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Agencies face a unique set of digital marketing challenges and use software to solve these challenges. WhatConverts surveyed marketing agencies to identify the challenges they face and the software solutions they turn to.

We hoped to find out how agencies think about marketing software in their day-to-day business operations. To find these answers, the survey focuses on four main topics:

  • Types of marketing software platforms agencies use
  • Challenges that come with using these software platforms
  • Features agencies look for in software platforms
  • Opportunities for agency growth in 2022

The results of the survey can be found below. This survey recap is broken down into five sections:

1. Types of agencies surveyed
2. How do agencies track marketing results?
3. How do agencies optimize marketing campaigns?
4. How do agencies report on marketing results?
5. Agency growth projections

The Types of Agencies Surveyed

72% of survey respondents are agency CEOs or COOs. The other 28% of respondents are a mix of digital marketers and account managers.

44% of agency respondents come from agencies with less than 20 clients. Smaller agencies have to be conscious of which marketing software they trust, as they often don’t have a large budget to add marketing platforms.

agency survey

32% of survey responses come from agencies with over 100 clients, providing a balance of small and large agency perspectives.

The agencies in our survey are heavily focused on digital marketing. Every agency surveyed offers PPC services, and 88% offer SEO and content marketing.

marketing agency statistics

How do these agencies track marketing results?

More than 80% of agency respondents use all three of the following marketing software tools to track marketing results:

  • Marketing analytics software
  • Digital advertising platforms
  • Lead tracking software

While 92% of agencies surveyed use lead tracking software, just 40% use conversion tracking software. This could be because agencies using lead tracking software don’t need to rely on conversions as a marketing metric. Some conversions end up being leads, but agencies that already track leads don’t need additional conversion tracking software.

digital marketing survey

The next chart shows that 96% of the agencies surveyed use “leads/quote requests” as a metric to track marketing success. Comparatively, just 68% of respondents use traffic metrics such as site visits and page views.

digital marketing statistics

We also asked agencies qualitative questions about tracking marketing results. These questions asked for long-form answers. 48% of survey respondents mentioned one of the following challenges related to tracking marketing results:

  1. Integrating different marketing software with the tracking tool.
  2. Finding a way to show clients the ROI of their marketing spend.
  3. Getting accurate, reliable marketing attribution data.
  4. Getting simple reports that are automatically created.

When asked what software they would use for lead tracking if they could only use one software, 32% of survey respondents prioritized software that could “track all leads.”

The biggest priority for agencies was the ability to capture every lead from every conversion action.

Agencies also mentioned that lead tracking tools must have the following features:

  • Quality data
  • Integrations with Google Ads
  • Simple interfaces

How do agencies optimize marketing campaigns?

WhatConverts asked survey respondents about their challenges with optimizing marketing campaigns.

40% of survey respondents mentioned one of the following challenges with analytics and optimization:

  • Making confident decisions from large amounts of data
  • Simplifying numbers so clients can understand the rationale behind decisions.

When asked which optimization software they would use if they could only use one, 52% of respondents said each software does different things, and they couldn’t choose one.

Agencies are using many software tools. Although many likely wish they could consolidate software tools, the results of this survey indicate that most don’t think that’s possible.

16% of agencies did say that if they could just use one tool, they would choose a tool that has reliable conversion tracking. Conversion tracking is a priority for agency marketers.

How do agencies report on marketing results?

The main takeaway in this section is that agencies use many different tools to report on marketing results. It’s also worth noting that nearly 10% of agencies are still using screenshots and spreadsheets to report on marketing.

software survey

Reporting can cause issues between agencies and their clients. Client reporting meetings are inflection points where questions come up:

  • Is the agency producing results?
  • Is the client satisfied?
  • Can the agency use reports to explain changes in the marketing strategy?

When asked what they look for in a reporting software, 40% of agencies wanted to see all leads in one reporting dashboard. Agencies and clients don’t have time to click through multiple dashboards to create reports.

43% of agencies said their biggest reporting challenge was showing the clients relevant metrics that show the value of the agency’s work.

Survey respondents also mentioned the following challenges with reporting:

  • Reporting results across multiple marketing channels
  • The amount of time it takes to create reports

Agency Growth Projections

The right software should help an agency grow. With that in mind, we asked survey respondents about the obstacles they faced in their path towards growth.

84% of respondents said adding more clients would be key to growth. This is unsurprising, but there were two other key areas in which agencies looked to expand operations. 60% of agencies mentioned client retention as a key to growth.

60% of agencies also said they could grow by motivating additional client spending. To motivate additional client spending, agencies must show clients the value of their marketing efforts.

agency growth projections

Wrap Up and Takeaways

That concludes the results portion of this article. Here at WhatConverts, we identified a few key learnings. We learned that agencies use many different tools to show the value of their marketing efforts. At the same time, agencies do have a desire for one tool that can consolidate information into a single dashboard or platform.

We learned that agencies that track leads no longer see much of a need to use traditional conversion/event track tools. Lead tracking fulfills the agency’s need to show how their marketing is driving value for clients.

Finally, we learned that agencies see the potential for growth in their existing client base. If agencies can motivate additional spending, they can achieve growth targets in 2022. The right software can help agencies prove their value to clients; convincing the client that more marketing spend will lead to more revenue.

Mac Mischke

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