Web Studio / Agency Marketing Strategy

Hello, Habr! We continue our series of materials about the business of web studios as part of Autumn Acceleration with NetCat and today we talk in detail about the web studio’s marketing strategy, and also publish a marketing activity map template.

In our market, a complete nightmare is created with the positioning and marketing of studios / agencies. Every first company proudly declares itself to be a “young dynamically developing digital agency of a full cycle” - and as a result, all players merge into a single gray faceless mass. We will discuss how to avoid this, and how to form a competent marketing strategy for the development of your company. I do not pretend that such a document structure is the only true one, but in my experience such a format has always paid off.


Strategy is a living document that you write for yourself. Its goal is to determine the vector of development, set key goals and describe how to achieve them in terms of the marketing aspect.

  • The strategy should be constantly updated, supplemented and reviewed. The market is changing rapidly, the situation in the company too - and if you write “document-monument” just to be, then this is unlikely to help. Needless to say, we must try to fulfill everything that is written in the strategy, otherwise, again, the meaning will be lost.

  • Write in normal human language, without bureaucracy - you write for yourself, your employees, people who understand the specifics of the business.

0) Fixing the current situation

To begin with, we need to fix the current situation - in order to understand from what point we will start our development vector.

  • Indicate a few key points that characterize your situation at the moment. For example, "A strong team of technical specialists", "a great demand for mobile development services." Indicate weaknesses, for example, “poor management experience in management”, “lack of quality customer service”.

  • List the values ​​of the main indicators. In each company, KPIs may vary, but we list the basic ones:
    • Gross revenue, turnover
    • Company staff
    • Standard hour cost + overhead ratio
    • The number of completed projects for the period
    • Number of customers in support
    • Site traffic
    • Number of leads / presales

1) Strategic goals, KPI, milestones

After fixing the current situation, we need to set the second point of the vector - what we are striving for. It makes sense to set the planning horizon in the range from six months to one and a half years. A longer period does not make sense; the market, instruments, competitive environment and macro-factors of the economy change too quickly.

  • We single out the most important, 2-4 points. For example, “Get a turnover of 1 million rubles" or "enter the top 10 companies specializing in corporate websites of industrial companies in Novosibirsk, or" form a promotion department of 3 people, get 5 clients in the direction "

  • We list the planned KPI values. The composition is more convenient to take the same as in the previous section - so it will be more convenient to compare.

  • We single out a number of milestones - these are semantic points (not KPIs) that are not drawn to strategic goals, but are also important. For example, “Redesigned our own site”, “Launched SLA in support”, “Built the process of cold sales”, “Organized a series of business breakfasts for customers”, “The company entered into A&R”.

We accompany all this with simple understandable comments and explanations where necessary.

2) Goal achievement strategy

In this section, we need to indicate the most important points of application of our efforts to achieve our goals. Some overview of all that we will talk about further. The section can be formed / adjusted at the stage of finalizing the strategy when the details are thought out.
For example, such points may be “Focus on developing the direction of customer service and support”, “Actively building brand awareness in a professional get-together”, “Holding your own client events”, “Focus on developing current employees, improving their skills”.

3) Service line, development vector

Now we must describe the current (and planned) launch of the services that our studio / agency provides to the client. It is very important to correctly rank them - and in the process of routine work, do not forget that we have the key, that which is secondary, and for which we do not undertake at all.

  • Key . Several driver services on which we rely mainly on the client audience of our own marketing activities. 2-4 flagship products. For example, “Development of online stores on NetCat”, “Mobile versions of restaurant sites”, “Project support on third-party CMS”, “Agile development of media sites”.

  • Secondary . The general range of services that we provide, but do not focus on them and do not consider flagship. For example, “corporate website development”, “SEO promotion”, “SMM”.

  • " Food block ." If we have any blanks (or we plan to create them) - which can be replicated and offered to customers (as a blank with subsequent dopilka) - we describe them. For example, “clothes fitting module for online stores”, “integration of a bank’s website with SharePoint”, etc.

  • The experimental unit . No experiments - no development. Some share of the company's resources should be allocated for conducting experiments with leading edge technologies. For example, “integration with Google Glass”, “faceless ordering module”, etc.
  • Do not take . It can be very useful to register those services for which we do not undertake, and they do not fit our vector, although clients sometimes ask them. For example, “3D modeling”, “copywriting”.

4) Determination of the target audience

One of the important sections is the segmentation of our target audience (taking into account the range of services, positioning, goals). In general, even though the sections on services, goals, target audience, and positioning go in a sequential order - they should be worked out iteratively. Clarified positioning - slightly adjusted the
target audience and services, described more detailed targeting - influenced the services, etc.
The client audience . We distinguish different segments of the target audience.

  • By type of business. For example, “large b2c”, “medium b2b”.

  • According to general indicators. For example, “brands from the world TOP-100”, “Companies with a budget of one million per year for the Internet direction”, “companies with a large network of promotional sites and a budget for their support”

  • By industry. We select the key ones for us, choose the secondary ones.

  • By position of decision makers.

  • We prescribe 5-7 maximally detailed portraits of target recipients, it helps a lot to clean the brain. For example, “The brand manager of a large FMCG company, a girl, 28 years old, graduated from the social faculty of Moscow State University, has agent experience, is a veterinarian, likes to travel and ride a bicycle, watches the series“ Game of Thrones ”, income from 2 million a year, not married".

Professional audience . An important part of our target audience for brand promotion. We describe the companies and personalities that will be of interest to us. For example, “top managers of popular CMS”, independent market experts, “heads of network agencies” and other
media audiences . Same. For example, “online media journalists about business”, “authors of blogs about SMM”.

5) Positioning

We pass to our positioning. We remember that this is what can distinguish us from the total mass of competitors.

Key emphasis . What we will focus on.

  • We form a general semantic approach. "Zvezdochka Studio is a reliable partner in creating promotional sites for film producers, with the experience of the founders in the film industry."

  • We write down the key slogan, message. "Asterisk: we will promote your film on the Web and without exploding helicopters!"

  • We write down a detailed description. For example, “Zvezdochka Studio specializes in working with large film studios to present their products on the Internet. Creation and support of promo sites (series of up to 20 promos per year per client), adaptation of western solutions. The studio was founded by the Moscow Art Theater graduates with five years of experience in Columbia Pictures. "

Key . очки . We indicate a list of other important key points of company positioning. For example, “Asterisk is the best mobile movie sites”, “Asterisk is an expert in attracting audiences in the film industry,” “Asterisk is an expert in building community of fans.”

Positioning for customers . A list of important things about us that we want to convey to the client audience. It may include many points, including “battered ones” - truth will be born at the intersection.

Market positioning . Same. для профтусовки – как мы хотим выглядеть в глазах профессионального сообщества.

6) Determination of benefits and USP

After defining the goals, services, positioning audience, we need to clearly identify what are our key advantages over competitors.

  • We list the benefits. For example, “The experience of the founder of the studio in a key client industry”, “The best quality of NetCat development on the market”, “SLA support”, “Low development rates due to production in the regions”.

  • We list the weaknesses (this is also important). For example, "lack of experience in SMM", "weak sales managers", "Small number of cases."

7) Competitive environment

Now we describe the competitive environment and the market in which we operate.

  • Macro factors. General factors of economic development, for understanding. For example, "a high probability of another round of the financial crisis," "lowering raw material prices."

  • Industry factors. Factors and development trends of our industry. For example, “Growth of competence on the customer side”, “rapid growth of the mobile application development market”.

  • Competitors. Список конкурентов с указанием уровня угрозы (низкий| A list of competitors indicating the level of threat (low | medium | high). |высокий). Do not forget that we are taking the development vector - and the company with which we are now juggling with tenders may cease to be our competitor in six months, and the company that now looks down on us will be them in a year.

8) Design and process activities

Now we proceed directly to listing the specific actions, channels and activities necessary to achieve our goals.

  • We single out project marketing activities as a list. For example, “creating a new site”, “launching a landing and the start of contextual advertising”, “a big special project with Sostav.ru”. After the completion of the project phase, many of them can go into process mode. We give a detailed description, goals, objectives, KPI, budget.

  • We single out process marketing activities. For example, "SEO-promotion of your own site", "cold sales", etc. We give a detailed description, goals, objectives, KPI, budget.

9) Communication channels with target audience, marketing budget

We describe the main communication channels with our groups / sections of Central Asia. We give a general overview of the channels, as well as details for each of them specific actions and activities, points of application of effort. We indicate the planned budgets in the sales funnel. We form the general marketing budget (including, taking into account the values ​​from the previous section).

The picture below is a general list of channels with an assessment of their effectiveness and response speed (to attract new customers).

10) Basic marketing plan for the period, activity map

We form a list of operational activities. I recommend combining two formats:

  • The general roadmap for six months . 10-20 key milestones in terms of marketing.

  • A map of marketing activities is a key operational document. I recommend opening the format template. The proposed version provides a list of everything that happens in the marketing of the company on the horizon of three months. All activities are divided into process, design and reserve. The combination of the Gantt chart and budgets allows you to plan the loading and distribution of the marketing budget. For all activities, you can enter an additional KPI block and measure the plan / fact separately.

11) KPI. Fixation and analytics tools

Once again, we list the key KPI companies (based on a business plan and financial model). We indicate the list and toolkit of analytical reports that we deal with with certain regularity, we fix the plan / fact for the period.

12) Development and adjustment of the strategy

We describe the regulations and the schedule for making adjustments to our strategy, do not forget to implement it.

13) Conclusion

We are writing a conclusion in a free, convenient and understandable form for us and our employees.

I would like to remind once again that the formation of a strategy is a point of zero, it is very important to follow it and constantly make adjustments. Only then will the marketing unit work at full capacity.

We also shot a video lecture on this topic, it complements this material well. To watch this video (as well as other lectures of the cycle) - register at http://promo.netcat.ru . It's free.

Sincerely, Andrey Terekhov

Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

Does your studio / agency have a marketing strategy?

  • 9.7% Yes, there is, but it lies dead weight, the last time we looked there half a year ago 22
  • 7.9% Yes, we are actively using it, it helps to move in the right canvas eighteen
  • 67.0% No, but it would be necessary to develop 152
  • 15.4% No, we don’t plan, marketing is evil 35