In my 5+ years in the industry, I've worked with and developed relationships with several inbound and HubSpot partner agencies. Whether it's their method of selling, team structure, or the way they deliver client services, I've come to learn each one does things a little differently.
I've almost reached the three-month mark at IMPACT and looking back, I can honestly say this agency's differentiators (both for employees and clients) absolutely blows what I've seen out of the water.
Here are the four top differentiators that have made my first 90 days at IMPACT unlike any other agency I’ve been with.
1. A Truly Dedicated Team
One of the things I love the most about IMPACT is the team structure.
Everyone in client service works in agile marketingscrum teams we call “pods.” They’re composed of strategists, inbound marketing consultants, project managers, and a dedicated designer and developer.
I absolutely love working in this structure because of the focus it allows and the fact that clients receive consistent creative direction.
With the same designer and developer working so closely together, the process of bringing anything from a website page to an interactive assessment tool is so seamless. I couldn't imagine going back to an environment where client projects bounced around a cumulative design and development team like a beach ball.
Not to mention the really fun pod names! (Shoutout to Puppy Pawed, Pod Racer and Notorious POD)!
2. A New Level of Efficiency
While working in an agile environment originated in software development, the framework truly makes sense for an inbound marketing team trying to be more efficient and effective with working on client projects and retainers.
From team productivity to personal time management, agile and scrum truly allows teams to deliver on time and on a budget for clients.
There are more and more inbound agencies practicing scrum these days, but there are few that do it as well as I’ve seen here. I'm fortunate IMPACT has adopted this framework because I've never felt more focused or organized in my entire career.
Though seemingly an internal process that wouldn’t affect clients, the benefits trickle down quickly. Gone are the days of tossing out an idea for a campaign or project (or forgetting it all together). With a continually evolving backlog tied right into the scrum software, Jira, that we use daily, we're constantly able to look two steps ahead for clients at all times.
Plus, with the increased efficiency and improved communication that comes with the scrum routine, we’re able to complete more work in less time.
If I were a client, I'd sure want to know exactly where my money was being spent.
Sure, agencies can justify ROI (especially in inbound with technology like HubSpot) but that doesn't mean people are aware of exactly what they're getting out of their money.
IMPACT's service catalog lays out exactly how many "points" of effort something would take to execute. They know how long something takes and how much of their money is going towards each action.
Not only does it provide transparency to our clients, it also provides a lot of internal transparency as well. Using software platforms like Jira and having internal daily standup meetings allow us to manage our workloads and face obstacles together, rather than on our own.
4. Devotion to Client Happiness
I love making clients happy. That's why I was destined to be in client services like I have been for many, many years.
Like any great agency, IMPACT shares the same love for clients that I do; so much so, it put's a strong focus on retrieving net promoter scores (NPS).
Every couple of weeks, our pod asks our clients to provide us with their honest feedback on how we're doing and their level of happiness on a scale of 1-10.
If their response isn’t a 10, we want to know what we can do to achieve one next time. We strive for nothing less than complete and total client happiness, and this process really allows for us to ensure we're delivering nothing but the best for everyone we work with.
If you're evaluating marketing agencies to partner with (or simply to join), be sure to look for differentiators that can really deliver value and results, outside of just retainer fees and RFP responses. There's a lot of value hidden in some of these things that can really set the stage for a long-term relationship and continued success.
I’m a strong believer that happy employees are a sign of a company worth working with and in my first 90 days at IMPACT, it’s been clear that the differentiators mentioned above make for both happy talent and happy clients.