minute read

State of Partnerships for Digital Agencies leading up to 2023

We interviewed some of the top digital agencies in our network about their current partnerships and 2023 goals

We ran a survey to a group of top digital agencies asking what they are doing now, and what they have planned to change in 2023.

We also asked for their opinions on partnerships in general. Then, combined that with our data from our over 1200 agency users in Partnerhub®.

Some stats:

Here are some of the important data points we were able to consolidate from our Partnerhub® onboarding questions + the survey we sent out last week:

Why do you partner with tech companies?

  • As you can see, the product being demanded by the client is the #1 reason agencies choose to partner with tech companies.
  • Followed closely by Referrals, then third was Strategic reasons.
  • Affiliate fee's and commissions was the 4th reason at only 11%.

Do you partner with any tech companies?

  • 63% partnered with at least 1 tech company.
  • 55% of agencies who sell retainers also partner with at least 1 tech company.

% of gross revenue from partnerships

  • This one was a shocker.
  • We even had subtext that ready "Partner revenue includes sourced revenue from co-marketing, events, referrals, and commissions combined..."

Here is what the agencies had to say about partnerships for them now, and their plans for 2023:

Why agencies partner

William McKee of Knowmad Digital Marketing, an agency specializing in lead generation, mentioned they need more visibility from partners:

"We rely on partners to increase visibility of our agency via co-marketing & co-selling with partners."

Lexie Becker from Fifth & Cor, an eCommerce marketing agency, gave us some great insight into her current program functions and needs:

"Co-marketing is currently probably the strongest aspect of our partnerships program, as I'm sure it is for many in the agency partners space. With that, we hope to expand in the area of co-selling. We have dabbled in it in the past; however, now that our relationships are so much stronger, we see tons of room for success here. We hope to find more partners that we can complement in the upcoming year."

Denis Pratasenia, CMO of SpurIT Development and Design agency, is partnering to

"reduce customer acquisition cost, and to invest the released resources in business growth and social contribution."

Ishaan Shakunt of SpearGrowth, a B2B SaaS marketing agency, believes:

"Just like MarTech evolved from Solutions to Platforms and now to ecosystems, I want to see this same change and even help drive it in partnerships. Instead of it just being treated as another marketing channel."

Jason from Get Visible Inc., a Marketing agency focusing on websites that are contextual to marketing, told us his favorite thing about partnering:

"Building a different channel of partnerships that can produce leads without always requiring my personal intimate involvement. This would be the first step to building something more standardized that would lead to more scale."

Tristan says Envision Horizons is building out a more robust partnerships team in 2023! Their Senior Content Strategist, Tristan Williams, had this to say about partnerships for their agency:

"We're going to hire a head of partnerships to better manage our relationships and make new connections. We are interested in getting more involved with co-marketing, specifically co-branded white papers and blog swaps."

Advice to partnerships teams from agencies

Ken Marshall from RevenueZen, a Marketing agency, had some great advice for all of us - tech and agency partners:

"I think there should be much more actual partnerships and less secretive behavior. Agencies should be more open to opportunity and willing to cross sell as often as it makes sense to."

Jason Ciment from Get Visible Inc. wants partners to be more reciprocal - not meaning sending more leads (although that would be great), but being a conduit for new business via partnerships activities:

"More of a reciprocal relationship where partners are more than conduits for new leads."

Agency goals related to partnerships in 2023

Paul Sullivan of Digital BIAS, a Revops, stated his plans for 2023 are to be more collaborative with partners in sales and marketing:

"In 2023 we are going to spend more time collaborating with our partners to not only close deals but to generate public visibility on the association between the agency and the platforms."

Malte Dietrich of Especial, a Development and Design agency, wants to focus on:

“Today, we are using the great tools our partnerships provide us with to build solutions for our clients. In 2023, we would like to lift these partnerships to an even higher level by engaging in co-marketing and possible co-selling activities.”

Dale Wilson from adQuadrant, which generates over 20% of gross revenue from partners, have a goal of:

"At adQuadrant, we want to build the strongest, deepest partnership network possible so that we can 'see around corners', preparing for industry evolution before it happens."

Josh Lothman from The Ads Tutor has a similar goal for partnerships in 2023:

"We would like to get more partners driving leads/revenue for my agency."

SpearGrowth has some terrific plans for 2023 related to partnerships:

"More than sales or leads, we’ve been focusing on 2 things for our partnership program. 1. Providing a more robust offering to our clients by enhancing or unlocking opportunities for our clients to grow. 2. Co-marketing with our partners to help promote this."

Darrel Bryan, founder of ZeroXClem lead generation agency, stated:

"Our goal is make over $30K MRR using partnerships obtained through co-selling agreements. Our main objective is to include over 30+ channel partners within 2023."

Key takeaways:

  • Agencies seem to all want more visibility from partners.
  • Building partnerships to produce leads through co-marketing was mentioned a few times.
  • Wanting more actual partnerships and less automated behind-the-scenes activity was an important point one agency mentioned.
  • There were a few complaints around partners not trying to be more of a "conduit" for referrals - not necessarily sending the referrals more often... but creating more opportunities through the activity of partnering.

There you have it! 

We hope this survey helps you with your program design :) 

Program setup

Melissa Herrera

Partnerships Manager

Alex recruited me to help ensure our community is well taken care of. I make sure of it :)