By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

ATTN Agency September’s monthly Progress Report

Progress Report

6 min read

This is September’s monthly Progress Report for ATTN Agency and I am inspired to push harder than ever after this month’s performance.

I attended a conference to learn how to define external organizational clarity and internal roles. Got me thinking about the pillars of a properly constructed brand.

My agency partners and I met and tried to org chart our current status and growth model what it could look like.

I share some of our biggest opportunities and threats facing our digital marketing agency right now. How to lean into the opportunities and hedge ourselves against the threats.

We discuss a unique idea that could push our company to extreme growth or break us. The idea is to pay for client ad spend and then get reimbursed. It has major benefits, risks and I discuss them all here.

Conference - Organizational clarity

My agenda to constantly improve and upskill lead me to attend a conference for entrepreneurs and business owners. This conference opened my eyes to these points -

  1. Keep a close eye on the reviews your competitors get: A unique way to look at how the branding of your competitors is doing, is to read all the reviews they get. Read all their reviews, learn the good and bad, improve on or duplicate what works for them. I thought that was really interesting.
  2. Brand building: Go back into history to research brand building, brand messaging and strategy, before you begin the exercise for your own brand. As an example, branding for my company would require looking at the history of San Diego, the history of digital marketing or marketing in general in San Diego, and having a good understanding of what that community is like and what the community in general is like in San Diego and trying to include all that in my branding strategy.
  3. What do people crave for: Ideally, this should be the crux of any marketing strategy. For example, If we talk about brand marketing managers, people managing Facebook or Google ads, what kind of experience are these people craving? It could be good, organized and communicative reporting. This is what should reflect in my brand and messaging very consistently.
  4. Organizational clarity: There should be clarity about who is responsible for what, who makes what decisions, how much does their decision matter in what is being decided, etc. Make sure people are heard and their opinions respected.
  5. Statement of intent:  Create a statement of intent for your company. This should not be a mission statement, but an intent statement. I could create that for each prospect that I work on to become a client.
  6. An underlying theme: As a brand, you basically need to plant your flag in the ground. At the center of your brand is your flag which says, "This is what our main thing is, our main one word." Come up with what your flag is. The book ‘Traction’ by Gino Wickman, also talks about this concept.

We are looking to grow our brand, be more professional with the way it is organized and set up. The above points will surely prove useful to adopt.

Drafting our org chart and leadership structure

My company is in growth mode, we have many new clients coming in and we are in a transition mode where we need to make sure we take care of our really important clients.

Having said that, we do not want to offload the smaller accounts that we are working on. They are good for cashflow, low impact and easy to handle. Moreover, they need us to help them out. Justin has made a rough draft of how our growth could be. He has basically outlined a top row of leadership that is us, the founding partners. Below that there are team leaders like an account manager and ad manager. Below them will be people responsible for tasks of media buying or bringing in accounts, taking care of accounts, etc.

Each of the account managers or media managers is in charge of a team of five people, each of whom are responsible for different things. It could be anything from social media, Amazon, Google search, email, procurement prospecting, or more. They will do their job and the account manager will ensure client satisfaction. Then the media buying manager will make sure that the ads are bought in a profitable and growth-oriented way. In this way each person, be it the account manager or media manager, who could also be any of us partners, are responsible for growing the business.

Assuming a partner is a media manager, he can just be in charge of overseeing all the media buys for five or six teams. The account manager could also be any one of us, or somebody hired. He would be responsible for bringing in new accounts, upselling all the other accounts and growing the ARR or MRR. The media buyers would be in charge, under this model of growing the revenue, for all the accounts that they work on. For example, if I bring an account currently spending $50,000 a month, they need to spend more money profitably and with our best efforts, maintain their goals.

There are always two ways to grow the company - new business or inside sales or account growth. All of this is based on trying to get monthly recurring revenue up to a point that can pay for our expenses, and also put us in a position where we can save, reinvest and continue to grow other businesses.

Justin has also suggested we have exclusive auditors to just audit our accounts. Their sole job will be to make sure that everything is happening correctly, tracking our accounts, reporting right, finding things that are wrong. Currently we are managing all that ourselves, but at scale we need people to be exclusive to their jobs.

This outline by Justin calls for further debates, but yes, the backbone of this draft is very strong.

Opportunities and threats

Opportunities and threats are part of any business. Sometimes, they are clearly defined and visible, while most often they overlap and a huge opportunity can have a threat lurking within it and vice versa.

I think the biggest opportunity for our business right now is to incorporate a creative arm to our business. We cannot offer the best possible returns if we do not get the ads we know are going to convert best. Clients can provide us all the content they want, but they are very brand-focused, tonal-focused, while we are conversion-focused. You need fresh content all the time, especially for platforms like Facebook, Pinterest or Snapchat.

One of the threats for us to scale out of our Facebook component is a creative arm to our business. It could be bringing in a team, or creating a team in-house. It could be buying a creative agency. It could be acquiring people like proactive freelancers to come in and lead the charge. I believe that a major threat for us is to take over the business of many big accounts, where clients expectations will be high.

The opportunity here lies in the fact that we can charge for those services and the billing here would be very different than ad spend. On ad spend, we bill and we get paid a percentage of the ads we manage. For the creative services, there could be a negotiated amount for a specific number of jobs with 50% upfront payment and 50% on delivery. It could also be a retainer on a monthly basis.

The best part is we have many clients. They all need content, making it easy for us to bring in new employees, exclusively for this work. We can tap our clients and we can reverse engineer how many employees we are going to hire, based on client needs and budget. I see a good future in this. I really see it as the only way to get the 10X ROAS that we want on Facebook with every account, because we are in complete control of the creatives.

I see the biggest opportunity in Google. More people are an absolute mess on Google than any other platform. To optimise Google Ads, you have to personally know what to do and should have invested many months to get it right. Otherwise it is a pointless waste of money. We have a massive advantage as we have some spectacular leaders in our Google Ads department.

The other major opportunity is in LinkedIn. I do ad reviews every day, and many people are not on LinkedIn. The platform, currently, is exploding in popularity. People are taking to it all the time for their content creation. People who were on Instagram putting business stuff up, are now on LinkedIn, because it is like Facebook. You like or comment on something, all your connections see it.

Their platform for ads is really powerful. Currently, there are mediocre ads, stock photos, with boring copy. This presents a fantastic opportunity in B2B.

There is a huge amount of available traffic on LinkedIn. It is not penny clicks like on Facebook. The targeting is spectacular and it does not get any more expensive if you target down and make your audience smaller. You can limit your reach. They offer some very affordable ways to buy traffic too. Their messenger is really solid. We are good at LinkedIn. This translates into another big opportunity for us.

Conference - Organizational Clarity

Let us explore the idea of using our own credit cards, for all the money for the ad spend on behalf of clients. I came to know of an agency doing this and this puts them in a position where they are getting all the points, which would be 2%. If you go with an Amex Gold Card, you could get 6% on advertising. That is big money lying on the table.

Let us say we have a client paying us 10% and we move all their ad spend on to our credit cards. At a minimum, we are going to be getting 2% cash back. This 2% could fund many of our expenses and our new business ventures. The risk involved is that if a client does not pay you back, it could shut your business down.

This is a really unique way to bring more revenue in. If we are getting paid 10%, suddenly we are getting 12%. Probably, if we do this with the right companies, not companies that are startups or on the brink, it could work out well. Especially because we see and track their ROIs, whether they are converting and making money or not.

If we get in with an established and profiting company, they would be happy to let us put their ad spend on our credit card and later reimburse us. We get paid net 30. We bill on 30 days and we get paid net 30 so that means they do not even have to pay us for 60 days. They get to float all that cash for a long time before they pay us back. Therefore, it can be a really big thing for clients. It is a chance that they will grab, depending on if and how they use their points, and do their accounting.

This could be beneficial to both parties, if we can find a way to mitigate the risk. There is risk involved, but there is also reward. Like I said, on Amex Gold Card, you get 6% cash back on advertising. Can you imagine if we went from 12% to 18% just for swapping our cards in?

The credit for our company would skyrocket. We could qualify for real estate loans. We could get an increased line of credit. Our fractional CFO thought it was a spectacular idea if we could mitigate the risk and told us to seriously consider it.

Get the latest tips, tricks, advice, and more sent directly to your inbox

By clicking "Submit" you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.