Marketing Agency Growth Report 2018

Have you ever wondered if another agency owner went through the same problems your agency faces? Chances are you're not alone. When it comes to growing your agency, there are problems that every agency has to deal with. Sometimes it’s about knowing what to expect in the future as you grow.

The Marketing Agency Growth Report features survey responses from over 1,000 agencies.  The survey focused on the common issues that prevent agencies from growing. It contains data and advice to help you improve your agency and avoid common mistakes. Below you can find some common themes that we found after digging through the data.

Download the Report Now!

It’s harder than ever to find talent for open positions. It doesn't look like it’s going to get easier, but solutions are out there.

On the evidence of this survey, agencies feel the pain when it comes to filling open positions. Hiring the right talent is a key element for a growing agency. If you want to increase your pricing you need to have the talent in place to justify a higher cost. Agencies need more staff if they want to bring on more accounts. Overworking your current staff will lead to staff retention problems and will affect your client work possibly costing you key accounts.


Agencies want and need to hire, but they don’t feel confident about filling their open positions. Part of the problem is finding the right skill set in a small talent pool. Our agency community has claimed before that it’s hard to find that kind of talent.

Data shows that agency owners should also pay attention to how they structure their agency. Only 50% of agencies reported that they structure their agencies for career growth. Only 28% reported that they have an internship program. 

While an intern may not contribute as much as a full-time employee at the start, they may prove invaluable as future full-time hires down the line. Building up a pipeline of interns helps with hiring in the future. Try to think long-term about your hiring.

Agency owners should look to get creative with growing their businesses

Agencies stated that finding new clients was the key blocker to their growth. They also answered that they felt confident in their ability to produce new leads, clients and revenue. Why the contradiction? It may have to do with the type of clients agencies are targeting. Agencies appear to sign the same types of clients while keeping their pricing the same.

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 1.34.04 PM.png

Agencies may have a better chance to grow by trying to find a different type of clients. Clients that will pay more for similar services. By increasing your specialty in an area and becoming unique, agencies can increase their pricing. Agency owners could try focusing on one industry. Or they should become highly specialized at a specific service area.


Agencies continue to adapt to a world where the client has most of the power.

Everywhere you look in the report you will find that clients have the power. Agencies forfeit key legal demands and avoid forcing clients to sign lengthy contracts. Agencies customize pricing and service delivery. They work their staff hard and hire freelancers to hit deadlines.


There are more digital agencies than ever before. Competition is fierce. Just like cracking the growth problem by specializing, an agency can wrestle some power back by having unique positioning. Otherwise, your agency is going to be competing in an increasingly growing pool of providers willing to ignore legal contracts and slash their pricing.

The challenges involved in creating a growing and profitable agency have led owners to consider creative solutions.

All of this data shows a challenging landscape for agency owners. Agency owners have been forced to get creative. According to report, half of the agencies considered one of the following actions: selling their agency, taking outside investment, merging with another agency, leaving the agency or closing the agency down.

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 1.46.54 PM.png

If you are struggling to find employees for your open positions, acquiring an agency can bring onboard a whole team of employees who possess the right skill sets. Merging with another agency can help you diversify your service offerings by bringing on staff who can provide different experience. If you are an owner who has tried to specialize in the past and failed, perhaps consider merging with a specialized agency. 

Agency owners should consider their strengths and weaknesses and explore if another agency compliments their weak points. For example, perhaps your team are experts at delivering services but struggle with lead generation. Chances are there are agencies that produce plenty of leads but don’t have a large enough team or the knowledge to deliver high-end services. That’s a perfect match waiting to happen.

New call-to-action