How marketing agencies are coping with the economic crisis

In times of crisis, companies will cut their marketing budget, fire marketing professionals, or terminate contracts with agencies. To find out the status of agency representatives after February 24, we spoke to them. We found out how many clients have left and how we kept the rest. Also, what changes were made in the team, as well as what the future holds.

Let’s talk briefly about the main

We know that not everyone is in the same position, but there are some things we can share:

  • Many advertisers have reduced their marketing budgets, while others have stopped advertising altogether.
  • This situation is made worse by the fact that 2 of the most popular platforms, FB and Google, have pulled out of the advertising market. In a previous article, we discussed how businesses try to replace traffic from those platforms and their successes.
  • The competition between agencies is increasing, and many are trying to divert customers from their current providers.
  • Customer retention is a must-do task. Sometimes discounts and bonuses can be helpful.

Many people remain positive despite the challenges and try to find a way out of difficult situations for their customers and businesses.

Additional speech by agency representatives

Roman Djounusov founder Internet marketing agency FireSEO. Telegram channel about entrepreneurship:

The situation was very similar to that of covid, and I suspect more people panicked during covid. Covid was a good preparation and there wasn’t panic this time. One customer requested that we stop all things immediately to make it better. However, in order to not lose him, we offered him the minimum flat fee and returned almost at the same speed. We refused to turn down customers who were already asking for discounts because of a drop in their sales.

The team has seen many changes. Some people were left alone while others were replaced. The changes had an impact on around 30% of the team, not least in terms of payouts.

It all depends on which apps you use. There’s usually a surge and then a dip. Signing new contracts is now more difficult. We searched the existing customer database and upsells and found some interesting results.

It is encouraging to see an increase in the demand for SEO, which is one of our major areas. Also, the number of requests for development has increased. People decided to invest in a new project. There was a general consumer boom in March – an explosion in sales in all areas. New projects can also be attributed to this category.

The full economic impact of recent events will be felt later, within six months or one year. The advertising market is definitely affected by the inert economic processes.

We have noticed recently that other internet marketing agencies are calling our clients more frequently and offering them audits, budget savings, growth points, etc. Many have begun cold calling to counter the exodus.

Despite all the uncertainty and pessimistic market outlooks of recent months, the current situation is not causing us any major shocks. Agency’s portfolio now includes projects in SMM promotion and full reputation assistance, contracts with a broad scope of validity, as well as agreements that have a long-term validity. Customers are optimistic about future cooperation. After the contract expired, only one client refused to renew it for financial reasons.

However, clients have had to adapt to new situations. We are all in the same boat, and we need to solve common problems. Although we were able to get by without having to review contracts or cut budgets, we made sure to meet our customers halfway. We helped them migrate to other platforms, including YouTube. Before automating this process, we also transferred videos from YouTube to Rutube. Additionally, we provided advice about the details of social networks and which channels would be most effective for their target audience.

The flow of requests has changed, as well as the willingness of customers and suppliers to offer more services. Although requests from businesses for social media promotion or contextual advertising placement are still being received, the frequency has fallen by at least five times. Businesses have entered savings mode which doesn’t allow us to expect an increase in customers in short-term. This trend is expected to continue for the next six months. However, it is hard to predict how the situation will change over a longer time period. The main goal is to keep current contracts intact and extend them as often as possible.

Four of our clients suspended their work on the Russian market for two months. This includes with agencies. These are mostly American and European companies.

We reviewed the customer loyalty program from the beginning. The first was to keep prices within agreed budgets. If this was not possible, such as if we had extra material to ship (we also make equipment), then they attempted to negotiate with suppliers to reduce the increase. We also tried to offer more bonuses, such as free designs or discounts. This was not the intention, but to help our long-standing customers.

Customers were offered more bonuses, including delivery, creation, and writing, as well as other services. A win-win policy strengthens cooperation. However, compliance with agreements and quality services are the most important.

The team was not reduced. We added bonuses in the first month to help the team feel more at ease in the difficult situation. On-demand, we have a consultation with a psychologist. This situation reenergized the team and the employees who responded began to work harder to improve productivity and maintain stability within the company.

In the beginning, it was also stated that although we don’t know the future, we will make every effort to preserve jobs and conditions.

There are many new applications. In some segments, there are even more. For example, in digital sphere they started to order more actively the promotion and creation sites, as well as various forms of advertising. They are now more likely to order corporate gifts and promotional items, which means that customer loyalty is important for all segments of B2B as well as B2C.

The Internet marketing market is expected to grow, especially as IT companies have the right conditions and parallel imports are allowed. Many companies are now more proactive in marketing their network, hoping to grow their market share.

The promotion solution has been relaunched under Google. To get a non-standard TOP, we chose the most effective semantics in paid advertising to make sure that it is as broad as possible. OnSERP SEO is our current focus. Our task is to include mention of the client on all sites.

The new apps have not seen any significant changes yet. While SEO demand is increasing, the closing time for new apps is still quite long. Many people are trying to figure out how to profit from the disappearance of big brands and how to get their traffic.

We believe loyalty is essential for long-term relationships and support our customers with extra bonuses. As a bonus, we offer BrandLift research for media advertising campaigns. A post-view analysis of ads campaigns is free and a report on the impact impressions have on conversions is produced. We are fully aware of the market demand for this tool, especially since the departure from the DCM (DoubleClick campaign Manager) tracker. Therefore, we use tracking on our platform as a replacement.

This is why the number of calls has risen. Advertisers are now looking for other channels after disabling ads on Google/YouTube/FB. Programmatic video is an obvious option. As the Russian Video Ad Network’s owners, we have seen an increase in requests during the past two months.

However, there is also an inverse trend. Due to the unstable economic environment, major brands are cutting back on advertising campaigns. One factor can be offset by another.

Just after starting a studio, we found ourselves in a position where clients panicked and broke contracts abruptly. Employees rushed to personal experiences, and the studio’s work, which was not well-constructed, remained in complete chaos.

Two customers whose products were frozen were the first to be evicted. These premium brands are pet food brands. You may remember how difficult it was to obtain pet food after February 24. Deliveries were temporarily stopped. The official representation in Italy of these brands is still silent. The Russian office and entrepreneurs are confused and lost. We were able to reach an agreement with the client. We will freeze the main promotion contract. The moderation of social media networks and reviews on different portals will be left. There have been many complaints from animals, which panicked the owners and made it impossible for them to process the incoming streams. This allowed us to keep the salaries of those involved in SMM for these brands.

We lost the next contract, a large one (by our standards), promoting a fast-food chain. This Russian network did not leave the market. However, the price of their products went up, so the owner waved to us.

We didn’t make any decisions to fire people, and we didn’t fire anyone. However, we knew that it was not the best way to respond in panic situations. We have been able to regroup and speed up many processes that could have taken months. With clients who understood the importance of marketing at all time, they held strategic sessions where they created a plan of action for the next three months. We also held a strategy session with ourselves and our studio. We learned a lot, laughed, and then moved on.

Strategy sessions, once considered ‘in the shadows,’ are now more sought after than ever. We are currently working on the studio’s development and will promote it via Ya Direct and networking/speaker events – I teach strategy lessons at several business schools and the best clients come from them.

While the number of applications has increased, the packages of services that customers are interested in have changed. Customers no longer tend to purchase extended management packages, but rather order SMM or photography/video separately. They do not need to sign monthly support contracts.

It is impossible to know exactly how many customers have left in the current environment. There is no closure of all contracts. There are times when clients reduce their budgets, abandon a variety of activities and stop investing. Some works have actually become more.

Discounts are unlikely to be stopped if the customer has made a decision to leave. We don’t believe in discounts. These discounts are actually the margin that the agency is able to operate. We were able increase March payroll by nearly 30% thanks to this.

We did not give any instructions to employees. However, we tried to decrease anxiety within the team. We meet more often. As I mentioned, the payroll was raised as planned. Despite our pessimistic forecasts we decided to invest in our employees.

There were significantly fewer applications after February 2022, but these became more important. Tenders have increased in number. CRM marketing is the most sought-after service.

In times of crisis, companies will cut their marketing budget, fire marketing professionals, or terminate contracts with agencies. To find out the status of agency representatives after February 24, we spoke to them. We found out how many clients have left and how we kept the rest. Also, what changes were made in the team, as well as what the future holds.

Let’s talk briefly about the main

We know that not everyone is in the same position, but there are some things we can share:

  • Many advertisers have reduced their marketing budgets, while others have stopped advertising altogether.
  • This situation is made worse by the fact that 2 of the most popular platforms, FB and Google, have pulled out of the advertising market. In a previous article, we discussed how businesses try to replace traffic from those platforms and their successes.
  • The competition between agencies is increasing, and many are trying to divert customers from their current providers.
  • Customer retention is a must-do task. Sometimes discounts and bonuses can be helpful.

Many people remain positive despite the challenges and try to find a way out of difficult situations for their customers and businesses.

Additional speech by agency representatives

Roman Djounusov founder Internet marketing agency FireSEO. Telegram channel about entrepreneurship:

The situation was very similar to that of covid, and I suspect more people panicked during covid. Covid was a good preparation and there wasn’t panic this time. One customer requested that we stop all things immediately to make it better. However, in order to not lose him, we offered him the minimum flat fee and returned almost at the same speed. We refused to turn down customers who were already asking for discounts because of a drop in their sales.

The team has seen many changes. Some people were left alone while others were replaced. The changes had an impact on around 30% of the team, at least in terms of payouts.

It all depends on which apps you use. There’s usually a surge and then a dip. Signing new contracts is now more difficult. We searched the existing customer database and upsells and found some interesting results.

It is encouraging to see an increase in the demand for SEO, which is one of our major areas. Also, the number of requests for development has increased. People decided to invest in new project. There was a general consumer boom in March – an explosion in sales in all areas. New projects can also be attributed to this category.

The full economic impact of recent events will be felt later, within six months or one year. The advertising market is definitely affected by the inert economic processes.

We have noticed recently that other internet marketing agencies are calling our clients more frequently and offering them audits, budget savings, growth points, etc. Many have begun cold calling to counter the exodus.

Despite all the uncertainty and pessimistic market outlooks of recent months, the current situation is not causing us any major shocks. Agency’s portfolio now includes projects in SMM promotion and full reputation assistance, contracts with a broad scope of validity, as well as agreements that have a long term validity. Customers are optimistic about future cooperation. After the contract was expired, only one client refused to renew it for financial reasons.

However, clients have had to adapt to new situations. We are all in the same boat, and we need to solve common problems. Although we were able to get by without having to review contracts or cut budgets, we made sure to meet our customers halfway. We helped them migrate to other platforms, including YouTube. Before automating this process, we also transferred videos from YouTube to Rutube. Additionally, we provided advice about the details of social networks and which channels would be most effective for their target audience.

The flow of requests has changed, as well as the willingness of customers and suppliers to offer more services. Although requests from businesses for social media promotion or contextual advertising placement are still being received, the frequency has fallen by at least five times. Businesses have entered savings mode which doesn’t allow us to expect an increase in customers in short-term. This trend is expected to continue for the next six months. However, it is hard to predict how the situation will change over a longer time period. The main goal is to keep current contracts intact and extend them as often as possible.

Four of our clients suspended their work on the Russian market for two months. This includes with agencies. These are mostly American and European companies.

We reviewed the customer loyalty program from the beginning. The first was to keep prices within agreed budgets. If this was not possible, such as if we had extra material to ship (we also make equipment), then they attempted to negotiate with suppliers to reduce the increase. We also tried to offer more bonuses, such as free designs or discounts. This was not to be a way to retain customers but to help them support their long-standing relationships.

Customers were offered more bonuses, including delivery, creation and writing, as well as other services. A win-win policy strengthens cooperation. However, compliance with agreements and quality services are the most important.

The team was not reduced. We added bonuses in the first month to help the team feel more at ease in the difficult situation. On-demand, we have a consultation with a psychologist. This situation reenergized the team and the employees who responded began to work harder to improve productivity and maintain stability within the company.

In the beginning, it was also stated that although we don’t know the future, we will make every effort to preserve jobs and conditions.

There are many new applications. In some segments, there are even more. For example, in digital sphere they started to order more actively the promotion and creation sites, as well as various forms of advertising. They are now more likely to order corporate gifts and promotional items, which means that customer loyalty is important for all segments of B2B as well as B2C.

The Internet marketing market is expected to grow, especially as IT companies have the right conditions and parallel imports are allowed. Many companies are now more proactive in marketing their network, hoping to grow their market share.

The promotion solution has been relaunched under Google. To get a non-standard TOP, we chose the most effective semantics in paid advertising to make sure that it is as broad as possible. OnSERP SEO is our current focus. Our task for all sites involved in the issue is to include mention of the client.

The new apps have not seen any significant changes yet. While SEO demand is increasing, the closing time for new apps is still quite long. Many people are trying to figure out how to profit from the disappearance of big brands and how to get their traffic.

We believe loyalty is essential for long-term relationships and support our customers with extra bonuses. As a bonus, we offer BrandLift research for media advertising campaigns. A post-view analysis of ads campaigns is free and a report on the impact impressions have on conversions is produced. We are fully aware of the market demand for this tool, especially since the departure from the DCM (DoubleClick campaign Manager) tracker. Therefore, we use tracking on our platform as a replacement.

This is why the number of calls has risen. Advertisers are now looking for other channels after disabling ads on Google/YouTube/FB. Programmatic video is an obvious option. As the Russian Video Ad Network’s owners, we have seen an increase in requests during the past two months.

However, there is also an inverse trend. Due to the unstable economic environment, major brands are cutting back on advertising campaigns. One factor can be offset by another.

Just after starting a studio, we found ourselves in a position where clients panicked and broke contracts abruptly. Employees rushed to personal experiences, and the studio’s work, which was not well-constructed, remained in complete chaos.

Two customers whose products were frozen were the first to be evicted. These premium brands are pet food brands. You may remember how difficult it was to obtain pet food after February 24. Deliveries were temporarily stopped. The official representation in Italy of these brands is still silent. The Russian office and entrepreneurs are confused and lost. We were able to reach an agreement with the client. We will freeze the main promotion contract. The moderation of social media networks and reviews on different portals will be left. There have been many complaints from animals, which panicked the owners and made it impossible for them to process the incoming streams. This allowed us to keep the salaries of those involved in SMM for these brands.

We lost the next contract, a large one (by our standards), promoting a fast-food chain. This Russian network did not leave the market. However, the price of their products went up, so the owner waved to us.

We didn’t fire people, and we didn’t fire anyone. However, we knew that this was not the best way to respond in panic situations. We have been able to regroup and speed up many processes that could have taken months. With clients who understood the importance of marketing at all time, they held strategic sessions where they created a plan of action for the next three-months. We also held a strategy session with ourselves and our studio. We learned a lot, laughed, and then moved on.

Strategy sessions, once considered a niche service, are now more popular than ever. We are currently working on the studio’s development and will promote it via Ya Direct and networking/speaker events – I teach strategy lessons at several business schools and the best clients come from them.

While the number of applications has not declined, the package of services has changed. Customers no longer tend to purchase extended management packages but instead prefer to order one-off tasks.

It is impossible to know exactly how many customers have left in the current environment. There is no closure of all contracts. There are times when clients reduce their budgets, abandon a variety of activities and stop investing. Some works have actually become more.

Discounts are unlikely to be stopped if the customer has made a decision to leave. We don’t believe in discounts. These discounts are actually the margin that the agency is able to operate. We were able to increase March payroll by nearly 30% thanks to this.

We did not give any instructions to employees. However, we tried to decrease anxiety within the team. We meet more often. As I mentioned, the payroll was raised as planned. Despite our pessimistic forecasts we decided to invest in our employees.

There were significantly fewer applications after February 2022, but these became more important. Tenders have increased in number. CRM marketing is the most sought-after service.