The Best Finance Tools for Independent Agencies

Running an independent agency is hard enough without having to worry about which finance tools you should be using to manage your bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll and hourly time tracking. To help out, we put together a list of the best platforms for all the critical aspects of your agency's financial needs.

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10 Ways To Improve Your ROP (Return On Proposal)

When the right creative, design or digital firm meets the right buyer, beautiful things happen. Projects flourish. Budgets are adhered to. Praise flows from the top down. But getting there? Too often, it’s a drawn-out, stressful process—one that costs both sides time, money, and human resources. I know it can be improved. And once it’s improved, the ROP (return on proposal) that both sides see will be so much better.

There are challenges and bad habits on both sides. And as an intermediary between the sides, even I am to blame for sometimes giving in to the behaviors that stall and devalue the proposal process.

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The Exact Process We Use To Target 130,000 Agency Decision-Makers Like You on Facebook

You know that your company does truly great work. The level of expertise and quality of service you could provide to clients is far higher than what they’re getting right now, and you could prove it… if only you could get in front of them.

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Here’s How Far $100 Will Get B2B Marketers on Facebook

Here at BlueWing, we’ve long trumpeted the merits of Facebook as a B2B advertising platform. Although LinkedIn is fantastic, we’ve found Facebook to be the most cost-efficient way to reach senior executives using paid social ads. (Consider that 79% of senior execs check Facebook for thought leadership compared to only 68% who check LinkedIn.)

The duopoly of Facebook and Google has a stranglehold on the digital advertising market. In 2016, the two giants accounted for 77% of the growth in digital spending. Google is running things on the inbound side, allowing digital marketers to serve up contextual ads based on what a user is searching for. On the outbound marketing side, those same advertisers are using Facebook to push content into the News Feeds of highly targeted groups—and this includes plenty of B2B players. Facebook’s partnership with Dun & Bradstreet and outstanding custom audience tools give B2B campaign managers a wealth of creative options for getting in front of ideal clients.

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Seven Advertising Agency Directories That Will Help Generate New Business

For brands, finding the perfect agency for a new project is often as challenging as executing the project itself. Thankfully, advertising agency directories have popped up to make the agency search process easier. These directories boast useful features like advanced filtering based on geography and skillset, contact information, reviews and even sample creative work.

Without further ado, we share the seven best advertising agency directories worth getting listed on to help generate new business.

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Five Really Important Reasons Your Agency Should Use a CRM

Once upon a time, salespeople were hired based on the size of their Rolodex. How many contacts could they bring to the table?

The age of the Rolodex is firmly over. Sales, a role that depends on “soft” skills like pitching and interpersonal skills, has been disrupted by digital as much as product or marketing. Services like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, LeadIQ and Email Hunter segment leads and collect contact data. Platforms like Winmo and DiscoverOrg provide predictive sales intelligence on where to go after new business. Ambition rallies sales teams with scoreboard-like features to keep the team focused and productive. The modern day salesperson needs to lean on data, technology and insights as much as anyone else.

The glue holding this all together is a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software. Among all the shiny new digital sales tools, the CRM is the central nervous system. It’s the glue that allows both the sales technology stack and the sales team itself to have seamless and transparent communication with each other.

In this guide, we’ll explain how using a CRM allows agency owners and business development teams to keep customer data organized, increase sales productivity and track the ROI of different marketing channels.

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14 Sales Intelligence Tools Every Agency Owner Should Know About

In the age of digital disruption, few jobs have been transformed as much as sales. Whereas sales pros were once hired based on the size of their Rolodex, today there are tons of ways to build a database of contacts without actually networking. Interpersonal and problem-solving skills are important as ever, but the democratization of data has made it much easier for new industry entrants to be effective without spending years building up a cache of contacts.

So, what's replaced the Rolodex? The landscape of sales intelligence tools in 2017 is extremely rich. Here, we'll provide a snapshot of 13 tools that agency owners and their sales teams can use to build prospect lists and collect contact data.

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It's Time for Agencies to Adopt Growth Marketing

Agencies today cite that 90% of new business leads come from referrals. In such a fragmented landscape, more channels must be adopted if agencies wish to grow in 2017 and beyond.

Growth marketing is a buzzword that has been floating around the startup space for quite some time now. According to Drift, growth marketing is about "attracting more engaged customers...while traditional marketing focuses on the top of the funnel, the growth marketing job description requires focusing on the entire funnel." Brand awareness is not enough; growth marketing is about repeatable and scalable customer acquisition.

Two of the core tenets of growth marketing are rapid experimentation and constant optimization. Most startups can quickly cite their cost-per-user across various channels, including Facebook ads, Google AdWords, organic SEO and cold emailing. Knowing the lifetime value of a customer, they tweak various campaigns to consistently increase ROI. Can your agency say the same?

The agency world is a referral-centric network that is ripe for disruption. It's time to take advantage of what growth marketing has to offer.

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