For many business owners, selecting an agency to work with can be a daunting experience. On the surface, every agency looks the same, and it's really hard to distinguish which agency is right for their business and which is going to give the best results. Today, people determine which products and services to buy by looking at reviews online. This allows them to get an idea of the price and quality of the product or service, as well as other feedback.
While the review system in other industries is relatively well-developed, the same cannot be said for the agency space. Despite businesses shelling out thousands of dollars for agencies’ services, there is a significant lack of trusted and transparent reviews about agencies. The existing platforms have a high barrier to entry, with the write-a-review process taking too long to complete for the average business, as well as a pay-to-win system, where only the agencies who pay more place higher on the rankings and therefore see meaningful business impact.
Marketing Max, a serial entrepreneur and marketing influencer, is seeking to challenge this system, making it more democratic and transparent for both agencies and brands seeking to work with them. He has launched AgencyReviews.io, an online marketplace and review site that makes it easier for brands to identify and get matched with agencies that have already proven themselves via their case studies and client reviews. AgencyReviews.io, which launched in its Beta phase in October ahead of an official launch in early 2024, has more than 45,000 agencies on its platform. These agencies include advertising, branding, design, SEO, market research, web development, PR, and many more industries.
According to Marketing Max, AgencyReviews.io solves problems on both the agency demand side and the supply side. For the former, it simplifies the agency selection process by asking brands just three questions through its “Get Matched” feature – what they need the most help with, what industry they are in, and their budget. It takes less than 60 seconds to complete, and they will receive a list of top-rated agencies that fit those criteria. Brands don’t need to pay anything, and they can directly contact the agencies they’ve chosen or leave their contact information for the agency to get in touch with them.
Brands can also leave reviews of the agencies they’ve worked with, and the process takes only five minutes. AgencyReviews.io verifies each review, requiring proof of having worked with the agency, such as a contract or invoice, to ensure truthfulness. Other platforms have a long and tedious review process that involves multiple-page surveys and phone calls, discouraging most clients from leaving a review. According to Marketing Max, the other agency review platforms take an average of 40 minutes to write a review, incentivizing only the clients with the absolute best and the absolute worst experiences to write a review. The simplified review process on Agencyreveiws.io gives a voice to the average client whose experience is closer to the general level of service the agency provides.
In the few weeks since AgencyReviews.io launched in Beta, several major companies have used it as part of their search for agencies to work with. These include large household names from banks and financial firms, to technology giants, professional sports teams, and international shipping services.
On the supply side, AgencyReviews.io allows agencies to verify their listing, giving them access to multiple growth tools such as the ability to be contacted directly by brands. They also receive protection from false reviews that could damage their reputation from being posted on their listing page.
However, Marketing Max explains that, while verification is a paid process, AgencyReviews.io is not pay-to-win. Verified agencies are listed above unverified agencies, but the order among these verified agencies is determined purely by their ratings. Everyone, from the largest to the smallest agencies, pay the same price to get verified, which evens the playing field and makes it more democratic.
“What I'm really trying to build in AgencyReviews.io is something that I wish I had when I was running my own agency,” Marketing Max says. “Prior to selling my seven-figure ad agency in 2021, I was looking for a way to get in front of tens of thousands of potential clients who are actively looking to hire my services, in a cost-effective way. I want to give more visibility and exposure to smaller agencies, creating a fair environment where they can grow their business, instead of operating in a pay-to-win world where agencies often spend $50,000 on their own advertising without seeing any significant return on investment. Early in my career, one of my clients said that ‘all agencies suck’. I know that isn’t true, so I built a way to easily distinguish the bad agencies from the good agencies.”
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