Unicorn Marketing Agencies and the Death of the Traditional Agency

July 13, 2022

The marketing landscape is changing at hyper speed. 2 years ago it was COVID, this year it’s a recession, next Apple/Google are stopping tracking. The traditional agency offering and model does not work and cannot keep up. Period. Have you or a peer worked with a non-segment specific agency that has lasted more than a year and proven ROI? Unlikely.

In today’s fast moving digital transformation, agencies are at the core of the shift, but continue to drive poor results through unfocused execution and misaligned business practices. Let’s begin there:

Misaligned Business Practices:

Doing business comes with risks, but there are some business practices that can tip you off to a partner who doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

  1. Percent of ad-spend model: Is your partner agency’s goal to drive pipeline and increase marketing efficiencies? Or, are they flexing vanity metrics to get you to throw more money at Google and Facebook and increase your costs? This model is often red flag #1.
  2. No defined framework: Any partner that has not built and executed a set framework with success is likely spinning their wheels in execution and not guiding your company forward. If they have yet to “figure it out,” then you’re simply a test subject.

Unfocused Execution:

Although your partner or agency is generally working with best intentions, often they’re just not focused on what is going to move the needle. This is a very common issue in the marketing world, so make sure you’re aware of these potential issues and how to spot them.

  1. Your partner or agency needs to have and communicate its clear focus and offering. Are they a creative agency? A performance marketing firm? A web development shop? Whichever it is, it needs to be clearly defined and understood.
  2. Is the project that’s being executed tied to an overall strategy? Great execution is aimless without strategic planning. Intention is the magic word when it comes to marketing.

Your job when looking for a digital marketing agency should be very similar to the process you take when building or joining a company. Look for exceptional people, products, and processes. Many of these qualities are difficult to find in today’s fast-paced and competitive landscape of digital marketing.

Unicorn Marketers: Do They Even Exist? Let’s Find Out

​​Flawless digital execution is no longer an option for organizations. There is no “getting your feet wet” or experimenting with digital; you either adapt or slowly fade. Innovative and adaptive organizations are bringing in experts who know what it takes to build and manage digital demand from the ground up. These experts understand the difference between tactics such as Facebook ads and strategies like integrated marketing or Account Based Marketing. With this experience, they can strategize and execute across their digital toolsets to effectively guide and execute demand in a measurable way. These marketers acknowledge the funnel and the modern consumer who is empowered and educated.

Top marketers looking to drive innovation are side stepping slow moving organizations and joining demand generation marketing firms such as OM Performance Marketers. These marketers not only gain exposure to vast amounts of data (and a broad range of organizations and people), but are able to effectively practice their craft in fast-paced, innovative environments. 

Demand generation is not about being great at Google AdWords or conversion rate optimization tactics to capture more contacts. Today’s demand is focused on capturing intent AND demand creation to build brand affinity and pipeline. It leverages the modern toolset to empower prospects in a very targeted manner. These firms are not only executing with success in digital acquisition, but they understand and communicate the data to business leaders for effective revenue operations and decision making.

Learn more about OM and our proprietary demand framework here.


Daniel Sosa

Founder & CEO
OM Performance Marketers

Daniel is the Founder of OM Performance Marketers. With over 10 years experience in analytics implementation and digital demand strategies, Daniel has a proven track record of scaling growth startups and helping large organizations with their digital transformation.

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