Scratching the itch: time to move agencies?.


Whether you’re now taking the railway, motorway or hallway to work, one constant will have remained – your desire to work with the perfect digital partner who understands you, your team and your business perfectly.

A truly great agency and client relationship should be all about the people. Teams collaborating and offering up suggestions to make projects the best they can possibly be. But much like our own human relationships, this isn’t always the case. When the conversation dries up, you want to do different things, or you realise your partner isn’t actually ‘all that’ – it’s time to move on.

We’re always hearing stories from clients of agencies who have over-promised and under-delivered. From the amazing team at that chemistry meeting who they never saw again (or have all now wandered off), the team who promised to deliver the very latest upgrade but couldn’t even finish the user manual, or the growing frustration as you talk optimisation but they simply hear ‘more development’. We’ve heard it all.

Working with an agency who is clearly struggling is a nightmare. It will damage your potential to achieve business and marketing objectives and keep you in the blocks while your competitors sprint down the track. So what should you do about it? If you’ve not gone through the process, or are daunted by the prospect, it’s actually very easy.

Agencies play nicely together

Never fear the potential turbulence of moving your account. It’s a misconception that agencies will be at war with each other, sniping and laying booby traps to unsettle a project. The last thing you want to become is a babysitter. The truth is, if an account has run its course with your current partner, there is likely a mutual understanding that things may be better if you both moved on. You may not hear this from your Account Manager who will bend over backwards to let you know that all is OK, but this is where Sagittarius can parachute in and deliver the clarity you need. We’ll run a few audits to uncover the real state of the code or performance of your digital marketing. Armed with these results, you can speak confidently with your current agency in the knowledge that we’ll have your back.

We have a robust process in place for the migration of work to us, working hand-in-hand with the incumbent to make the process as speedy and seamless as possible. Equally, most clients have multiple agency partners and this collaborative vision is something very common. When all expert teams understand their parameters and roles towards the common goal, amazing things can happen.

Let us know if you would like more information around our on-boarding process.

Technical capability: Implementers versus Optimisers

It’s important to work with a partner who approaches the technology you use in the way that it would best benefit your business. Sounds simple right? But it’s often overlooked and taken for granted. More often than not, clients will line up agencies to speak with based on a ‘platinum status’, size of past projects or the fact that they have rock star clients. But the chances are, they will have simply implemented the technology without looking through an optimisation lens.

Sagittarius comes from a marketing background. Testing, optimisation and performance is in our DNA. We were handling digital media when Tom at MySpace was everyone’s first follower. The result is we’ve decades of experience in optimising great digital work. From CRO and SEO through to enterprise DXPs like Sitecore or Episerver, we don’t implement and blindly roll-out projects, we start with a conversation around your business and marketing objectives. We even have a dedicated team – the Sitecore Optimisation Consultancy which together with our own training academy, are all focused to ensure that every penny invested in your tech is returned through a remarkable user experience.

Organisation footprint

You are going to want to work with a partner who is perfect for you in its organisation structure. The Goldilocks principle applies here: not too big, not too small – but taking into account a dozen or more considerations – just right now. And still just right in five year’s time.

We’ve heard that Sagittarius is often ‘just right’ due to the way we work, the size of the business and type accounts we manage. We’re picky, our clients have great stablemates. We don’t have investors on our board watching where we invest or cutting costs, no shareholders to slow down processes and are agile enough to mould around a way of working that suits you. Our clients enjoy a boutique level service with dedicated ‘agency-in-agency’ Pods and daily stand-ups, all supported by the firepower of a global business.

We would love to chat with you and share more about what makes our account teams and approach to projects so very special.

Learn to smell the agency guff: authenticity wins

Good is when your agency team uses genuine emotion and down to earth language. Its people will naturally be devoid of ‘agency-speak’ and will genuinely want to strive to deliver outstanding results – and will challenge you if they think you’ve lost the plot.

That last point is important. You want to know you can have a straight-talking conversation with your agency team, resulting in more ideas and recommendations than questions and queries. If your agency is simply order-taking and not challenging your team or aligning your work to best sector practice, then it may be time to move.

Agencies generally overuse ‘passionate’, ‘transparent’, ‘integrated’ and ‘award-winning’ as in an effort to be better than the competition. But better doesn’t equal different – and you should always be looking for different. The more human, more ‘normal’, the more different your team is will mean they are the more authentic – and authenticity is the magic we are all looking for.

At Sagittarius, we like to think of ourselves authentic down to earth people-people, but all a little bit special in our own little way. We exist to create great work for others and our greatest reward is our returning clients (we’re looking at you, customers who've been with us for over ten years). Our focus is and always will be on our clients and not on industry awards and accreditations, which could account for why we’ve won so many of them…

What next?

Get in touch if you would like to hear more about how painless migration to Sagittarius can be. We would especially like to share with you some ways your platform or digital estate can be optimised and streamlined. Just having a chat with one or specialists will open your eyes not only to the potential but just how achievable it could be.

We are one of the UK’s leading independent digital agencies, and top of our game for experience optimisation. We look forward to welcoming you on-board and seeing how remarkable you could become.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.


Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

Adam Gallucci Thumbnail
Adam Gallucci
head of business development
Adam’s been a successful agency business development professional for more than 20 years, starting out in advertising and branded content then moving into FMCG marketing and digital engagement. Throughout his international career, he has helped launch a Seattle based UX agency in the UK, grow a European FMCG influencer agency and helped developed a creative agency driving customer engagement for Easy Jet, Taylor Wimpey and Disney. Focused on digital and the power of DXPs for the past five years, Adam works hard to understand the business and marketing objectives of any potential client.
Adam Gallucci Thumbnail

Adam Gallucci

18 Aug 2020 - 7 minute read
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