2018 is right around the corner, and even though we haven’t hit the holidays yet, it’s time to start planning for the new year. As we bring this year to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what went well in 2017 and what could have been improved. While we don’t always want to, it’s important to think about the less-successful campaigns and consider what went wrong or how to change the strategy next time around.

Another point to consider is how to make sure to impress clients in 2018, so they stay on as part of your marketing agency’s roster. The last thing you want is to start a new year with fewer clients!

In order to start the year strong, marketing agencies should make resolutions that focus on automating internal processes, creating better campaigns, and making clients happier. Here are five resolutions for marketing agencies that want to dominate in 2018.

1. Manage time better

According to the State of the Internet Marketing Agency in 2017 report by Wordstream, managing time is the biggest challenge agencies face.

time management marketing teams

Poor time management means more stress for employees and delays for clients, so stop putting off fixing this problem. Make it a point to try and actually use platforms to improve this issue. Agencies can use:

  • Chat tools: Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack, HipChat
  • Project management tools: Asana, Trello, Basecamp
  • Time tracking tools: Toggl, Timely, Harvest

Project managers can really take the reigns and create a highly productive team, but it’s important to use technology that helps. Agencies that improve time management can use those extra hours to tackle new business (the second biggest problems agencies face). Furthermore, it shows clients that you are a technologically-savvy, serious team.

2. Become Familiar with Data

marketing automation

Big data and analytics are not going anywhere anytime soon. Agencies that make more data-driven decisions in 2018 will find success, and their competition will be left behind. According to a PwC report, “Highly data-driven companies are three times more likely to report significant improvement in making big decisions, but only 1 in 3 executives say their organization is highly data-driven.”

Not only is data important to make better decisions, but data can also improve marketing ROI. For years marketers had to attempt to explain their value with lengthy, drawn-out reports. Now, all value can be shown numerically. Whether your agency wants to hire an in-house data marketer or send certain team members to data training, having more data-driven people on board will help in 2018.

3. Automate, Automate, Automate

marketing automation


A crucial part of saving time will be automating tasks that do not need to be done manually. This goes for internal projects, as well as client-related tasks. Some clients can be reluctant when it comes to automation, so this blog can help you convince them otherwise. Some of the benefits of automation:

  • Saves time and resources
  • Increases leads
  • Gives agencies a competitive edge
  • Helps retain clients

Now is the time to start automating tasks, and making sure all team members are on board.

4. Define and Automate your Content Approval Process

social media approvals
The more back-and-forth emailing required to get content approved, the greater the chance for miscommunication and mistakes to happen. It can be time-consuming to email feedback between multiple people and keep track of every edit, comment, or request on every single piece of content. That’s why agencies need to define an approval process so that all content is sent to the right person, at the right time, and is approved in a timely manner.

74% of marketers claim that the biggest benefit of automation is saving time. The less hours your team spends on getting approval on posts by automating some of the steps, the more time you can spend on content creation, analyzing key metrics, and engaging with your audience.

5. Master Live Video

facebook live video marketing

It seems as though every social platform has rolled out a live content option, so agencies must take note. Since you don’t want to endure a ‘live video fail,’ like many brands did this year, check out our blog on how to not mess up producing live content. It’s not just promoting your clients anymore, it’s all about telling their story, and since you already do this via blogs, articles, images, and other videos, now it’s just time to master taking that storytelling live.

Getting started on 2018 changes can be overwhelming. A great place to start is by looking at brands who rocked 2017 and made a name for themselves for a powerful social strategy.

This article originally appeared on blog.gainapp.com.