According to the SBA, 90% of start ups fail, 50% by year 5, 90% by year 10. How Many Startups Fail and Why? - Investopedia
If you ignore that small but significant fact, you’re going to be reaching out to the wrong companies 90% of the time.
Now with that said, if a company has been around for 5 years, it’s not by mistake. They’re bringing in enough funding or profitable earnings to sustain the company. The way they allocate that money between years 5-10 makes or breaks the company.
So while ideally you’ll reach out to companies in business for more than 10 years, there are tons of profitable companies much younger than that. Even <1 year start ups get funded and have money to spend.
But like anything, why not begin where the odds are more in your favor.
So the first variable I’d recommend an agency look at when selling their services is: Year Founded
Do the math, at the time of writing, 10 years ago is 2012.
Therefore, the first target audience you should pursue, your first Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for marketing agencies is a company operating for 10+ years. In other words, was founded in 2012 or prior.
Let’s do the same for your second ICP, companies founded 5 years ago or more began business no later than 2017.
Awesome! We’re starting to zero in on the right buyers for your product. By factoring in the age of the company, you can assume profitability and the ability to allocate their money in a way that leads to making them more of it. HINT: this is what you do for them.
Marketing agencies involved in revenue operations (this excludes branding and design etc) are catalysts for revenue.
Let me say that again. Your agency exists to be a CATALYST for someone to make more money. If you can’t PROVE that your methods turn $1 into $2+, then you’re not going to have any luck converting these established businesses.
Established businesses track returns closely and prevent bad spending on things that don’t produce for their businesses. If you can’t prove that you are a catalyst, why should they spend any time talking to you? It’s a distraction that costs them billable time for higher value work.
So let’s assume that you, a marketing agency that accelerates a company’s rev ops, can prove you’ve got the secret formula for multiplying their money. Fantastic!
The second factor to focus in on is the awareness of your solution.
Most of these established companies are aware the problem you solve, but that doesn’t mean they’re aware of the way YOU solve it. And that’s scary. Even if a veterinarian can patch up my wounded arm, doesn’t mean I’m convinced they should be doing so. I’m 10/10 going to a doctor instead.
But, if that vet told me that the pastor in my church was here for the same thing last week. And here’s a few pictures of me (Mr. Vet) with other people you’ve heard of who also got their wounded arms patched up, and that it’s actually going to save me $1000+ this way AND they have a money back guarantee, well, I’d start to think about seeing the vet in a way I hadn’t before.
This is how your prospects often see you as a marketing agency. You exist for someone else, not them. They don’t know exactly what you do, but it’s probably better suited the Fortune 500 companies who need that stuff.
Well, I have good news. You can bypass a lot this whole headache by researching your prospects to find out if they’ve used a similar service before.