Why Scaling Agencies Must Pivot From Marketing Tactics to Strategic Client-Side Solutions

Floww Digital agency profile hero image

Andrew Logan thought he had it made.

A few years ago, his agency, Floww Digital, was carving a niche in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, catering to the marketing needs of small and medium local clients. Floww Digital answered the pain points—SEO, PPC, website design, and other essential digital marketing services—the mom-and-pop shops didn’t have the skills to handle themselves.

While still in the early stages of agency growth, he identified a huge opportunity that could bring more revenue to Floww Digital. In just six short months, Logan and his team had helped a new storage solutions company sell out all its units and containers. Andrew rubbed his hands, ready for the next phase in the client’s growth—and his.

“Great! What’s the plan for expansion?” he asked, to which his client replied, “Oh, we’re happy just to let that recurring revenue come in.”

For Andrew, the signal was as clear as a bright red traffic light. It was time to take his business elsewhere. After years of serving Glasgow’s small- and medium-sized businesses in the £500K-1.5M range (Floww Digital’s sweet spot at the time), the agency’s business goals and aspirations had outgrown its clients.

An SMB prospect doesn’t always want to grow like an enterprise client would. If you take an SMB from one million to two and a half million in revenue, they might be delighted, but we’re not because then they want to stop.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

Today, Floww Digital serves 42 clients in the UK, U.S., and Bermuda and is actively scaling its operations and growing its team.

Let’s examine how Floww Digital succeeded in targeting enterprise customers and tackled the challenges of becoming a key player in its international clients’ business growth.  

Name

Agency

Agency Stats

Location

Name

Andrew Logan

Agency

Floww Digital

Agency Stats

9 employees

42 clients

Est. 2016

Location

Glasgow, Scotland

Challenging the Status Quo in Agency Marketing

It’s perhaps fitting Andrew Logan graduated from the University of the West of Scotland with a BA in Marketing & Management in 2004, the year Facebook launched. The arrival of the social media giant and the digitization of advertising services on platforms like Google would upend marketing as we know it for the next two decades.

Andrew knew the strategies he had studied in school were shifting, and the marketing landscape was changing rapidly. He says that, at the time of graduating, the education system in the UK hadn’t yet caught up with what was happening in the digital world, so Andrew furthered his knowledge in the U.S., joined online communities, and started networking to keep up with new digital marketing trends.

For 10 years, he helped run a family business in Glasgow but soon grew tired of what he deemed “cookie-cutter solutions” for larger client-side issues he faced as a business employee working in marketing. 

If I’m a client, I don’t want marketing. I don’t want a website. I don’t want an outbound campaign. I don’t want posts on social media every day. I want customers.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

Having dreamt of starting his own business, he founded Floww Digital in 2016, operating as a bootstrapped solopreneur.

He set up an office in a co-working space in the heart of Glasgow, where he met many of his initial clients for whom he would handle website design (Andrew’s background also includes coding and development) and other practical marketing solutions.

But as he soon learned, not all clients had the same aspirations he had for them.

Andrew Logan in the original Floww Digital office in Glasgow, Scotland.

Andrew Logan in the original Floww Digital office in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Building Marketing Solutions for Today’s Enterprise Clients

After the disappointing turn of events with the storage company, Andrew knew the next phase for Floww Digital would be to distance itself from tactic-based marketing to focus on the bigger picture: Helping B2B clients understand their growth objectives beyond the marketing mechanics of PPC and SEO.

For Andrew, this meant a strategic shift in agency and client management. To scale, Floww Digital would need to explore and solve deeper client-side issues, which he already understood well.

While Floww Digital could easily handle Facebook Ads and Google Ads campaigns, Andrew knew his expertise would better serve clients by helping them take a step back and look at their business from a wider perspective.

This meant spending more time understanding a client’s product or solution, its offer and value, and who drove those conversations. It also meant connecting at a higher level with CEOs, product designers, and operations managers—who often know what they want to achieve but don’t always know how to get it—rather than with a client’s marketing contact.

We ask, ‘Is this the type of client you want to attract? How do we position your solution?’ We’re a means to an end and can help them achieve that.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

Five years ago, Floww was focused solely on action-specific tactics (say, boosting conversions on landing pages by 20 percent or tripling monthly social media engagement). Today, the agency is much more ingrained in a client’s overall B2B business strategy.

The biggest challenge for Andrew and Floww Digital is being transparent about the value of a client’s offering and potential issues that need to be addressed client-side before launching campaigns:

  • Does the client’s sales team require more training? 

  • Do business leaders need more strategic insights? 

  • Is the product or solution Floww Digital is asked to market something the market actually wants?

These questions and recommendations are now essential components of Floww Digital’s business proposals, which combine strategic consultation with marketing initiatives.

We tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. These conversations up front serve the relationship further down the line.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

However, Andrew recognizes the need to be mindful that someone came up with the idea around a product or a campaign and that one must handle these conversations tactfully. Ultimately, the goal is to provide clients with the information they need so they can process it themselves.

Andrew also sets clear expectations and key performance indicators (KPIs) early on to measure campaign success and show the agency’s value to its clients. “The proof is in the pudding,” Andrew says.

That’s why, in 2020, Floww Digital started using AgencyAnalytics to build marketing dashboards clients access 24/7 and automate monthly reports that provide a transparent picture of campaign performance for business leaders.

Some clients are more technical than others—we can customize our dashboards for more tech-savvy clients. We can share more metrics than we might normally look at. Other clients might just want to see how much they spent and what they got.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

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Adapting to the Clients’ Evolving Needs—and Yours

Adopting AgencyAnalytics was just one of the many operational changes Floww Digital had to make to scale. (Floww Digital is also an accredited HubSpot Partner.)

Beyond making reporting clearer and easier and saving billable time to focus on strategy, the agency used the data to reevaluate and refine its services every year to lean into its new direction. 

Today, only two Glasgow-based clients remain on Floww Digital’s roster. Most current clients are based in London and are enterprise-scale B2B clients acquired by following the same strategic approach Floww Digital uses for its own clients: making its product more relevant to the market, improving its sales and support process, and helping leaders be more effective marketers.

Whereas the early days of the agency meant Andrew relied mostly on freelancers, Floww Digital’s team has now grown to nine full-time employees based in the various markets where their clients operate.

You need the right people in the right place at the right time.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

Having a stable staff has meant Andrew is less involved in every granular aspect of the operation as the agency grows. However, it has also meant he must ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are up-to-date and well-documented and that communication with staff and clients is seamless.

Floww Digital has pivoted to using remote tools made popular during the pandemic: Zoom for client meetings, Scribe for SOPs, and Loom for quick syncs and updates. (Andrew boasts that Floww Digital is in the top three percent of Loom users worldwide.) 

This lets Andrew and the team save even more valuable time by allowing them to focus on onboarding and serving clients rather than working on internal agency issues and processes. This way, everyone knows how the job needs to be done at any given time.

Andrew admits he still finds himself working on a client’s website once in a while, much to the dismay of some of his team members. He blames it on old habits from a bygone era when if someone wanted a website, he would build it, write the copy, and handle the development and design. 

I’m always trying to make myself redundant. But you always find yourself doing things you probably shouldn’t do. Some things you do because you have to, and some things you do because you can’t help yourself. For someone who’s used to doing everything, it can be quite uncomfortable at times.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

Embracing Strategic Pivots for Agency Growth

From a small Glasgow-based agency to an international player, Floww Digital’s journey highlights the importance of strategic pivots. Andrew Logan's ability to recognize the limitations of focusing solely on marketing tactics and instead prioritizing client-side solutions has been crucial to his agency's growth and success. 

With AI set to transform agency operations, Andrew is preparing for his next big pivot. He’s building an AI-powered assistant, Ask Andy, to help answer clients' questions anytime and move prospects through the agency’s sales funnel more efficiently. Floww Digital is also already leveraging AI as a predictive modeling tool for client campaigns, which helps the agency deliver better results even faster.

My motto is ‘Never give up.' It’s probably why we’ve achieved what we have.

Andrew Logan, Founder, Floww Digital

Andrew's commitment to transparency, setting clear expectations, and using tools like AgencyAnalytics for real-time performance tracking has been a game-changer. The emphasis on strategic consultation, alongside traditional marketing services, has allowed Floww Digital to position itself as a key partner in its clients' business growth.

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Written by

Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, journalism, and content production. His goal is to equip agency leaders with innovative strategies and actionable advice to succeed in digital marketing, SaaS, and ecommerce.

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