That’s where design tools such as Canva or Adobe Spark come in.

Of course, Adobe Photoshop is probably still the king of art and design tools, and the possibilities of what you can do with it are probably endless by now. However, Canva and Spark (among others) boil those extensive features down to their essentials while directing them specifically to work with marketing in mind.

Essentially, marketing design software focuses on maximizing the user experience while minimizing the effort and design knowledge involved in creating posts. This is mainly done via templates and preloaded concepts you can modify to create a unique message for your audience. The main advantage of online-first tools like Canva is that the process is streamlined enough to allow non-experts to modify ad or email designs on the go and implement them into the project pipeline quickly.

This allows marketers to take advantage of sudden changes in project scope and adjust their campaigns in time-sensitive situations. In a world where lead responses are measured in hours, this can mean the difference between gaining a client or losing one

How to choose marketing software

Considering how different marketing tools are in scope and function, you’ll likely need several tools to truly cover all your bases. But each of the categories mentioned above spans dozens or hundreds of tools that can be highly specialized in their form.

One of the first things you need to do is perform an audit of your existing clients and your brand performance. Find out more about their social media and marketing habits to learn which platforms to focus on at first. Then, determine what social media channels are bringing in the most business. While it’s possible that you can have several well-performing channels, it’s more likely that one or two platforms are responsible for most of your success (Pareto Principle again). This way, you can narrow down your options to software that focuses on them.

You also need to be mindful of the cost. Using software solutions that cost hundreds of dollars per month will drain your budget quicker than you can onboard clients to make up for it. On the other hand, while there are plenty of tools offering free plans with limited features, they are most likely going to be only a part of the actual solution. Start with tools that have adaptable plans. That way, you can test the waters and then commit to a larger feature set when your company’s marketing efforts pay off enough to afford it.

If you want to get the most out of your marketing software, you need to streamline your business management systems. If you’re using multiple platforms to oversee projects, clients, collaborators, and your bookkeeping, you’ll also need to spend a lot of time congregating the data you receive from each of them into useful information.

That’s where all-in-one solutions can help. And Bonsai is one of the best in class for that.

As a combined CRM, project management, bookkeeping, and collaboration tool, Bonsai helps your business run efficiently through a single platform. It allows you to get detailed yet quick overviews of key projects, clients, and milestones, allowing you to focus on making your business flourish.

Bonsai can become your base of operations, keeping vital data intact and minimizing the time needed to access it. Then, you can use marketing software to create customized solutions that will help you reach out to new clients, which can feed more data into Bonsai. The positive feedback loop will ensure that your agency grows and your marketing efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Sign up now and start a seven-day free trial for Bonsai.

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