70 Tips For Agencies To Get Through The Crisis

tips for agencies

Each agency is different; you all have different types of clients, niches, financial situations, etc. Which is why we decided to survey hundreds of agencies to ask them, what are YOU doing in time of crisis to get your head out of the water? 

 

We hope their answers will give you some great ideas for your own marketing, your clients, or your upcoming strategies and that it will help you out in these times of uncertainty. 

 

So without further ado, here are some of the best answers we received!

 

On how to keep your existing clients

On how to adjust your own marketing strategy

And the best tips for your agency

How to keep your existing clients 

 

We first asked marketing agencies, how did they manage to keep their clients? Do they offer incentives? Do they have particular strategies in place or are they doing nothing at all? Here’s what they had to say.

 

Show the value of digital marketing in times of crisis

 

While many clients were initially worried and wanted to pause all operations, we laid out the facts and strategies for them with real numbers showcasing the opportunities available and what would be lost if we stopped all marketing efforts. We took each client's budget into account and calculated the right amount to spend on certain areas of marketing, based on their industry, focusing highly on Google ad spend and growing their social media presence through our brand awareness efforts.

 

Rianna Susco

Business Development Coordinator

Squeeze Marketing

 

We have kept our clients by helping them understand the value of building their digital presence in a time like this, as well as how to offer products or services through digital tools. 

 

Eric Shulman

Co-Founder and Grand Poobah of Strategy

White Hound Co.



We usually try to convince them that this is the best time to invest in marketing as everyone is staying at home and using their phones, this can result in great visibility and will provide huge Return on Investment in the future.

 

Abdul Rehman

cyber-sec SEO editor

VPNRanks.com

 

Offer second-to-none customer service

 

Most of our clients lived through the 2008 recession and are worried about the pains that a global pandemic can bring down on their employees and supply chain partners. We are there to listen to their concerns, fears, and goals and bring value wherever we can.

 

Tristan Olson

Owner/Executive Producer

Venture

 

Make sure your clients know you're taking this seriously, that you care about them, and that you're committed to helping them go through this as much as you can.. Giving them a call and asking them how they’re impacted and how you can help goes a long way.

 

Raphael Paulin-Daigle

Founder 

SplitBase

 

Maintaining personal touches with each client is very important for keeping them.. Making sure they know how much we are doing to support them during this crisis ensures good faith. We do this by checking in more frequently than ever, providing additional services that we normally wouldn't provide and going above and beyond our normal purview. 

 

Katie Stone

Brand Coordinator

Leadhub

 

Reach out to every client and prospect you’ve had, cause some businesses are still operating at full speed. And use your time to network with those who may need your help in the coming months.

 

Carlos Gil

Author

The End of Marketing

 

Keeping your customers during the crisis is about genuine care. Talk to your customers about the current situation, give them confidence that they'll get through this, and remind them that you're there to help them survive. 

 

Brett Friedman

Director, Marketing & Sales

Marpipe

 

Keep your clients by respecting their needs during this time. For some businesses, the best thing to do right now really is to stop ad spend. Do what is best for the client in this situation and they will start right back up with you once this crisis is over.

 

Jacob Cullum

Digital Marketing Specialist

Epic Marketing

 

Understanding where they are as a business; are they cutting back, is this as an opportunity for them, where are their pinch points? Being understanding that it's a difficult time for them too - not being too pushy!

 

Richard Lloyd-Williams

MD + Business Director

Flavor

 

The most important aspect of retaining clients is to provide unwavering and superior customer service.. During uncertain times like this, where we face unexpected changes in every aspect of our lives - consistency is key. It is absolutely vital to continue providing consistent support and exceptional services to each and every client.

 

Patricia Moceo

Head Marketing Strategist

Stodzy Internet Marketing

 

Help your clients with flexible payment options

 

We keep our clients by providing options concerning delayed payment, and offering discounted services during these difficult times. Many cannot afford to pay for regular marketing service prices, and discounted services allow us to keep the clients while still providing basic services for them.

 

Konstantinos Tsilkos

CEO

PharMed

 

You won't be able to keep all of your clients no matter how hard you try. For our retail clients who have furloughed us, we've asked them if we will be re-hired when this mess is all behind us. If the answer is yes, then we will continue to work on their account during these months, even when they are not paying. Certainly not the same amount of hours, but we'll continue to do some work for them. We think continuing to serve them will help elevate the relationship and we will keep the customers that much longer when things get back to normal. 

 

Bob Bentz

President 

Purplegator

 

One tactic that I have been using in order to keep more clients on board is offering them a reduction in pricing by removing ad cost and hosting costs from their total service cost plus another 15% off. So far this tactic has saved 4 clients (out of 10) from canceling completely on me. I believe it is important to highlight to customers what costs you are removing from the service since they are much more likely to remember and appreciate it than if you were just to simply say you're lowering the service cost by this percentage number.

 

Mark Soto

Founder

Contractor Sprout 

 

We are being more informative and empathic to the situation our clients and prospective clients are in. Offering heavier discounts and longer trial periods to help ease some of the financial burden. With our PPC clients, we have dropped the monthly management fee so the only money they are spending is on the ads. Instead, we take a commission on the ad spend instead, so we don’t make money unless they are making money.



Brett Downes

Founder | SEO

www.HaroHelpers.com



Consider offering free help to affected businesses. This effort will be remembered and your community will be grateful.

 

Jacob Cullum

Digital Marketing Specialist

Epic Marketing

 

Pivot their strategies, adapt, overcome

 

We adjust to our client needs and help them with any marketing messages they need to go out during the Coronavirus; whether it be blog posts, special website announcements.. etc. We encourage our clients to continue allowing us to implement the latest Search Engine Optimization best practices during this period.

 

Tonya Harmati

Digital Marketing Manager

ICOASTALNET

 

We've adapted our strategy and have helped some of our clients pivot really quickly, and we're happy to say we haven't seen one single client signal wanting to leave because of financial strain since the whole Covid situation started. They're all doing just as well from email, if not better (in the case of those products or services that are better done when you have time to spend home).

 

Alexandra Marin

Co-founder & Director of Design

CodeCrew

 

COVID-19 has impacted each of our clients differently, and we have remained a constant resource for any type of support they may need.  As a team, we’ve pivoted from our planned public relations initiatives, tailoring our efforts to best serve our clients in whatever capacity that may be.  For example, we are actively pitching new ideas to clients, sharing what other brands are doing in this climate, and listening to client needs. We have seen new business inquiries continue from clients interested in using this time to get ahead in their marketing efforts, to pave the path for the future.

 

Fran Yanity 

CEO

Noisy Trumpet



We have worked quickly to help our clients adapt, review their current strategies, and seek opportunities that are relevant to the current events. We have been able to work with our clients to pivot strategies that allow for a more virtual adaption of their brand or product, such as remote offerings, special discounts, and empathetic messaging.

 

Irina Papuc

Co-founder

Galactic Fed



We kept our clients simply by shifting and being solution-oriented. The agencies who are wilting in these wild times are ones who can't shift. This is no time to push agency services, this is a time to come up with smart solutions to specifically help your clients' unique needs. We are helping them be creative and communicate proactively and positively to stay relevant in tough times. The agencies who will not just survive (but thrive!) are the ones who are service, support and solution-oriented.

 

Lorrie Thomas Ross

The Marketing Therapist® 

Web Marketing Therapy®

 

As a PR agency owner, we are focusing our efforts on inserting our clients into the current conversation and allowing freedom and flexibility in how we communicate their brands. We are closely monitoring the news cycle and what reporters are looking for. Our clients are looking to us to help them stay on point and to craft messaging for now and the future.

 

Maleeka T. Hollaway

Founder & CEO

The Official Maleeka Group, LLC.



For agencies who have been providing measurable results this has made the job of retaining clients easier to begin with, but be proactive in knowledge sharing on what's happening across industries and sectors in terms of marketing, help your clients correctly pivot even if it means less revenue for your company - later on they will respect your firm for the transparency. 

 

Dean DeCarlo

President 

Mission Disrupt



When it comes to keeping current clients, it's a matter of focusing on what's going to be the most beneficial to their business. Whether that's cutting marketing completely, or shifting focus on the type of marketing that will work for them under the current circumstances. SEO has the advantage of being a long term strategy, so even though a physical business might be closed, you can still use this time to focus on improving online presence and build up your website authority for when you are ready to open again. 

 

Tonya Davis

Marketing Manager

ThoughtLab



We're helping our two largest clients to adapt their businesses to suit a remote environment. Both offer courses, workshops and in-person services. Both can re-tool and offer virtual versions of their current market offerings. Many, or even most companies have thought about creating online delivery such as stores, e-learning, coaching, seminars and training. Now is the time to pursue this when alternatives are impossible. They can still go back to in-person services after the crisis is over, but their business will also be more robust.

 

Jason Lavis

Managing Director

Out of the Box Innovations Ltd.

 

Work harder than ever, and do awesome marketing (as usual)!

 

Our best clients have been with us for five or more years. We keep them by providing quality service and having their back, even in difficult situations. While some clients may reduce or pause budgets, they typically always return when their budgets return. While keeping client budgets in the short term may be difficult, proper client management means we maintain the client relationships for the long haul. 

 

Nate Nead

CEO

SEO.co 

 

We are keeping our clients by providing nimble marketing that still produces sales and ROI in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. While clients may want to cut costs wherever possible, the trick is to ensure your marketing brings in far more money than it costs. 

 

Lee Dussinger

Lead Marketing Strategist

WebTek

 

By making sure that we deliver our contract requirements on time, on budget and with the highest quality of results as possible. In an economic environment that is seeing a 20% dip, we are having to work 20% harder to retain our clients.

 

Taylor Cimala

Principal and Strategic Director

Digital Third Coast

How to adjust your own marketing strategy

 

Of course, at the moment your clients’ marketing strategies are the primary concern, however, you might need (or want) to work on your own agency’s marketing as well! 

 

So we asked agencies; how are you adjusting your own marketing in times of crisis?

 

Start offering educational content

 

We've adjusted our marketing to a focus on how others can pivot and providing as much free information as possible. We offer free strategy calls and even wrote up a blog giving a wide range of free business ideas for existing companies.

 

Eric Shulman

Co-Founder and Grand Poobah of Strategy

White Hound Co.

 


We have pivoted the type of content we are producing to solve problems around marketing through COVID-19. I am also putting together a large free Digital Summit with the top industry professionals to help all businesses with adding online marketing to their business to get them through these hard times and future proof their income.

 

Desiree Martinez

All-In-One Social Media



We transitioned completely away from pitching our services to, instead, offering value-added ways to help businesses and sectors. We increased our blog presence, zoom webinars and more to help individual businesses pivot from their in-person operations to remote opportunities.

 

Tristan Olson

Owner/Executive Producer

Venture

 

We have shifted our marketing strategy to be more internal than external during this time. While we are still producing blog content and maintaining other content marketing initiatives, we have shifted our email marketing strategy to be more personal to our clients. We provide resources and industry updates that might affect them in the coming weeks and months.

 

Katie Stone

Brand Coordinator

Leadhub



My digital marketing team helps clients serve and support their current and prospective audiences with educational content as a way to effectively sell. I've noticed that we've adjusted by upping our educational marketing content frequency to educate our clients and followers as a way to inspire leadership and ethical marketing. 

 

Lorrie Thomas Ross

The Marketing Therapist® 

Web Marketing Therapy®



As an agency, we started offering low-cost digital courses and products outside of our typical retainers to support those with a DIY PR thumb. We stepped up pushing our online Facebook community brand to attract small business owners and entrepreneurs who need to know how to grow their awareness during this time. We are sending more emails and encouraging our audience to lean in. We will be shifting our focus to support more local brands who may have had laid offs in the coming weeks.

 

Maleeka T. Hollaway

Founder & CEO

The Official Maleeka Group, LLC.

 

Do more marketing and prospecting!

 

To be completely honest, we're doing more marketing. Considerably more. We're seeing companies that need to cut their marketing budget go away from know-all type agencies because they're usually doing everything kind of well and clients are now moving to companies that do one thing exceptionally - just because being laser-focused on email allows us to keep our pricing in a more affordable realm and our ROI's sky-high.

 

Alexandra Marin

Co-founder & Director of Design

CodeCrew

 

We have not changed our marketing strategy so far. We keep trying to prospect new customers even though a lot of them don't want to talk now.

 

Erico Franco

Inbound Marketing Manager

Agencia de Marketing Digital

 

We have actually used this time of crisis to double-down on our own marketing and promotion. While the rest of the world is somewhat sleepy and shut down, we recognize that there will be a rebound at some point. When that occurs, we are preparing ourselves to be well-positioned for the recovery. That means spending time on content creation, ad development and sourcing new opportunities through outbound marketing. 

 

Nate Nead 

CEO

SEO.co 

 

Creatives and marketers can still make money in this crisis. Just be flexible. Find new clients on sites like Upwork and LinkedIn. The opportunities may be in different industries than you normally work with, but many businesses still need your skills.

 

Carlos Gil

Author 

The End of Marketing

 

The key is to maintain as much of your normal marketing system as possible. Everybody else is shifting gears to Covid and security plays- that leaves an opportunity to keep doing what works, even if you have to scale it down, because it will stand out now more than ever.

 

Brett Friedman

Director, Marketing & Sales

Marpipe

 

We are coming out with a new advertising campaign, doubling our efforts on getting in front of our customers, we've also switched to producing more tutorial videos.

 

Dean DeCarlo

President 

Mission Disrupt

 

Our big adjustment has been shifting more internal resources towards our marketing efforts during this time. With many clients pausing or leaving because of the pandemic, we have more time than usual for our internal marketing efforts. Facebook ads have also been significantly cheaper than usual so there has been some opportunities to leverage paid ads at a cheaper rate than normal.

 

Taylor Cimala

Principal and Strategic Director

Digital Third Coast

 

We have increased our email marketing and renewed some relationships that were previously dormant. It's important to not be too salesy and offer information that may be helpful to those prospects. 

 

Bob Bentz 

President

Purplegator

 

Tweak your messages

 

When it comes to pivoting your offer for the current times, focus on what will create immediate value for your clients.

 

Raphael Paulin-Daigle

Founder

SplitBase



We have to ask ourselves if COVID-19 impacts our services or products, and if so, look at how we communicate that to our clients and the public. Our consumers' needs and priorities have shifted, so the way we message our products need to as well. 

 

Irina Papuc 

Co-founder

Galactic Fed



Most agencies focus their sales and marketing messages on their capabilities, the awards they’ve won, and other me-centric talking points. More progressive agencies have evolved to be more problem/solution orientated. Focusing on Pivotal Problems is what gets the attention of a prospect and inspires them to take the next step with you. Remember that prospects don’t care about you--they care about their problems. Be their life preserver in scary times.

 

Christian Banach

VP, Business Development Director at Genuine Interactive

ChristianBanach.com



We've changed the messaging of our own marketing efforts to less of a sales focus and more of a focus on brand awareness. During this uncertain time, we want people to know they can come to us for advice and we truly want to help them. We know people are hesitant to buy new services, so we are building relationships and hoping these same people will come back to us down the road. We have also increased our Facebook ad spend, as people are home and spending more time on social media   

 

Rianna Susco

Business Development Coordinator

Squeeze Marketing



Tailoring to marketing that focussed on people at home, and engaging consumers positively. Social sampling has been in high demand and we've been promoting at-home sampling as a priority. 

 

Richard Lloyd-Williams

MD + Business Director

Flavor

 

We have adjusted our own marketing by targeting new clients that are currently in thriving industries due to the crisis. Many industries, such as healthcare, food delivery, and supplements, have seen an increase in traffic due to the circumstances.

 

Konstantinos Tsilkos

CEO

PharMed

 

I have adjusted the google and Facebook ads I am running to only target contractors who either work outside homes and a different ad to those who do work for commercial businesses. I've been able to supplement 40% of the lost income so far.

 

Mark Soto

Founder

Contractor Sprout

 

Work on long-term strategies like your brand or SEO

 

At Stodzy, we have taken this time to spend extra time focusing on our brand. Our team has conducted a complete site audit and we continue to improve the SEO and overall structure and formatting of the existing content throughout our site. Working in the marketing industry, it is easy to sometimes forget about taking care of your brand first. We have also taken this time to send out relevant tips via newsletters to each of our clients.

 

Patricia Moceo

Head Marketing Strategist

Stodzy Internet Marketing



We have been focusing on content marketing and since people are at their homes with nothing to do, we're actually getting better metrics.

 

Abdul Rehman

Cyber-sec SEO editor

VPNRanks.com

Your best tip for agencies

 

We asked agencies for their number one tip to help agencies stay afloat during these precarious times.

 

Financial tips

 

If you qualify, look into government assistance programs like the Payroll Protection Program. These programs can be a failsafe for your company. It is also important to set yourself up as an invaluable asset to your clients. Our clients are aware that our services are instrumental to their success.

 

Katie Stone

Brand Coordinator

Leadhub

 

In times of crisis, don’t underestimate the importance of cash flow. If you’re a speaker who’s had gigs cancel, focus on booking spots that are 6+ months from now, and ask for a 50% deposit so you have some cash to cushion these next few months.

 

Carlos Gil

Author

 The End of Marketing

 

 

Closely monitor your cash flow and how money is managed during this economic crisis. Having several months' worth of salaries in the bank is a must for balancing slow accounts receivables from larger clients at times, but having a plan for how money is deposited into the bank accounts is necessary as well moving forward.

 

Taylor Cimala 

Principal and Strategic Director

Digital Third Coast

 

 

First and foremost, get your PPP loan. That money will go a long way to keeping your staff intact.  I've also acquired a few 0% interest credit cards. If you have advertising costs on a credit card and have slower cash flow, you can move the balance onto a credit card that allows you to put it there for several months without payment.

 

Bob Bentz

President

Purplegator

 

Marketing tips

 

Deliver results. That's what it boils down to, right? Whatever the means, we need to be smart, fast, adapt our strategy and deliver results for our clients. As long as we can at least sustain the current level of ROI we're bringing them on top of the really beautiful design work they get anyway, they'll have no reason to ever cancel on us. 

 

Alexandra Marin

Co-founder & Director of Design

CodeCrew

 

As an e-commerce marketing agency, we’ve seen a lot of our clients experiencing a surge in sales. Those are the clients you should focus your efforts on the most. Agencies need to stick to their value proposition, and pump out real quality content, such as vlogs, podcasts, webinars, and articles. Video and live streaming is truly the best way to build authenticity around your brand’s content.

 

Chris Ching

Founder, CEO

Electric Enjin

 

Go with the flow

 

Understand that things will return to "normal" soon. But that normal may come with new opportunities that are gleaned during this crisis. Customers and their behavior will change. Businesses and their agencies need to learn from this and evolve accordingly.

 

Tristan Olson

Owner/Executive Producer

Venture

 

 

Be flexible and willing to learn more about technologies that in the past you may have not explored. Many prospects will be seeking new ways to get their product or service out to the marketplace, so many of the old strategies will be replaced.

 

Rob Delory

Director of Strategy

TheeDigital

 

Work with the situation, not against. Consumers and clients alike appreciate transparency, so glossing over or not acknowledging what’s happening will come across as disingenuous. Tone-deaf companies that fail to acknowledge the COVID-19 situation and avoid pivoting will lose both trust and business; and this understanding allows us to guide clients to look at their brand through this new, adjusted lens.

 

Irina Papuc

Co-founder

Galactic Fed

 

Don't be afraid to make shifts. If all of your ppc management has stopped, but SEO and design is still profitable, then focus more on those areas. Train employees on new skills that can help them keep their jobs and help your agency stay afloat. 

 

Jacob Cullum

Digital Marketing Specialist

Epic Marketing

 

Stay proactive and look for trends. Stay lean and don't be too salesy as it can come across as uncompassionate. 

 

Richard Lloyd-Williams

MD + Business Director

Flavor

 

My best tip to keep my agency afloat is to diversify and adapt to the trends. It's important to recognize that things change and you have to change with them. Just like how I shifted my target market for ads, other agency owners can follow a similar path and target industries which are still in business and are looking for more marketing right now. 

 

Mark Soto

Founder

Contractor Sprout 

 

One tip I would like to give would be to try to be around the streaming persona as it is on an upward trend to the sky. Streaming business is booming as people sit in their homes bingeing their favourite TV shows. There has never been a better time to switch to digital, if you haven't, you should now. Try to produce as much content as you can and be patient. You'll see great results in the upcoming months.

 

Abdul Rehman

cyber-sec SEO editor

VPNRanks.com

 

Keep it up, push through, and think ahead

 

The best way to keep a marketing agency afloat during a crisis is actually the same as before the crisis. Simply do the good work that provides clients a positive ROI and they will see value in you.

 

Lee Dussinger

Lead Marketing Strategist

WebTek



Our #1 tip is not to panic, but stay focused on your goals for the rest of the year. Things will recover and we must remain diligent during these times and plant seeds that will flourish once businesses are back to normal and more people are seeking new marketing strategies to help them recover. 

 

Rianna Susco

Business Development Coordinator

Squeeze Marketing



The best tip I can give to keep my agency alive right now is to be diligent. We don't need to "pivot" which is the current messaging being shared, we have to be more intentional on how we show up as an agency and give value whenever possible.

 

Maleeka T. Hollaway

Founder & CEO

The Official Maleeka Group, LLC.



The best thing to do is keep pushing along. Keep doing outbound, keep running your ads, keep with the normal pace of work, but test one or two new techniques. Act like you're a brand new company on the scene and get creative with your efforts. 

 

Brett Friedman

Director, Marketing & Sales

Marpipe



I think the most important tip for keeping your business afloat would be to do what's in front of you, stick to what you're great at, and don't stress over the things you cannot control. From personal experience, we are all powerless over what is happening - on a global level - and we are all in this together. Early on into the pandemic, I found myself stressing over the future and neglecting the tasks at hand. Once I began to refocus on the clients and jobs right in front of me, the more everything has worked out the way it should. 

 

Patricia Moceo

Head Marketing Strategist

Stodzy Internet Marketing



Now is not the time to mourn for your business, now is the time to get creative and scrappy. There are solutions to your problem, they may just require that you do something you have never thought to do before.

 

Desiree Martinez

All-In-One Social Media

 

Last thoughts

 

As you can see, there are multiple ways to help your marketing agency during these times of crisis, and it’s absolutely not one size fits all. 

 

Depending on your very particular situation, take the advice that you think will have the best impact on your business, and hopefully, everything will go back to normal very soon! 

 

We hope this list of advice helped you out, and that your business is doing well!

Marie Marie Lamonde

With an ever-growing love of writing and marketing, Marie proudly wears her title of Content Marketing Specialist at DashThis, sharing her dashboard expertise with her fellow marketers. 

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