Agency vs Growth marketing DAO – the ultimate (but frankly easily won) matchup
I’ve been banging on about the broken agency model for years now. It’s a crock of shite if you ask me and it’s ripe for disruption. Growth Division was mine and Tom’s first attempt at messing with the agency model, and honestly, it’s going pretty well. We constantly beat agencies with our freelance team model. And startup founders absolutely lap up our logic of why hiring growth expert freelancers is just so much better than an agency.
While Growth Division has been making waves into killing the traditional agency model, we wanted to take our attack on them to the next level. The DAO structure (see here to find out what the fuck a DAO is) is the enabling force we’re going to be using to launch the attack.
“But Tristan”, I hear you cry. “How does using a growth marketing DAO compare with hiring a traditional agency?”. It’s a good question, and one I shall proceed to answer using my succinct points below.
Agency – Junior level execution
The classic agency pitch involves roping in the highly experienced, impressive, slick senior strategist (let’s call him Rick) to sell you the dream. They’ll butter you right up. Up to your eyeballs, until all you see is butter. Then, as soon as you’ve been schmoozed so elegantly, to the point of signing a fat contract with them, they’ll pass you over to this spotty account manager called Jennie (spelt ie, not y) and the agency (spelt y not ie) intern who goes by PJ or CJ, or something like that.
In the following weeks and months, you’ll get to know Jennie and the intern pretty well. CJ might even graduate whilst they’re working for you. Or maybe CJ turns into a DJ and you end up with PJ. You won’t see too much of slick Rick. He’s too busy wining and dining and being all slick.
The problem with all this is you realise you’ve bought into Rick and are paying Rick-rates, but you’re getting the work done by CJ. Sure, you get some nice frameworks and senior oversight, but CJ is still doing the work at the only level CJ knows, intern level.
Vs. Growth Marketing DAO – specialised expert execution
Growth DAO has been built on the principle that expert execution allows you to prove your hypotheses faster and implement ideas with more speed and more efficiency. Growth DAO is a community of startup Web3 experts who have years worth of experience delivering results in their specific areas of expertise. In order to get into the Growth+ Web3 expert community, (see here for more details) you need to have 5+ years of proven experience working within your niche. More than that, you need to prove your results and give references to your work.
Once you bring a Web3 expert onto your team they work with you personally. This means they take meetings with you, they do the actual execution and they are the accountable owner for delivering you results. So, let’s stop saying ‘yes’ to slick Rick and start using decentralised networks to source the growth experts we need.
Agency – Biased Resourcing Recommendations
Let’s imagine you’re a startup founder and need help to grow your business. You’re not quite sure which channels are going to work. Will it be Facebook? Will it be TikTok? Should you invest in SEO? Is it worth focusing on getting some PR? These are good questions, and notoriously difficult ones to answer!
Now, let’s say you get put in touch with slick Rick and his agency. Rick runs a Facebook ads specialist agency. “Great!” you think. “A growth expert to help guide me in growth.” You have a chat with Rick and at the end of the chat you’re (unsurprisingly) convinced Facebook ads is where you should put your growth budgets. And, of course, slick Rick and his so called ‘growth team’ (aka interns) are the choice for you.
Or, let’s take another example. Anna runs a full service agency. “Woooow, FULL service!” you think, “Anna knows what’s what!”. But Anna says you should be running Google ads, she says that’s your best bet. What she didn’t tell you is she’s got 20 staff on her payroll, 3 of those are Google ads experts and they’re only 30% utilised at the moment. No wonder Anna recommended Google ads. Naughty Anna.
Vs. Growth Marketing DAO – Unbiased growth recommendations
In a DAO there are next-to-no fixed assets and no Google ads experts expecting their salary at the end of the month, like in Anna’s agency. Growth marketing DAO’s are lean, mean growth machines.
At Growth DAO you’ll get the option to be guided by a Growth Advisor, who is an experienced growth strategist and startup Web3 expert. They will, in a wholly unbiased way, take you through the various options you have to grow your business, then present the options from the pool of experts that are in the community. There is no reason they’d bias their recommendations on who to bring in or what to recommend, their only interest is in helping you grow your business as efficiently as possible.
Agency – Misaligned incentives
The traditional agency model of retainers is just so BLEH. Often, looking something like “Company X will pay contacting Agency Y a fixed amount every month for a minimum of 6 months”. Great. So, for the 3 months Company X gets some pretty decent service, they’re impressed with all the fancy shmancy frameworks and colourful, pretty reports.
Then comes month 4. “Uh oh” I hear you say “Not month 4”. But unfortunately, month 4 comes around whether you like it or not. Month 4 brings about what I like to describe as the ‘latent lease of lethargy’. Agency Y has got a bit bored. They’ve brought on other more exciting, higher-paying clients. Company X is just a bit boring now. So, results start tapering and the colourful reports start showing darker, more ominous signs.
The traditional agency structure of fixed retainers is broken. The agency, who should be creating the value, is not paid for it proportionately and not rewarded in a way that incentivises them for a long-term relationship. So, unsurprisingly, when month 6 of the contract rolls around the break-clause in the contract is triggered and they go their separate ways. Company X goes on the hunt for yet another retainer-based agency to payout for another 6 months.
Vs. Growth Marketing DAO – Share the upside
But there is another way! In Growth DAO, a growth marketing DAO, the team working on the project, the actual individuals, are getting paid not only a retainer but also a token. This token is earnt over the course of time working with a client, meaning the growth expert who is working with the startup is fully incentivised for the client to be a long-standing, successful client for them and the rest of the growth marketing DAO.
Agency – Overpriced due to unnecessary overheads
Baked into an agency’s fees are the nice offices they are paying for in Central London. Oh, and the nice plants they bought for the nice office. Don’t forget the nice speciality coffee they buy for their nice coffee machine in their nice office. And of course, there is a nice office manager needed for the nice office, who waters the nice plants and drinks the nice speciality coffee.
Traditional agencies are glutinous monsters. Their balance sheets are overladen with fixed costs. And someone has to pay for these costs. Who could that be? “The client! It must be the client” I hear you scream out. And you would be absolutely CORRECT. Well done! Slick Rick’s done it again. Put the old blinkers over your eyes for a second there didn’t he?
Vs. Growth Marketing DAO – Remote teams and no overheads
Ahhhh good old growth marketing DAOs to the rescue again. Fully remote. No office space. No plants. No special coffee. No more needs to be said really.
– – –
I could go on all day about why the traditional agency mode sucks. But I frankly don’t have all day and I don’t imagine you do either. I hope this quick write-up has given you some sort of insight into how a growth marketing DAO structure could disrupt the traditional agency structure. If you have any comments or disagree with me on any of this join our Growth DAO Discord server and drop me a message.
You may have heard the term “Web3” being thrown around if you’re interested in blockchain. But what exactly is...
The crypto market has been maturing rapidly over the past few years. According to CoinMarketCap, the entire market capitalization...
In today’s digital landscape, freelancing has become popular for individuals seeking flexible work arrangements and the freedom to showcase...