4 Challenges Facing Agencies Today & How to Solve Them

By David Garcia


There are new challenges facing agencies each year. Utilizing the insights in this article can help you find success in 2023, despite these challenges.
Running an agency can be a fulfilling experience because it gives you the power to help brands reach their potential. As an agency, you can become the foundation for a brand’s success. But that’s not to say that there aren’t many challenges facing agencies. 
Finding success as a marketing agency doesn’t come overnight. Today, thriving means adapting to many changing circumstances. Whether it be building the right team, finding clients, or making an effort to evolve constantly, agencies have a lot to juggle. 
So, what are some of the biggest challenges agencies face today? Continue reading to find out and learn of some tactics you can use to overcome them.

4 Challenges Facing Agencies

The challenges that an agency faces are multifaceted. They’re often spurred on by emerging trends, but there are also persistent challenges that occur regardless of trends. Below is a list of these common challenges facing agencies. Study them to find ways you can stand up to these challenges and come out on top.

1. Retaining Talent

Any thriving marketing agency is backed by a team of talented individuals who are united under a shared vision. Put plainly: an agency needs quality talent if they expect to succeed. But one of the major challenges facing agencies is finding and then keeping the right team members. 
Part of the reason that agencies struggle to retain talent is because of employee burnout. According to the 2022-2023 Aflac WorkForces Report, 59 percent of all American workers report experiencing moderate levels of burnout. This is reported as being around the same levels of burnout as during COVID-19. Another aspect of this challenge that hinders agencies is the cost that is required to replace an employee. The Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that it costs a company approximately six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them. This is a hefty sum that can be avoided by keeping an existing employee content. 


Transparency: An effective way to mitigate employee burnout is to be clear about expectations. Many businesses focus on acquiring the right people but then struggle to clearly communicate what will be expected from the employee upon being hired. To avoid this, agencies can be transparent about what they expect from their team members, what a day-to-day would look like for them, and how much they can expect to be compensated. This transparency will show that you value and care for them, making them less likely to feel burdened with an unexpected workload. 
Ownership: No employee wants to feel micromanaged. The best work environment will make an employee feel like a valued member of the team who is trusted to handle their assignments. Make your employees feel like you trust them to do good work and that their effort is appreciated because this will make them excited to show up and push your vision forward each day.

2. Standing Out

There are tons of successful marketing agencies, and it seems like new ones emerge each day. It’s clear that this is a field with an abundance of competition. Obviously, the challenge becomes standing out amongst all this competition. Standing out will allow you to attract the right talent, top clients, and grow your business. So how do you overcome this? 


Show Your Differences: Many agencies describe themselves as being different from the rest, but then never go on to say what makes them different. This doesn’t build any trust between the brand and its customers, and it may actually do the exact opposite of what’s intended. Fortunately, this is a simple fix. Instead of saying you’re different, show it. Identify what actually makes you stand out from the rest and highlight it by being as specific as possible.
For instance, is your agency known for taking on new ventures that other agencies haven’t? If so, you can proudly display evidence of this through the use of a case study. Simple solutions like these go a long way in separating your agency from the competition. 

3. Keeping Up With Digital Trends

Digital trends are an ever-evolving beast. It may even feel like the minute you discover and then adapt to one trend, another is already on the horizon. With this in mind, the challenges facing agencies then become having a fingerconstantly on the pulse of these emerging trends. So how can you keep up? 


Encourage Collaboration: Hiring team members who are enthusiastic and passionate about the world of digital marketing can be a great way to ensure your agency is always evolving. People who share the same love for the field will naturally gravitate toward emerging technologies and trends because they’re excited to implement them just like you. With this in mind, you can make collaboration a priority so that ideas are always being shared. Create opportunities to study the competition and the market so that your team and the agency grow, change, and strive for success.
New Skills: Making the time to learn new skills takes the existing passion of your team and makes using it to discover areas for growth a priority. Sure, this strategy may not immediately yield results, but it will lay the seeds for future success. Taking time to fortify your team and your agency through skill acquisition only stands to benefit you.

4. Cultivating Client Retention

One issue many agencies face is retaining quality clients over time. Part of the reason this becomes a challenge is because clients require clear and constant communication. They want to know that they’re in good hands, but with all the projects and metrics marketers are constantly juggling it can be easy to leave clients out of the loop. Here’s how you can avoid falling into this trap.


Automation: Automation can make important, but tedious, aspects of your agency run much smoother, while also reducing the amount of manual work on your plate. For instance, consider automating reports by developing customized data dashboards (see how we did this for one of our clients, Advance Local). Simple solutions like these can save you a ton of time and free you up to focus on other aspects of your agency, like building strong client relationships.

Adapting to the Challenges Facing Agencies With Theorem

As any marketer knows, running a successful agency takes a lot of work. There are constantly moving parts that present challenges for marketers to be aware of. Each year comes with new problems, but problems create opportunities. Take the insight in this article and begin adopting new tactics to continue your success in 2023!

Looking to solve some agency problems in 2023?

Agencies are constantly adapting to a changing market. Understanding these challenges and accommodating them can help you prosper this year.

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