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The Marketing Process: How Structure Underpins Every Strategy

Aug 16, 2023

At Conduit Digital, we abide by a list of values that we call the 5P’s:

  • People: Our team drives our engine, and our Agency Partners matter to us. That’s why we don’t just work with anyone and everyone who says that they own an ad agency.

  • Performance: We hold ourselves to a high standard to ensure our product is worthy of our Agency Partners’ investment in our expertise.

  • Product: We want to offer a product that matters to our Agency Partners and their clients.

  • Partnership: We strive to be a true partner for our agencies, acting as a seamless integration to their in-house ad operations.

Isn’t that only 4? We’re saving the fifth one for last because it underpins the other four: Process. The marketing process involves the series of steps that we take to make sure that our people can perform at a high level within their areas of product expertise so that we can be a true partner for our agencies.

Without process, none of the above can be possible. From the series of tasks that need to be completed, the order they need to be completed, and how long each one takes requires a process that drives the engine forward.

If you’re running an agency and it feels like any of the above is plateauing at your business, the first place to start looking for opportunities for improvement has to be the processes. If you do not have a process in place for something that’s stalled, now is an excellent time to create one.

Does this sound relevant to your day-to-day at your agency? If so, this guide is for you. Today, we’re going to cover how you can construct a marketing process that supports your people, their performance, the quality of your products, and ultimately, sets you up for more profitability. While we cannot guarantee success for you, we can give you a framework that you can consider applying to your own agency.

Let’s start with the first P: people.

Marketing Processes Need the Right People

Hiring is subjective, and it’s often mysterious to some degree. When you hire someone to join your agency team, you’re doing so based on their background and your interactions with them during the interview process. Once they’re actually on the team and starting to work for your clients, that is when you see the actual fruits of their labor and expertise.

A good marketing process needs the right people because the success of marketing isn’t solely dependent on strategies, tools, or technologies but on the individuals who design and execute those strategies. The right people possess the necessary skills, creativity, and understanding of both the market and the customers' needs.

Beyond this, they can also navigate the complex landscape of modern marketing, embracing both analytical and empathetic thinking. Their ability to analyze data helps in making informed decisions, while their creativity allows them to craft compelling messages that resonate with the target audience.

Beyond their skills and abilities, communication is another critical aspect of hiring the right people. Effective collaboration and communication among members of a team ensures that various aspects of the marketing process are well-coordinated and aligned with the client’s goals. Having the right people in place fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, which is crucial for staying ahead in a constantly evolving profession.

Process Supports Performance

Performance is the actual result of a well-executed strategy. It’s the fulfillment of the promises that you have made to your clients. Ultimately, it’s the lifeblood of any agency alongside communication.

What is performance, though? That term could apply to a number of different aspects of the services you provide. Let’s try to create a more objective understanding of what it means.

First up, we have accuracy: Understanding the market and the client's specific needs is key. A well-structured marketing process starts with some serious digging into what customers want and what the competition is doing. At the end of the day, does the strategy you create align with the client’s industry and business goals?

Next, we have the implementation of the strategy. It's not just about throwing a bunch of ads out there. It's a coordinated effort to align campaign tactics, optimizations, and internal collaboration to continuously drive the client’s marketing efforts toward accomplishing their stated business goals.

Finally, it doesn't end with just launching the campaign. A marketing process includes constant monitoring and optimization. It's about learning from what's working (and what's not) and making on-the-fly adjustments. Imagine steering a ship; small changes to the course can make a massive difference in where you end up.

At the end of the campaign, or at various touchpoints throughout, the performance is justified in reporting. Did your work match the expectations that you’ve set with your client? Are there other factors that came into play that could have enhanced, maintained, or lessened expectations?

With a process in place that enables your team to perform at a high level, you can more accurately craft the right strategy, set realistic expectations, and create a comprehensive reporting system that accurately communicates this information to your clients in context. Without that infrastructure, campaign implementation and subsequent reporting can often feel like your agency is constantly shooting from the hip.

This Results in a Superior Product to Offer to Your Clients

Every agency has a set of core competencies that they emphasize. One of the main motivating factors for our Agency Partners to join the Conduit Agency Network is that they want to expand beyond what they do well in-house and add another expert team into the mix. For example, if you’re great at paid social ads and PPC, you may want to explore white label SEO and OTT campaigns because you do not have the personnel to meet those needs for your clients.

With the right process in place, one that allows you to maximize the potential of the platforms you work on, you can offer a superior result to your clients for the services that you excel at. This not only enhances your reputation, but your credibility within the ideal niches you seek to serve.

For services you may not offer or struggle with in-house, there are other solutions to compensate and continue to maintain a high standard of performance. Whether it’s white label digital marketing partnership or building a process system that enables you to cover for any performance gaps in certain channels, there are means to deliver for your clients even when you do not have all the tools in the toolbox on your own.

Process is the Key for Any Partnership

When we talk to the hundreds of agency leaders that we do each year, a common question that we answer revolves around some variant of “What are your processes like?”. This is no small question. If you are looking for the right white label solution, you need to make sure that their processes fit with your own.

As you’re considering a holistic white label partner (not a single-channel vendor or platform), don’t be afraid to ask a potential partner about their processes. This will give you a clearer idea of what to expect for your clients, when to expect it, and what you can guarantee to your current accounts and leads when selling new solutions.

Think of asking questions like:

  • What is your pre-live process like for (campaign channel)?

  • When should I expect reports for my clients’ campaigns?

  • What is needed from me for your process to work as intended?

  • What can I expect from ongoing monthly work performed by your team?

These are fair, objective, and momentum-driving questions as you prepare to scale. Predictability is key to partnership, and the right process supports that. You will be able to have a solid idea of the work being performed for your clients, communicate this to them effectively, and more easily manage expectations across the board.

The 6th P: Process is Profitability

Do you track how much each aspect of your agency operations costs? It goes beyond payroll and platform expenses. When you’re running a fast-paced business like a local ad agency, time literally is money, because that is the majority of what your client is paying for: your expert time spent on their marketing and advertising campaigns.

With a solid process in place, you can determine how long something takes to do, how much that costs when specific team members are doing it, and whether or not it is profitable for your business. By continuously analyzing and modifying your process toward achieving profitability, you can protect yourself from overserving specific accounts and potentially losing massive revenue as a result.

Not tying specific tasks to expected turnaround times also muddies your view of bandwidth and capacity. When you have metrics set for specific tasks and channels, you can more accurately gauge other needs for your agency such as:

  • Making a better-informed decision to hire more people as bandwidth dictates

  • Setting a definitive workload for existing team members

  • Knowing exactly how long something should take and how much it costs

  • Knowing when a team member definitely has or does not have time for extra work or special projects

  • What the full campaign cycle looks like, how much you will spend on it, and how much you will also make on it by the end

Process infrastructure does more than just make agency life easier from a work standpoint. It also drives your ability to scale, land and expand accounts, and to know when it’s time to go to another level.

5 Key Takeaways

We’ve covered quite a bit of detail about the importance of process. It really cannot be overstated in agency life. Let’s bring it all back together before we wrap up with five of the most important takeaways here:

  1. Process enables your best people to be the best and will reveal team members that are not the right fit for what you want to accomplish at your agency.

  2. Process directly ties into performance, giving the foundation for your team to deliver for your clients.

  3. Process also allows you to offer a superior end-product to your clients, giving them the confidence that they are working with a credible agency with the expertise to help them.

  4. Process is inextricably linked to profitability. Without knowing how long something takes to do and how much it costs, you can risk leaving your agency exposed to missed opportunities to gain more revenue and grow further.

  5. If you do decide to expand beyond your in-house scope, such as joining forces with a white label partner, make sure they have the right processes in place to support your operations effectively.

Process and Performance-Driven White Label Partnership for Your Agency

At Conduit, we’re proud to be the elite white label digital marketing agency partner for established and successful local ad agencies throughout North America. We’ve invested countless hours into building the right processes to provide your agency with the necessary communication and performance infrastructure to scale higher, land and expand your accounts, and ultimately, drive greater profitability.

To learn more about what a white label partnership could look like for your agency, let’s talk.









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