The Biggest Problems In Marketing Agencies & How To Solve Them

When you stoop to convenient expediency and rationalize yourselves into acts of opportunism – for the sake of a fast buck.

Leo Burnett, When to Take My Name Off the Door Leo Burnett December 1, 1967

My background working for a marketing agency dates back to last year. I have been fortunate to work for a startup agency that took the time to help me develop within the industry without holding my hand along the way. As I was new to the industry this style of work was ideal for me as I had no idea what to expect. Now, times have changed and I have over a year within the industry.

I have moved to a new city and a new agency with a new style and function. Now, I am not here to bash my current agency but I have noticed drastic changes to the life I had in my old agency within Canada. Today, I would like to compare and provide advice for future agencies looking to scale their businesses.

We will cover a set of traits that I have noticed along my journey within the industry and provide solutions for those who are looking to open their own agencies in the future.

What Makes A Good Marketing Agency?

When it comes to marketing agencies there are good and bad ways in which you can run the agency. Everything from the leadership to the mindset of the team can impact the way the agency is perceived by the client. It is important to take the time to evaluate the needs of your employees to see if you might be able to help them along their journey.

For me, there are three main elements to a good agency, the employees, the product, and the profit.

A very underrated aspect of a good agency is the happiness of the employees within it. People are starting to open up to the idea of helping their employees enjoy their work which has lead to a more productive work environment. Making the effort to help your employees feel more welcome within the agency can be a difference maker when you are trying to run your company.

The second aspect of the agency is the product itself. I have worked with an agency in the past that took no time to develop there designs and only cared about profit. Not saying profit isn’t a big factor in all this but it should not be the only element that you focus on within a good agency. This agency I worked with continually sacrificed the idea of developing a good product for what will give the most profit.

We talk about how competitive this industry is but never take the time to realize its because the industry is being built on people who don’t actually like marketing. They can get quizzed on what is CPC(Cost Per Click) or CPL (Cost Per Lead) but can’t understand how to deliver a unique product.

Are you looking to start your own agency and avoid some of the problems other agency’s are facing? Take a look at some solutions below.

Human Connection

It is crazy that I even have to write this but people still don’t understand that their is a person behind the sale of the product. You can build an agency and be successful without a soul but I feel it might be more fruitful for an agency to actually take the needs of the client to heart.

There is a man by the name of Gary Vee that has been preaching this message for a while now but people are still not taking his words to heart. Human connection is lacking when it comes to marketing agencies and it comes down to the profitability of it all again. These agencies do not want to have a long selling process and prefer to force someone into a sale within a 2 day period.

One of the worst parts about it all is that forcing these sales are rewarded by the company. They are looked upon as the prize sheep in the herd after they don’t take the customers needs into account and look like they just wet the bed when they can’t deliver on the promises.

You can be profitable with taking human connection and behaviour into account. I am not saying the sales isn’t important because you should remember to ask for that when the time comes but do not make promises you can’t keep to make that sale. Which leads us to our next point, trust.

Trustworthy Business

Can you imagine someone takes your hard earn money and tells you they are going to double profits and then shows you how unqualified they are to do the job?

There are several agencies out there that make it clear that they have no interest in being honest or trustworthy with their clients. They say everything to get the sale and forget that they actually have to deliver on these promises.

My suggestion would be to show not tell. Give people a reason to go with your agency over the competitor without actually putting the other competitor down while providing clear examples. With the help of your illustrations you will give the client a honest evaluation of what you can do for them.

I worked for an agency that had no examples of their work and only had names to provide to their prospects. They would use google images as an “example” of their work to mislead customers into buying their subpar marketing services.

If you are in my shoes and have just joined a new agency, look at what they tell you on the first few days of employment. If they are putting you on the phones without giving you any background knowledge or examples of what the agency has done in the past, that might be a red flag. On the flip side, look out for those agencies that have a ton of big names but the work they do for them is sub-quality.

Which leads us to our last point, finding balance with your agency.

True Marketing Mix

What do I mean by a balanced agency or an agency with the right mix?

I mean an agency that has the patience and the attitude to get the job done while taking into account the entire business. When you bring on a new client, I think you should know the vision on the client and provide the right balance of creativity while taking into account the profit necessary to see those results.

This comes with actual research. What if an agency took 20-30 minutes, I mean the entire agency, to come up with ideas to develop the agency from a creative, profitability or productivity perspective.

I know marketing has changed but does that mean there is no unique agencies out there any more? Leo Burnett’s name is still on the door so yes there are still people out there designing and developing new ways to make the agency better!

I feel passionate about advertising and marketing because I am old fashioned and I still think creativity can still exist within a startup or agency, no matter what country you may be in or the competition you might face.

The right mix is something that isn’t manufactured. The right mix comes to those who are willing to develop it for themselves from the ground up.

Yes we are in 2021 but guess what? SEO, PPC, Google Ads, and Social media has given us the opportunity to be MORE creative not less. We have so many tools at our disposal to get the right creative mix done for our agencies and all it takes is a few minutes out of your day to create.


I am not a perfect marketer and I do not plan to be better then the next guy but I will say that I will try everything I can to come up with ideas that I will implement for my agency.

So with this new post I would like to say that I would like to bring on clients within the design and construction space because my podcast is dedicated to this industry.

My mission is to bring imagination and creativity to the construction, architecture, and interior design space. I am here to show not tell what I can do for you, let me develop a few of your post for free and then develop a campaign that will be worth the cost in the end.

I’m optimistic that other agencies will take not of the idea of developing a brand that speaks to its clients, that ACTUALLY speaks to them. Become a conscientious agency that has a soul but also knows the value of profit. You can truly find that mix of creativity and profitability. This is what I will be looking to achieve in my own agency.

Hope you all learned something from this rant of mine and I am looking forward to providing more value for future blog post.

More about creating the right kind of marketing for your agency:

Lastly, I am working on some content calendars for the architecture company below so go check them out and tell them I sent you:

WeDo Design Dubai – Alegro Project

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