Top Challenges Digital Marketing Agencies Are Facing

The Digital Marketing world is changing rapidly and the recent COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges for agencies. Many can no longer rely on the same techniques they’ve used in previous years. Instead, agencies must ride the waves of change and be quick to adapt to stay afloat. 

Here’s a look at some of the top challenges Digital Marketing agencies are currently facing.

Adoption of New Technology

According to the Gartner CMO Spend survey 2019-2020, MarTech spend now accounts for 26% of total Marketing budgets worldwide. In 2018, marketers reported that they use only 61% of the functionality available in their martech portfolio. Marketers are investing in new technology as the need for collaboration tools and support for remote work rises; however, many have yet to maximize the full potential of their existing Marketing Technology.

Agencies should focus on finding ways to take advantage of the tools they are already using. They can then consider what new technologies, such as automation software, social listening tools, and CRM platforms, can help them keep up with current consumer demands and trends. 

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Increasing Data Security Concerns

In 2018, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) set new standards for data protection regulation. The California Consumer Privacy Act, the first significant data privacy law in the U.S., also went into effect in January 2020. Today’s consumers want and expect data privacy, and agencies must find a way to operate under stricter regulations, especially when teams are working and accessing information from home.

Agencies should prioritize a higher level of security for user data and communicate their commitment within their Marketing efforts. They should consider shifting towards using first-party data, rather than third-party datasets with questionably collected data. By using first-party data, agencies can deliver personalized, relevant content without any privacy violations. Agencies with poor data ethics, however, can face serious consequences. 

Changing the Approach to Content

According to PAN Communications, the top challenge CMOs cited for this year was the ability to cut through the noise and deliver extraordinary customer experiences. Taking a more personalized approach to content is one way that agencies can help their clients stand out during this time. A whitepaper by SmarterHQ points out that 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.

There are many tools that can help implement personalized experiences across all channels. For example, agencies can segment audiences and use consumer data, such as purchase history, consumer behaviors, and website tracking, to come up with content ideas. Additionally, it’s important to monitor the current news cycles on a daily basis so that messaging does not sound tone deaf

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Increased Competition

Competition has heightened among agencies and proves to be one of the biggest challenges they face. A report by Wix, Digital Agencies in 2020: A Glimpse into the Future, found that an overwhelming 50% of digital marketing agencies agreed that increasing competition was an issue. 

The report predicted that the appeal of globally-offered service would continue to decline, expediting the resurgence of local agencies. Digital marketing agencies can leverage this trend by employing a more regional approach in their branding to differentiate themselves against other agencies. For instance, agencies can benefit from focusing on their geographical area and building relationships with other local services. 

The report by Wix also suggests that the way agencies position themselves is critical in overcoming increased competition. It’s essential that agencies consider what their business stands for and effectively communicate the value it can offer clients, whether it’s Content, SEO, or a more comprehensive approach.

Facing the Uncertainties of Agency Life

From data security and increased competition to the adoption of new technology and remote work, digital marketing agencies face numerous challenges moving forward. What’s most important is that they are willing to adapt to the change. Being agile can help agencies have the best chances of overcoming these challenges and surviving.

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