How Do Marketing Agencies Work and Operate?

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A frequently asked question I hear in job interviews and through inbound messages is, “how do you guys operate?” Or, “how do marketing agencies work?”

There’s a few ways to answer this question. From a functional perspective, marketing agencies work by performing services for clients in exchange for currency. At our marketing agency, we charge a recurring monthly fee in exchange for SEO, PPC, Email, or Social Marketing services to connect our clients with customers.

In this post though, I think it’d be more fun to answer the question of how marketing agencies work internally.

There’s a few things that helps Markitors – a digital marketing agency – operate. Here’s five things that we do in our agency that helps define our operations.

How Do Marketing Agencies Work: Core Values

Core values guide the decisions and behaviors at our company. When a manager is absent, or when you’re working remotely, or when you’re faced with a tough decision – core values guide people to making a decision.

Our core values are simple.

You Are Unique.

Definition: Respect the uniqueness of every human being.
Why this core value exists: It’s hard to work with people – especially people you don’t like. However, every human being on this planet is an unrepeatable miracle. Everyone is unique and has something unique about them that you can find the positive in. Seriously.

By focusing on the unique attributes of an individual, you’re able to shift your mindset to get to a place where you can work together.

Always Fresh, Always Thrilling

Definition: Innovate To Keep Things Exciting.
Why this core value exists: Producing your 39th SEO optimized blog post about credit repair, or posting your 167th social media status update about commercial real estate lending can be challenging. Why? It can get old…but only if you allow it to.

This core value challenges everyone to find a new way to do things in order to keep it exciting. That way the 168th social media status update is just as good as the first.

Strength In Numbers

Definition: Use data to drive decisions.
Why this core value exists: Markitors is the combination of two words: “marketing” + “auditors.” Our DNA is to analyze numbers the way an auditor would in order to make better decisions and get a full understanding of the story. Utilize all available resources to get results.

Take Ownership

Definition: Deliver On All Promises.
Why this core value exists: There’s a lot of promises that get made. Few get kept. Results come from execution of a plan. Execution only comes by doing what you say you’re going to do. No matter what.

Bias For Action

Definition: When in doubt, do what you think is right.
Why this core value exists: There’s more questions than answers here. Bias For Action gives everyone in our company the green light to do what they think is right – without asking for permission, as long as those actions can be justified in the aftermath. This value asks our team to calm down, look around, and make a call.

Those are our core values, and they are the ultimate guide to how we operate.

Other stuff.

How Do Marketing Agencies Work: Morning Meetings

Every day at 8:45am our team of 14 people meets for about 10 minutes. These meetings have a simple format to follow that improves communication.

We first share our “win” – something positive from our individual lives. This is a work win from the previous day, an experience that recently transpired – a unique individual accomplishments to celebrate as a team.

Then, we share our “six things” that we will get done in the day ahead. These six things have a time allocation to each task so that they will be accomplished. Our goal for the day is to accomplish everything we set out to do and leave feeling great about our contributions. Anything more than six things risks walking out the door feeling unaccomplished, despite accomplishing a lot.

After all that, our office is at it’s loudest when people follow up with each other on tasks.

This simple meeting improves communication, and helps kick everyone’s day out together instead of feeling isolated.

How Do Marketing Agencies Work: Weekly Team Meetings

Mondays are about our team meetings. Our org structure has evolved into dividing client work into teams of 3-5 managers, and our 60 minute team meetings walk through the clients each team manages.

These meetings typically involve a discussion around challenges, strategies, and solutions to solve the immediate issues facing us in the week ahead.

This focused group communication is a nice way to get on the same page for the week ahead, and to collaborate on overcoming any obstacles in our way.

How Do Marketing Agencies Work: The Win Wall

Our Win Wall exists to celebrate the day’s accomplishments. It was born because one day 5pm hit me, and I asked myself, “what am I really proud of that I did today?” Before leaving I wrote that accomplishment down on a post-it note, posted it to the wall by our exit, and left feeling much better about what I did that day.

It’s easy to see the clock hit 5pm, rush out the door, and then quickly forget the day’s effort. The Win Wall challenges you to pause, reflect, and then exit our offices with a positive emotion about the day.

How Do Marketing Agencies Work: Level System

Something happens when you need two cars to go to lunch as a team. You need to define things like Performance Evaluations, Compensation, and Employee Development. We created a Level System to universally define how to advance in our company, along with what compensation and responsibilities would accompany that advancement.

Our Level System consists of items like Job Performance, Individual Goal Setting, Knowledge of Mission & Values, Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills Expertise, and Certifications.

By defining this criteria we have defined the career paths at our company. This enables employees to advance their careers based on achievements, and our company to continuously train people so they become more and more valuable to our operations.

There’s a lot of other ways that marketing agencies work and operate. However, that’s the stuff that is important to our operations.

Brett Farmiloe is the Founder & CEO of Markitors – a digital marketing agency that connects clients with customers…and has a good time doing it. He is obsessed with the statistic, 70% of the American workforce dislikes what they do for a living. He’s given a TEDx talk about it, and is learning more about it by building a company.

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