If you are a digital marketing professional – on Agency-Side or Brand-Side – and have been toying with the idea of starting something on your own, this blog is for you. In this article, we discuss the nuances of starting your own Digital Marketing shop in Indian context and things you should consider before you take the leap. If you have always wondered how to start a Digital Marketing Agency in India, read on.
Digital Agencies was the next logical step in the Marketing & Advertising industry after the success of Advertising Agencies gaining a lot of popularity and authority ever since their debut in 1786. In this setup, Digital marketing, Strategy, Copywriting and Art experts come together to form an external Marketing team for multiple brands. These Digital Agencies provide Digital and Mainline marketing solutions to enhance a brand’s visibility and positioning in the market. As the world is going digital, co-functioning with agencies run by digital marketing maestros not only helps you with building up your digital game but also makes your one marketing bit smoother and highly effective.
The agency model has demonstrated a lot of success for brands over the years because of the following reasons:
- It reduces the cost for the brand as the agency teams are shared between multiple brands, thereby bringing cost efficiencies.
- In case of creative ideas, it brings in an external perspective that the brand custodians might overlook due to creative fatigue of working on the same brand continuously.
- It increases the think tank as various agency teams can collaborate on ideas and campaigns.
WHY Do You Want to Start A Digital Marketing Agency?
If you want to start with your agency, the very first question that arises is ‘Why do you want to start an agency?’ If you have an answer to it, great. If you are a tad confused, let’s weigh the pros and cons of starting one:
|Own business. You get to run the show. The thrill of creating a business that will impact the industry and the lives of many people is exhilarating.||You are the owner so the onus of making it work is completely on you. Ownership comes with its own set of pressures.|
|Digital Marketing Industry is growing by leaps and bounds. You can join the bandwagon right now.||There are already tonnes of agencies in India. It is a very competitive space. To succeed, you will have to identify a niche and then work towards leadership in that niche.|
|You get to collaborate with multiple industries and brands and be a part of the growth story.||You will have to keep multiple clients happy at the same time. You attention will always be divided.|
|Once you have a substantial Client Pool built, the cost efficiencies will start showing and that’s where you start making the “moolah”. You get to be a part of the career story of each employee that walks into the doors. Give value to brands and make money.||You will have to work at thin margins in the beginning. And at the same time ensure the payroll and admin expenses are taken care of.|
|No geographic boundaries. You can service clients from any part of the country or world.||This requires a lot of “living on the road”. As a founder, you will be the biggest salesperson for the agency and will have to be out travelling mostly.|
If you have the passion and grit that entrepreneurship requires and you love the digital marketing space, this could be the moment for you to take the leap.
Now that we have the intent in place, let’s move on to the next step.
WHO Is the Right Person To Start A Digital Marketing Agency?
Is there a profile a Digital Marketing Agency founder should fit in? Do you fit into that picture?
Whether it’s an agency or any other start-up, there are some common traits the Founders need to exhibit. They need to be extremely passionate about building that business. They should understand that entrepreneurship sometimes gets lonely and pressurizing. They should be ready to focus on both external (clients) and internal (people, processes etc.) at the same time.
When you’re the Founder of a Digital Marketing Agency, there’s one thing that is expected of you -to have a clear understanding of the Digital ecosystem and the ability to foresee the upcoming trends. You don’t necessarily have to have an expertise in all elements of digital marketing. In that case, you can have a co-founder and senior leadership with complimenting skills (when you can afford that). The leadership team has to have a balance between creative and data/numbers bent of mind.
Another important trait the Agency founder needs to possess is Relationship-Building and Relationship-Nurturing skills. Agency business relies and survives greatly on relationships (like a lot of other businesses). So that’s something you need to focus on.
For absolute starters, here’s a good place to start your Digital Marketing learning.
WHERE Can You Set Up Your First Agency Office?
Having an office has now become way more convenient than it used to be. Thanks to the rising popularity and acceptance of co-working spaces and “working café” culture. When you start, let your focus be on how and what will you be delivering, and the place can be secondary. Digital marketing offers you the flexibility to work from even your home or a cafe.
WHICH Clients Do You Go After in The Beginning?
Another rather essential step here is to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Strengths would decide which sector of clients would you prefer to work on and which ones would you need a little more help in understanding their niche. Here, let’s be elaborate with the conventional SWOT analysis:
Strengths: Explore which sector interests you and which sector is currently trending to make sure you have a return on investments.
Weakness: This includes the section of niches that scare you or something that doesn’t interest you. But the golden rule of starting an agency: NEVER SAY NO! Take up a client or a project and the best thing about it would be learning before earning.
Opportunity: Sit down with your team and understand what the opportunities for the agency to add more value to the client in any project. Each client will have a different set of deliverables. Whether the client is offering you a great scope of work or adding up to your bank balance, this is where an opportunity analysis comes in the picture.
Threats: In a digital marketing career, your threats can be internal or external. Internal threats could involve unmotivated team or weak relationships between the servicing team and the clients. External threats would be the incoming competition constantly pitching to your clients and that found during the Mandate pitches.
HOW to Get Started with Setting Up Your Own Digital Marketing Agency In India?
When you have all the ‘W’s in place, the HOW follows. All you need is the right education about this industry and the hustle to succeed. Some of the vital tips here could be:
- Develop necessary skills
- Maintain good relations with your current and potential clients
- Develop a business model that works in your favour
- Take risks. Experiment
- Define your niche
- Finally, decide and plan where do you see yourself a couple of years from now.
Hope this article has given you some insight about starting a Digital Marketing Agency in India and will act as a good thought starter. If you have any queries, you can post them in comments, and we will try to answer them to the best of our capacity.
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