May 22, 2024

The 3 pillars a B2B Marketing Agency needs to scale

Learn how we scaled our Growth Partner Agency to $197k/mo by mastering positioning, client acquisition, and client success.

The 3 pillars a B2B Marketing Agency needs to scale

After scaling our own B2B Growth Partner Agency to $197,000 a month and helping 390 agency owners generate $14m+ in revenue, we performed a meta-analysis on successful B2B agencies. In this blog, we will cover the three key pillars essential for their success.

Pillar 1 - Positioning

The most pressing problem facing the B2B market today is its transactional nature. Agencies see their clients as just money in the bank, and clients see agencies as mere service providers.

The Problem on the Agency Side

For agencies, transactionality presents a problem because it positions them as commodities competing on price, not value.

This forces them to charge lower rates and leads to higher churn. Most traditional agencies struggling to scale face one or both of these problems.
The Problem on the Client Side

Businesses work with transactional agencies out of necessity. Team members often lack specialised skills, and consultants don’t do the work, leaving hiring an agency as the only option.

Bridging the Gap: A Solution to the Positioning Problem

There is a demand for a better option in the marketplace. The solution we’ve found is transitioning to Growth Partner Principles, focusing on building long-lasting partnerships with a few good entrepreneurs rather than doing transactional work for many clients. This allows us, as a B2B Agency, to work with our partners for over 12 months, reducing churn. We can charge higher retainer fees with a revenue share, increasing our LTV by 300% compared to following traditional marketing agency principles.

Our average client that transitions from a traditional marketing agency to a Growth Partner Agency closes an average new deal size of $65,112.

Pillar 2 - A Consistent Client Acquisition System

In its simplest form, a business is a vehicle that produces cash flow. In B2B, you produce that cash flow by acquiring clients.

Therefore, if you don’t have a predictable, consistent system to acquire clients, you won’t have predictable, consistent cash flow.
The Traditional Way

Traditional marketing agencies acquire clients through volume. They send tens of thousands of generic cold emails to businesses in their niche, create content that appeals to a wide market, and reach out at scale on social media platforms. This method is transactional, leading to the issue of being positioned as a commodity, competing on price, and being just another agency to pay from the client's perspective. Any chance a business gets to cut an agency, they will.

The Refined Way

We created an entirely new, repeatable system that focuses less on volume and more on attracting and building trust with a few high-paying partners. To achieve this, we focus on a hyper-targeted, value-based lead generation system. Not only does this attract our most qualified prospects, but it also repels low-paying clients.

The Golden 7-Hour Rule

It takes an average of 7 hours of a prospect spending time with you before they trust you enough to make a decision. This value-based lead generation system allows those hours to occur without you having to be physically present, making closing prospects on a call monumentally easier.

Pillar 3 - Client Success

Signing 12-month contracts as a Growth Partner gives you more time than the typical B2B agency to deliver results.

However, this doesn’t negate the need to reduce buyer’s remorse and ensure clients get an A-tier experience throughout.

Preventing Buyer’s Remorse

The global gambling industry is worth $540b, and the social networking market is worth $219b. The main driver behind each industry is the delivery of consistent quick wins to the consumer. Quick wins increase user experience tenfold. We use this to our advantage to maximise our B2B client experience.

The first 4 weeks with a client set the frame and expectations for the rest of the relationship. This is why we implement a 4-week sprint right after onboarding a new client. It’s crucial at this stage to focus on the quickest wins you can get for a client, to quell their concerns about hiring a B2B agency, and to produce an A-tier first impression.

Continuing the Relationship

Growth Partners take a relationship-centric approach to client management. The typical structure followed is a fortnightly 1-1 with the key decision-maker to discuss high-level constraints and weekly 1-1s to share updates, good or bad.

In a world where everything is becoming more automated (including reporting of results), you can easily stand out by taking a relationship-centric approach.

Scaling Vertically Over Horizontally

These 3 pillars allow us to work with clients that pay us a minimum of $100,000 a year, with $60,000-$80,000 of that being guaranteed through monthly retainers. High-tier clients allow us to scale vertically over horizontally.

Horizontal Scaling: To scale, you take on more clients. Typical client: $3k/month -> 35 clients to hit $100k/month
Vertical Scaling: To scale, you take on fewer clients at a higher price. Typical client: $10k/month -> 10 clients to hit $100k/month

By utilising the 3 pillars discussed above, we’re able to use a vertical scaling method that allows us to work with partners who love, trust, and stay with us for years, rather than clients who see us as transactional and leave after 3 months.

In our own Growth Partner Agency, we scaled to $197,000 a month with only 11 clients. Compared to an average traditional marketing agency, that’s 3x less workload for the same pay. Also, the stability of this business model allowed us to go from 0 to 45+ team members, reducing workload even more, and allowing us to double down on business growth by removing ourselves from the day-to-day operations.

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