The past decade has seen immense change brought to the world of business. The scope and possibilities of work have been exponentially expanded across almost every industry on the planet, and the concept of what a business actually looks like is vastly different to what it was 10 years ago.
Operating a digital agency is no different. With everything from task management to operations and scalability, it’s never been more imperative to implement suitable software to optimize an agency’s workload.
Fortunately, we live in an age with a plethora of options to aid each stage of the customer onboarding, nurturing, upselling and retention phases integral to running a successful digital agency. However, with a great variety of options, comes a great responsibility for those selecting which pieces of software to implement into their business.
However, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll cover our top software solution recommendations to help transform the operations, customer management, selling, marketing, and many more aspects of your agency today.
- What is Digital Software and Why is it Important?
- The Essential Software for Digital Marketing Agencies
- How Can Digital Agency Software Transform Your Business?
- What Digital Agency Software Should Your Prioritise?
What is Digital Software and Why is it Important?
Digital software is sometimes called ‘cloud-based software’, and it operates in a similar way to the software most people have used throughout their lives, except for a few things. Digital or cloud-based software often doesn’t require the user to install programs on their computer. The programs themselves are stored on a server and accessed via the internet. This means that the users of the software can basically access it from anywhere in the world as long as they have a device and an internet connection.
For digital agencies, this supports your ability to implement suitable applications to connect your workforce together to help you and your staff all work from the same hymn sheet. This can be a massive game-changer in terms of operating a multifaceted team even across multiple locations whilst still aligning to the same goals.
After all, a huge imperative of operating a successful digital agency is close coordination of client management, tasks, and often large-scale projects where every element needs careful alignment amongst your in-house team. Thus, key digital software helps to implement this across a variety of disciplines.
For example, digital software helps to remove the classic staple Rolodex client contact cards of the eighties era with a sophisticated CRM system for all of your client team to see. And, commonly to all of us now, instantaneous meetings through online platforms such as Google Meets and Zoom, transform the proactivity of customer and internal management.
Digital software has also gained significant importance in the business world due to its customizable nature. In the past, creating a program to fulfill the needs of an individual business was normally a labor-intensive and expensive process. Now, if there’s an industry for something, there’s most likely a digital software package that has been designed to support different elements around that industry.
One of the main reasons why digital software is so important is that it genuinely allows digital agencies to work smarter instead of harder. These kinds of software often automate tasks, streamline workflows, organize data and offer valuable insights in ways that could only have been imagined about 20 years ago.
The Essential Software for Digital Marketing Agencies
There are many different kinds of digital agency software that can be useful for your business, and they cover many different specific needs. Below you will find categories and examples of software that can help you get the most out of your marketplace.
Marketing Reporting Software
Marketing reporting software helps businesses to track data, understand the behavior of current and potential customers and help to build an accurate idea of the customer journey. Effective reporting software can provide essential data that can be used to capitalize on gaps in the market or further strengthen your position within it.
The basic idea behind something like this is that it will help a business to understand where they should be spending their marketing budget.
A few highly recommended marketing reporting software applications are DashThis, WhatGraph and Octoboard. All three of these software packages offer accurate data tracking and excellent reporting capabilities for marketing purposes.
A CRM System
The term CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Using a decent CRM system is essential for any business that wants to build a loyal customer base and service them as effectively as possible.
In the past, many customer-related businesses relied on almost endless spreadsheets to compile and organize all of their customer data. The advent of complete CRM packages has completely revolutionized the way we can access and update this information.
Good CRMs store all relevant customer data and allow team members to easily track all communication. They are worth investing in because they result in better time management, organization and efficiency. They also help to instill more trust in a business from the customer’s perspective. If they are speaking to a different representative than they did last time, it’s very reassuring to a customer if they don’t need to tell you their entire history again and again.
Website Auditing & Bug Tracking Software
As an agency, it’s critical to use a website audit tool to make sure you’re selling the right products to the right clients and to prove to your existing clients you’re doing a great job.
Insites is a website auditing platform designed specifically for agencies. It’s perfect for scanning prospective clients to discover what your biggest opportunities are. You can then use it to fix those problems and prove to the client you’ve done a great job.
It’s essential to have a decent web presence, and it’s not enough that you have a website; it needs to work effectively for your customers. Unidentified bugs and issues with the customer experience (CX) can lead to dramatic stagnation or even a drop in conversion rates.
A good web auditing tool can locate problems fast and effectively. There are powerful website auditing tools on the market that are able to assess the efficacy of content, design, colour and branding, plugins, visibility, SEO and much more while also being able to spot potential and existing bugs.
Screen Sharing Software
In many cases, experts agree that people respond better to things when they are shown rather than told them. The ability to show models, demonstrate projections or visually represent a product or service can truly increase conversion rates in business, and in the current world, many customers aren’t just used to this sort of thing; they sometimes expect it.
Screen-sharing software isn’t by any means new, but it has come a very long way since the first desktop-sharing pioneers used the internet to help people connect remotely.
Crankwheel is a great example of streamlining the screen-sharing process by making it as easy as possible for the consumer. With Crankwheel, users can share their screen to present to someone else anywhere in the world without the need for them to download software. They can simply click on a link in an email or text message to view a screen in real-time.
This kind of innovation can be a powerful tool to add to the arsenal of any business, particularly in any form of sales.
Customer Service Software
Customer service and customer relations are actually different. Customer relations looks at the process of how a business interacts with its customers to ensure the highest perception of the company or brand, whereas customer service is more about the support and assistance provided to the customer when they have a question, request or issue.
There is obviously some crossover between the two elements of business, but they are essentially different, and for this reason, it’s important to know that not all CRM software packages have the capability of also taking care of customer service.
For budgetary reasons, it is therefore very advisable for companies to seek out packages that cater to both CRM and customer service. There are quite a few systems on the market that do this, like Front, Customer and ones already mentioned, like Pipedrive and Zoho.
Performance Tools & Software
It can be very beneficial to invest in performance tools and software that look at improving the return on investment a business gains on its websites. Auditing, bug tracking and UX are all important but so is assessing the overall performance and potential for integration with other apps and services that a company utilizes.
Cloudways is a great example of all-on-one website performance and enhancement tool that boasts the ability to get a website live and effective in minutes rather than days, with the ability to integrate other services like WordPress and many others.
Social Media Management Tools
Having a social media presence is essential for just about every business. This is where potential customers can get a sense of a brand. It’s no longer enough that businesses can provide services; customers often want to choose companies and individuals that reflect their own personal needs. A social media presence is a great way to create a face and voice for a brand or business without necessarily needing an actual face or voice.
Social media is also one of the most effective funnels for advertising, and managing social media posts can be made much easier with social media management tools that help you schedule posts and analyze their reach.
Team Management Software
Many hands make light work, but it’s still important to know what each hand is actually doing. Managing a team isn’t easy, especially when a business is working in a digital or remote space. Team management software takes the uncertainty out of the process by allowing for the effective distribution, tracking and automation of tasks. Packages like Monday.com and Asana take the guesswork out of team management and ensure that accountability is held and deadlines are met without leaving team members feeling like they are being micromanaged.
Web Design Tools
An attractive website can mean the difference between converting a lead and being in conversion limbo, and if your business has the cash flow to inject into hiring a web designer, great, but that’s not always the case. Thankfully there is a range of great web design tools available on the market that can get you up and running in almost no time at all.
Tracking and logging sales activity is a must for any business, but it’s not easy to do, especially in the 24/7 nature of the world we now live in. Utilizing a software package that can give you a real-time overview of your sales funnel will help you to plan your marketing and sales strategies. There are some great CRMs on the market that also include powerful sales tools as well as tracking and management tools like HubSpot.
Project Management Software
Just like managing a team, managing a project can become a nightmare if you don’t have ideas about knowledge areas of project management and don’t have an easy way to know at a glance the status of all a project’s individual pieces.
In recent years there have been some great innovations in project management software. Many project management packages now have increased capabilities and expanded functions to allow for more customizations in workflows.
Everything from scheduling to RFPs to planning, assessment and reconciliation can now be done in one place. There are a bunch of CRMs that have included this functionality in their setups, like Monday.com, but there are also specified tools available, like Wrike, that are dedicated to project management.
How Can Digital Agency Software Transform Your Business?
It doesn’t matter what level your business is currently at; the right digital agency software can help lead to better profits and more return business. Probably the main reason this kind of software is so beneficial is that it allows for the powerful use of automation.
Many of the functionalities offered by digital agency software utilize AI and algorithms to take the guesswork out of a task. Team members can focus on the skills that they bring to the work environment rather than spreading their time thinly between this and other administrative or menial tasks.
In a way, these kinds of software have leveled the playing field considerably and allowed more players to take a bigger stake in individual markets.
What Digital Agency Software Should Your Prioritise?
Not every business can afford to invest in every single piece of software that will give them a competitive edge, but if you were forced to prioritize, it’s best to ensure that you have three specific kinds of digital agency software.
It’s a must that a digital agency has some sort of CRM system. Often CRMs can also have in-built task management capabilities. It’s also important to invest in some sort of marketing management tool. The third kind of software that probably shouldn’t be overlooked is some sort of screen-sharing tool; as stated earlier, customers respond to visual stimuli much more than they do to simple phone calls; combining the two can have untold conversion results, especially in sales.
It’s an incredibly exciting time to be in business. The humble laptop can actually be the window to a financially lucrative venture for a company of any size, and the innovations that have been made in the past few years continue to change what is possible.
With the right tools at your fingertips, just about anyone can take the bull by the horns and turn a decent profit; a few smart clicks is all it takes.