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Selling your agency, a how-to guide, Part 2: Why do agencies get acquired?

A few months ago, I created a list of every search engine marketing agency with at least 10 employees in the US. You can view it here; there are over 100 agencies on the list. You’ll notice that more than 80 percent of the agencies listed are independent. To be clear, many agencies have no intention…

Selling your agency, a how-to guide, Part 4: Making the deal happen

When evaluating different job offers, compensation is always a major factor, but it is rarely the only consideration: Job stability, compensation, opportunity, responsibility and environment all contribute to a decision on a new opportunity. (My mnemonic for this is S-C-O-R-E.) Such is also the case…

Selling your agency, a how-to guide, Part 3: The mechanics of being acquired

In the movies, an agency acquisition would probably be shown as a quick montage: The agency founder gets a call, gets on a plane, has a meeting in a fancy conference room with a bunch of guys in suits, signs a contract, pops some champagne and jets off to the Bahamas to celebrate. The reality isn’t…

10 truisms about agencies and clients

Over my nine years in the agency world, I’ve realized that I have certain “canned responses” to specific questions or situations. For lack of a better term, these are “Davidisms” that my team can probably repeat verbatim at this point. I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite ones with you. 1. Clients…

The Secret To Better Online Marketing: It’s Not What You Think

A Zappos customer service employee recently set a record with an epic ten-hour conversation with a customer. At Netflix, employees get unlimited PTO because the company concluded “we should focus on what people get done, not on how many days worked.” So, what do these random tidbits have…

Be careful what you ask for: How a Supreme Court victory for manufacturers helped Amazon

Less than 10 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers could dictate pricing terms to retailers, much to the delight of manufacturers. Today, Amazon is doing the same thing to manufacturers. Do a search on Amazon for “Leegin Creative Leather,” and you’ll find two very nice leather belts:…

Help Your Marketing Team Build Airplanes, Not Minotaurs!

We live in a world with instant access to information. Think about a simple question — “What is the population of Iowa?” — and consider how getting an answer to that question has changed in just the last 20 years. In 1994, you would have had to find an encyclopedia or (gasp)…

Report: Google May Allow First-Party Data Targeting In Search Within The Year

…anonymity in search. In doing so, it has left significant money on the table — and allowed more ad spend to head to Facebook. David Rodnitzky, CEO and co-founder of 3Q Digital, a Harte Hanks company, predicted in his recent Marketing Land column, “that the advocates inside Google…

The calm before the storm: Why media channels die quickly

I recall an amazing chart I saw a few years ago about the decline in newspaper advertising revenue. Here it is: If you’re like me, what you’ll notice first is the dramatic decline in revenue, starting around 2005. What I failed to notice, however, was that this decline was preceded almost…

The Case For Two CMOs

Thomas Young lived from 1773 to 1829. To say he was a scholar is an understatement, since during his lifetime he “made notable scientific contributions to the fields of vision, light, solid mechanics, energy, physiology, language, musical harmony, and Egyptology.” Young’s knowledge…

The new advertising industrial complex is here -- for now

Despite the amazing growth of the stock market in 2017, several sectors of the American economy had a cataclysmically bad year. The poster child for this decline is traditional retail: things like clothing stores, department stores, malls and toy stores. Bloomberg reported more than 7,000 physical…

Beyond SEM: When You've Maxed Your Search Ads, What's Next?

Advertisers frequently tell me, “If you can hit my CPA target, my SEM budget is unlimited!” This is great in theory but often limited in practice — at some point, there simply are no more new keywords, or landing page tweaks, or ad text tests that can increase an advertiser’s SEM spend. Two years…