Iliyana's Blog

The 3 Pillars of Customer Delight for Agencies (And Not Only)

[fa icon="calendar'] 14-Mar-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Agencies

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Did you know that it's five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one? 

On top of that, improving customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. 

If you ask me, these are numbers that I certainly wouldn't ignore. 

Unfortunately, far too many companies focus almost exclusively on net new sales and customer service remains just there as a given. 

I see this with my agency partners at HubSpot all the time. 

Of course, money in is important. You need that to keep the business running but if you want to scale an agency, sales and services need to be on the same level. Keeping your customers happy is priority number one too because that's how you ensure you have a sustainable revenue flow coming in all the time. You renew your agency-client retainers year after year because you continue to provide value.

So how do you do keep your customer happy?  

With a simple framework that I call the three pillars of customer delight. 

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Why It's About Time Agencies Started Preaching What They Teach

[fa icon="calendar'] 28-Feb-2017 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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As a PR or marketing agency, how much time do you spend building your own organisation’s profile with your own content?

Many would say “none”, “barely any” or "not enough" but in the digital age, this is unacceptable.

And isn't this what you ask clients to do? Isn't trying to convince them that they need to build their online profile with content what you are selling?

Also, why are you asking clients things like "Do you need a new sustainable way to drive people to your business and attract clients?", "Do you struggle being seen as a credible and authoritative brand within your industry?", "Are your current methods not bringing the right results?" to figure out how they differentiate themselves but you are not asking yourself these things or choose to ignore them?

When it comes to you – the communications expert – you fail in communicating about yourself.

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The Agency-Client Relationship is Broken

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Feb-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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2017 or not, the agency-client war still persists. 

Agencies want to be responsible for more, marketers don't trust them to let them. 

That's the major finding in a recent study done in the US but I think it's quite relevant for the rest of the world as well.  

Marketers at clients complain that agencies lack technical and data-savvy teams who can work on their accounts and that too many agencies still haven't transitioned from old media to new, lacking the expertise clients need in the digital age. 

Agencies, on the other hand, say that clients are unwilling to become true partners by taking work in-house that really should be done by the agency team and so showing a disrespectful unwillingness to commit to quality work. 

If you look at the comments below, you'll see how the language both parties use is rather judgemental and certainly doesn't show that they see the other counterpart as a partner: 

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How to Be a Better Agency: Top Tips From HubSpot's Agency Consultants Team

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Oct-2016 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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The best thing about my job is the team that I work with. I'm surrounded by super intelligent and knowledgeable people who come from various backgrounds and inspire me to be better and learn every day. 

So when I started writing more about the agency business I thought I should be using this fantastic resource that I see every day - the experiences, tips and advice of my colleagues from HubSpot's EMEA Agency Consultants team. 

Our role is called Channel Consultants (or CCs as we love our abbreviations at HubSpot) but essentially we are agency business consultants and we help our agency partners to do their own inbound marketing as well as to service clients in an efficient, value-adding and results-driven way.  
Our team has collectively worked with over 1,000 agencies (if not more) from across EMEA so as you can imagine this mass of knowledge could be pretty valuable to any agency.
This is why I decided to crowdsource a blog post with my team where I asked them to share their top 50-words tip on how to be a better agency. 
I put all tips into a SlideShare that you can read below. You'll see three main themes: 
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Agency Storytelling 101: The 6 Types of Stories Agencies Should be Telling [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Aug-2016 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Storytelling, Agencies

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As a marketing agency consultant at HubSpot, I've so far worked with over 150 agencies. The one thing the majority of them struggle with is their own content. Yes, their own marketing.

I know, sometimes this does sound funny since that's exactly what these agencies offer to clients - marketing services . Surely, they should be able to be doing this for themselves, right? Yes, able they are. Not always committed, though. Why? Because client work comes first. And so does winning new business. 

But the most successful agencies I've worked with, have learned how to find the time for their own marketing and are nailing it. They experiment with their own stuff rather than with those for clients. Basically, they become their own best client. 

To get to this point is not impossible. You just need to treat yourself like a client. Get the goals, sign a retainer of activities, develop the marketing plan (including buyer personas, content plan and schedule) designate an account management, get this on a project management tool and then stick to it. Review, rinse and repeat. That's it. 

Okay, hold on a second, maybe it's not that simple. 

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