Spoiler: it’s taxonomy.
How agencies group, organize, and classify their categories of work can either make it extremely easy for a prospect to fall in love with you or walk away empty-handed.
My first assignment as brand director at Rise8 was to do an audit of Tampa branding agencies to choose who we would work with.
Every agency I looked at struggled with one thing in common: taxonomy. Consumer-focused ways of organizing their offerings.
If agency people reading this take one thing away, it would be this: think like your customers. Think like a prospective customer looking at your website. What are they looking for? And more importantly, how do they find it?
Agencies organize their portfolios of work in a system that works for them and their purposes. They usually only have one taxonomy in place to organize work on their website and usually, that’s by industry. They say “here’s all our work in the travel industry” and “here’s all our work in food and beverage”.
Speaking as a prospective customer, I need to be able to filter your work into deliverable. I want to see websites. Or I want to see logos. Or I want to see out of home campaigns.
Customers need to have power in filtering what they see from agencies when considering them as candidates for work.
Take a look at your website today and add two things:
- Filters that allow customers to see work by industry or deliverable.
- A search function. In a world of search, most agencies don’t have search options. They rely on findability based on one taxonomy and don’t make a way for searchability.
How agencies group, organize and classify their categories of work can either make it extremely easy for a prospect to fall in love with you or walk away empty handed.
It’s cool that you can make a whizzy website. But if they can’t find the kind of work they need to hire you for, customers will move on.