Six Agency Search Questions Clients Ask…How You Answer Will Determine Your Success!

February 25, 2010

These six questions consistently come up in most agency search RFI’s. Your answers to them play a critical role in the decision as to whether you move forward in the process or are eliminated at this early stage. Take the time now to develop considered points of view rather than a rushed “in the moment” response.

 

What are the exclusive or unique services and capabilities that give your agency a competitive advantage in the marketplace?

 While the actual wording may differ, the question is almost always included in most agency RFI’s. Clients want to know exactly what it is that makes your agency different. What value does your agency bring to the relationship and how will what you offer help them compete more effectively and win. It’s not about a laundry list of capabilities – as every agency claims to have every capability. My suggestion is that you take the time to ask yourselves not only what you do well, but also what it is about what you do that makes you measurably better than the competition. Remember that you cannot be all things to everyone.

Describe the top three trends in the industry as you see it and how is your agency leading and reacting to these trends?

 Clients want to know that the agency they select is a leader and not a follower. They want to make sure that it is at least constantly keeping abreast of current trends if not predicting what the next one will be. In addition, clients are interested in knowing how you are leveraging them to give your clients competitive advantage. Depending on the RFP and your type of agency, the question can vary from broader consumer trends to specific category or vertical developments. 

Why do you provide better thought leadership than your competitors? 

This is just another question aimed at helping the client determine whether your agency is a leader or a follower. This question probes areas like strategic thinking, use of technology, innovative media and communications planning and data analytics etc. Once again they are trying determine what your value proposition is and how do you keep current.

How do you help your clients manage their brand and the total consumer experience in the digital space?

The buzz surrounding brand and customer experience continues to grow exponentially. Lead by Forrester Research, there has recently been a plethora of articles on “customer engagement agencies”. In fact, Forrester was even planning to publish a wave focused on  “customer engagement agencies” in the first quarter of 2010, however I am led to believe that this has been put on hold due to a lack of agencies who meet the basic selection criteria. You can be certain that this question is going to become ubiquitous in the near future so I would suggest that your agency develops not only a point of view, but also a track record of delivering it on behalf of your clients.

How have you used social media to generate business results? How did you measure ROI?

I would be very surprised if your agency has not already had this question thrown at you. Currently this seems to be the question that is on the tip of every clients tongue. It’s probably one of the most difficult questions to answer. I am certain that there are more agencies than not who cannot truly answer this question based on their own experience. I recommend that if you fall into this category that you at least develop a POV and approach that you can share. This will demonstrate to the client that you have given it serious thought and have a strategic approach to answering the million-dollar question.

Explain how you test, measure and optimize results for your clients?

This question is top of mind for most if not every client out there. There has never been in the history of marketing and advertising, a stronger focus on effectiveness, tracking, measurement and ultimately results. ROI is the subject d’ jour with many clients even asking agencies for some type of guarantee or at minimum shared risk participation. Some of the larger companies have moved all of their agency compensation models to a pay for performance model. Take the time to document your philosophy, approach, process, tools and tracking capabilities.


Rx For Agencies Suffering From Digital, Direct, PR and Social Media Confusion Or Disorientation

January 25, 2010

Reduction in the role of channel specialists. Today, interactive marketers want agencies to keep them ahead of the curve. But for most agencies, this means little more than just providing executional help in digital channels.

“As marketers seek interactivity, agencies that subsist will forgo their role as channel specialists and dedicate themselves instead to determining how to change the relationship marketers have with their end customers”.    Source: Shar Van Boskirk, Forrester Research, Jan 12, 2010

The opportunity is clear. Forget about continuing to structure your agency in silos like brand, direct, digital and social marketing, and start to think about People2People marketing. If you can integrate your marketing efforts and succeed in motivating customers not only to interact with you, but to share their personal networks with you, you will have created a powerful channel for your brand in the marketplace.

Click on the link below to view or download the full presentation.

View more presentations from Clive Maclean.

This IS The Age Of Mobile Marketing …Is Your Agency Standing On The Sidelines?

December 29, 2009

According to a recent article published by eMarketer, mobile commerce’s time has arrived. Aided by a flurry of acquisition activity, an influx of venture capital funding and growing brand adoption in the latter half of 2009, the year ahead will see mobile continue its shift toward the marketing mainstream.

 It is eye-catching when a consultancy revises a market forecast upward in the midst of an economic downturn. That is exactly what ABI Research did with its forecast of mobile sales of physical goods in North America. In January 2009 it projected m-commerce sales would reach $544 million this year, up 57% over 2008—impressive in its own right. But in late October, ABI upped its forecast, saying sales would top $750 million in 2009, a whopping 117% annual growth rate. M-commerce’s time has arrived, and it is an easy bet that sales in 2010 will pass the $1 billion mark.

 Whereas consumers once limited their mobile phone purchases to downloadable ringtones and games, today they are using their devices to buy books, apparel and other items associated with online shopping on a PC.

 As I have often commented before, this increased growth will ultimately create a need for better creative. Up until now, marketers and their agencies have done a tremendous job of recycling and repurposing creative assets from other media and channels, in an attempt to make sure that as much of the budget as possible goes into working media.

This is an opportunity for agencies to step up to the plate and deliver a better quality product while demanding more fully funded mobile production budgets.  While most creative types currently believe that mobile environments have significant creative limitations, the reality is that this is indeed not the case. The problem is that most creatives are not aware of the technologies currently available and hence what is actually possible.

 While there are currently some notable agencies out there leading the charge and creating excellent work, most seem to be overlooking the opportunity.

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The Two People Most Critical To Agency New Business Success!

December 17, 2009

 

Is getting in the door and developing the new business lead important? “Absolutely!” However, if your follow through is lacking, all that development work and investment just goes down the drain accompanied by increasing agency new business strain. Critical to achieving new business success is a great pitch strategy, a pitch czar, a well articulated deck and a well rehearsed team! Without all of these, it does not matter how creative your agency is!

The agency pitch environment is incredibly frenetic, fraught with individual agendas and distracted by the pressures of ongoing client responsibilities and work. It is not unusual for an agency to assign pitch leadership responsibility to a senior account person, who by the way is already inundated with existing client work.

 As you have probably found out already through experience, this simply does not work. If you are serious about new business and the need to win, you have to allocate the right resources. It goes without saying that you need the “team to win” versus “the team available, however without the following two people, your chances of success are slim.

 

 The Pitch Czar:

It is imperative that you appoint a pitch leader that has both the responsibility and authority to lead the pitch. This person is responsible for:

  • Making all the hard decisions, their word is the last word on everything.
  • The pitch strategy.
  • Making sure that the pitch work addresses the brief.
  • Introducing as required external resources and partners.
  • Keeping in touch with the client/consultant, and constantly building the pre pitch relationship.
  • Keeping the team on track, on budget and on time.
  • Orchestrating the final presentation format, pitch logistics, leave behinds etc.
  • Post pitch follow up.

 

Internal New Business Coordinator:

The Pitch Czar cannot achieve success on his/her own. They need the support of an internal new business coordinator. This individual is internally focused and ultimately responsible for the day to day management of the pitch and budget management. Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Development and control of the pitch deck, including the quality of the final output.
  • Keeping the pitch team on budget and delivering each step on time.
  • Implementing the agreed pitch process and ensuring everyone adheres to it.
  • Coordinating deliverables from outside resources, if any. (research etc)
  • Food and drink for pitch team during late night sessions.
  • Production of any leave behinds.
  • Researching the pitch venue and layout and determining what is possible or needed from a presentation perspective.
  • Equipment and technology required for the pitch.
  • Back-up plan for a possible technology failure.

 

The simple truth is that assigning senior account people who are already overloaded with existing client work is not going to deliver the results you need. In fact it will only serve to distress your pitch closing ratio and ultimately demoralize the agency. In my consulting practice I see the same mistakes being made every day. On the other hand, I also see the benefits when it is done correctly.


Brand Engagement…The Foundation for Agency New Business Success

December 9, 2009

The power of online brand interaction is not to be denied: A solid majority of connected consumers have had their opinion of a brand swayed, either positively or negatively, by an online experience. The same principle applies to ad agencies and the universe of marketers out there!

As we move deeper into this “conversation economy” true band engagement is becoming more and more important. Agencies must create ongoing and relevant dialogs with marketers if they are to have any hope whatsoever of becoming part of the consideration set going forward.

Agencies are consistently telling clients that they should be doing this as an integral part of their marketing communications strategy, yet many of those same agencies are not practicing what they preach. The key to success is developing enough “engagement” between your brand and your prospect to be able to make their consideration list.

Effect of "Friending" a Brand on Facebook or MySpace According to US Internet Users, August 2009 (% of respondents)

In a recent survey conducted by Razorfish (FEED 2009), an impressive 64% of connected consumers told Razorfish they had made their first purchase from a brand because of a digital experience. And friending, following and content creation spurred upticks across the marketing funnel—from raising awareness to consideration, purchase and recommendations to friends.

“Digital experiences not only build a brand, they can also make or break it. For those brand marketers still neglecting (or underestimating) digital, it’s as if they’ve shown up to a cocktail party in sweatpants,” according to the report. “Invariably, consumers will choose to converse with a savvier—and hopefully more stylish—partner.”

Remember, marketers are consumers too, and they behave the same way when it comes to decisions that affect their brands and the companies they choose to partner with.

How effective is your agency’s current brand/customer engagement strategy?



Already missed your Q1, 2010 new business targets?

December 1, 2009

 

 

If you did not start your 2010 new business preparation and prospecting activity back in at least September of this year, you have probably already missed your Q1 new business numbers for next year!

 Back in July of this year I published a blog post entitled “Ad agencies…2009 is over. Focus now on 2010”. I know it seemed far too early to be thinking about next year, when most of you were still stuck in the trenches fighting to deliver on current year targets. The reality is however that it was not too early at all.

This time of the year is normally characterized by missed new business targets, disappointed management and the start of the usual end of year agency new business professional musical chairs.

 If you are indeed just starting your 2010 new business planning and prospecting activity now, your efforts will probably have little to no impact on the first quarter of next year. The prospecting work undertaken during the last 3-6 months of this year will determine your success (or not) in the first part of the New Year.

 If you find yourself in this position here are my suggestions as to what you might do:

  • Do not delay any further, start your planning immediately.
  • Communicate with your agency management team and let them know that you may well be behind the eight ball. (It’s better to be upfront than wait for the surprises and the resultant disappointments).
  • Review your Q1 targets for 2010 against your current pipeline and activity. Be honest with yourself and realistic.
  • If necessary adjust your Q1 targets accordingly. (DO NOT just push numbers around. That means don’t just move the dollars to later in the year, keeping the same overall target. You may just be arranging a stay of execution.
  • Execute against your plan, track your progress and keep lines of communication with your management team open.

 

 

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Agencies Slow to Harness Social Media For New Business Prospecting

November 23, 2009

According to a recent article written by Andrew McMains of Adweek, most agencies have a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but infrequently use them to market themselves or pursue client prospects, notwithstanding the fact that the more traditional approaches are not working.

A recent survey from RSW/US and Second Wind, found that nearly three-quarters of the 212 agency leaders polled in the online survey are connected to LinkedIn, 66 percent to Facebook and 56 percent to Twitter. But when asked how frequently they use each, the majority said no more than once a month. For example, 47 percent conceded that they never tweet, 7 percent said they tweet less than once a month and 4 percent tweet just once monthly.

The findings were similar for blogs, with 56 percent of the respondents saying that their agencies have blogs, but only 6 percent use them daily. A whopping 66 percent indicated that they blog no more than once a month.
And while 58 percent of the agency leaders pointed to LinkedIn as the social media tool they employ most often in account prospecting, only 4 percent use any type of social media “often” in this context, compared to 22 percent who “never” do.

The survey, which was conducted last month, provides yet another illustration of agencies not practicing what they preach to clients for the marketing of their brands.  This  “cobbler’s son” syndrome is also evident in everything from Flash-heavy, information-poor agency Web sites to shops neglecting to buy sponsored links to their names on Google.

Interesatingly, these findings are consistent with the online survey I conducted in July of this year.

Nearly two thirds of agencies said that they do not have a documented and active social media strategy. This confirmed just how poorly prepared agencies are from a digital perspective.  While most are actively out in the market trying to convince clients that they are indeed social media experts, they themselves have not embraced it as a critical component of their own marketing communications mix. Notwithstanding the fact that the more traditional approaches are not working.

On a side note, even more surprising was the fact that of the agencies who responded, well over half admitted to not having a documented and active SEO/M strategy. A receipe for disaster when you consider that in a recent survey of C-Suite executives, 74% of the respondents rated the internet as a very important source of business information and the fact that 100% of clients researched online 100% of the agencies that it intended to invite to a pitch.  Search engine marketing is a fundamental component of internet marketing and even today, still garners the bulk of a clients interactive marketing dollars. Many ad agencies are missing a critical part of the communications puzzle in this instance.  

It has never been more important for agencies to introduce innovation into their agency marketing initiatives. Building a following, creating dialog and listening to customers through social media techniques, are crucial to ongoing agency success.

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Effective Ad Agency New Business Prospecting In A Conversation Economy

November 10, 2009

 

conversation economy images

The new era of social networking has created what has been described as a “conversation economy”. Agency new business professionals need to change from trying to sell agency capabilities and start marketing conversations. To do this effectively your agency needs a conversation strategy.

Marketers are starved for time and already engaged in many and varied conversations. With over 200,000,000 blogs out there, jump-starting new and meaningful conversations with targeted prospective clients is the big challenge for agencies today. Just building a website, writing a blog, being on Twitter or posting videos on YouTube, doesn’t mean sufficient prospects will find you organically, much less take the time and energy to converse with you.

Having the right conversation strategy addresses two key issues: What meaningful content will attract sufficient conversations with the right people? And, how will you jump-start conversations and keep them alive?

According to Marsha Lindsay, the CEO of Lindsay, Stone & Briggs:  “Even if people know there’s an opportunity to have a conversation with you on Twitter or your blog for instance, you can’t expect them to engage given all the other demands on their time. You’ll need a strategy that both gets them to know you exist and care so much that you exist, they’ll become intrigued about conversing with you. This requires a strategy that integrates search optimization, media, message and contributions of content from the marketers themselves”.

“The right strategy begins with the end in mind: What message can work across multiple platforms and be scaled so quickly and broadly it can drive sufficient interactions to support your business model?”

A multimedia mix framed to spark conversations requires a compelling message concept that can work across a multimedia platform. Its foundation has to be far more than a one-time new business outreach; it must be a message strategy that connects the agency’s brand meaning with search habits and accommodates ongoing contributions that can range from casual conversations to marketer-generated content.

This is a tall order, but not impossible. That’s because the solution can be found in the motivations of the conversationalists themselves. After all, conversation is mankind’s natural search engine.

The question then becomes – how do you keep the conversation going? You’ll constantly be competing with other conversations for your target’s time and attention. So, spark and fuel conversations with surveys, forums and invitations for contributions that pertain to the incremental value that your agency can bring to their brand/product. Keeping ongoing conversations fresh is where contextual research and newsletters, blogs, websites, videos and social media shine.

For those agencies who get their conversation strategy right, marketers will take over the conversation for you, making your new business development more efficient, and making you a genius in your new role as chief conversation officer.


Stop Blowing Your New Business Opportunities and Win More Now!

November 3, 2009

How many races does a second place horse win in their careers? The answer is none! If you want to win, you have to have to have a winning strategy and be prepared to put in the required pre-race preparation. Successful ad agency new business development is no different.

 These guidelines are simple but effective. In fact, I guarantee you that if you follow these recommendations, you will improve your new business success rate significantly.

 

 Blown Opportunity

As you read what I have to say below, you may find yourself saying – “I know that”, and you probably do. However, the question is – are you putting it into practice? Based on my recent experience with a number of agencies, my guess is that you are not. If you were, you would not be having issues with delivering adequate new business leads for your agency and winning new business pitches.

  • Make sure that you have a targeted list of strategic new business target companies. While chasing ambulances (chasing after opportunities that just happen to pop up) is an accepted tactic of agency new business development, it cannot deliver consistent and sustained growth. You have to take the time to identify what categories make sense for your agency and then which specific companies you want to go after.
  • Do your homework and invest in research.  Having identified your targets, do not just start picking up the phone or sending them credentials documents. No client is sitting there every day just waiting for another agency credentials mailing. Do your homework on the category, the company, the competition, the consumer or customer and the industry trends and forecasts. Make sure that you know what you are talking about and actually have an informed point of view and insights/information, that would be both interesting and of value to the target prospect.
  • Throw away your “capabilities presentation deck”. Can you imagine me arranging a meeting with you at your office and then coming in, sitting down and talking about myself for an hour while you listened? How long do you think it would be before I lost you? Create your deck around them and their business and use your case studies to highlight how your capabilities and experience are relevant to them. Engage them and get them talking about their business. Its not supposed to be a lecture, but rather a discussion.
  • Create an ongoing communication plan. It is seldom that you will be given an assignment during your first meeting. Make sure that you create an ongoing communications plan that is effective but not intrusive. The key element for success will be relevance, simplicity and added value.
  • When you finally get an opportunity be sure to assign the team designed to win, and not the team that’s available at the time. When you get that long awaited opportunity, make the most of it. I don’t believe that you have any idea how often the agency assigns “the team available” due to existing client demands and pressures. If you are going to do this, don’t pitch!!! You are just setting yourself up for failure. If the opportunity was important enough to chase after and you feel it is the right opportunity for your agency, play to win. Assign the best team you have in the agency to pitch it. If you don’t you will ultimately only disappoint yourself and increase your new business strain.
  • Rehearse, Rehearse and Rehearse. Too often the pitch team is still trying to pull the deck together in the late hours the night before the presentation. No time to check for spelling and other mistakes. No time to make sure that it flows, sounds like one voice and tells a story, and most importantly no time to rehearse. Do yourselves a favor and never make this mistake again. Set your timeline and have a pitch coordinator ensure you adhere to it. Make sure you give yourselves enough time to do at least 2 run throughs, preferably three. The first just helps you work out the major issues and gaping holes. The second allows you to think more about the presentation and how you deliver it versus fixing the deck. By the third time you are starting to get comfortable with your content and your delivery.
  •  Never go over time. Always leave 20-30 minutes for questions and make sure that every presenter (not too many of them though) engages the audience and gets them involved. If you finish the presentation at the end of your allotted time and there was no interaction during the presentation and no questions after it…you have just lost the business.
  • Close your presentation with a succinct hard-hitting summary and ask for the business. Show your enthusiasm and passion and demonstrate how much you want it, however, avoid preaching, groveling and begging. It’s tends to be unbecoming, ineffective, annoying and embarrassing to both sides. Send your thank you note within 24 hours and take that opportunity to succinctly reinforce why your agency is the right choice.

Agency new business does not need to be as hard as it often is. As I said at the beginning of this post, if you follow these simple guidelines I guarantee you will significantly improve your success rate with new business development.

 

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Social CRM Is The New Driver For Ad Agency New Business!

October 22, 2009

Social CRM is the new currency in ad agency new business. Influential clients are forcing a convergence between CRM and PR, making tracking what is being said and by who a vital component of your new business strategy.

In a recent survey conducted by Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law, marketers were asked the question, “For what reason do you use social media”. While 82% of respondents said that brand building was there number one reason, 60% indicated that personal networking was the second most important reason, with customer service a distant third at 32%.

 Social graph

The very marketers that we agencies target are telling us that personal social networking is an extremely important activity for them. Why then do so many agencies ignore social networking when it comes to their own new business prospecting?

Ad agencies should be out there listening to marketers, using the available tools to track all relevant conversations, identifying who the influencers are and starting to build a dialog and ultimately a relationship development program. Many prospective and existing agency clients are active right now sharing their opinions with others through social networking channels. Some of the more enthusiastic individuals have become evangelists, establishing a significant sphere of influence in the market place. Barry Judge, the CMO of Best Buy would be a perfect example of such a marketer.

According to Susan Scrupski of ITSinsider, seeing results depends heavily on how you organize your business and equip the people who are part of it. As you enable the conversation between you and your prospective customers, you enter into collaborative design. Picking up information and passing it into an organization that knows what to do with it is the inflection point between social business strategy and actual business success. Taking the time to measure it in the fundamental currency of business — which as Susan says is “currency” — is the final step in putting all pieces in place to win in the marketplace.

This convergence between PrR and CRM makes tracking who is saying what and developing an ability to respond directly a must have skill. By efficiently organizing and strategizing your responses, you can use this information to guide your social web program and the evolution of your business itself.

That’s powerful!

 

 

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Rx for Ad Agencies Suffering From Direct, Digital and Social Media Confusion or Disorientation

October 18, 2009

CB067305

The opportunity is clear. Forget about continuing to structure your agency in silos like brand, direct, digital and social marketing, and start to think about People2People marketing. qIf you can integrate your marketing efforts and succeed in motivating customers not only to interact with you, but to share their personal networks with you, you will have created a powerful channel for your brand in the marketplace.


Mobile Marketing. The Ad Agency New Business Goldmine

October 16, 2009

mobile 3images

Mobile marketing has an additive effect on other advertising and marketing efforts and can bridge the gap between digital and traditional campaigns. It is also flexible, lending itself to both direct response and brand reinforcement campaigns. (Source: eMarketer, June, 2009)

Despite the rising number of mobile users and their increasingly sophisticated habits and mobile devices, currently advertising and marketing dollars flowing to mobile lag behind consumer usage of the channel. This however is about to change and the change is going to be significant. According to eMarketer, mobile advertising spending is going to increase from a mere $416 million in 2009 to $1.560 billion in 2013.

mobile media106464 

This increased growth will ultimately create a need for better creative. Up until now, marketers and their agencies have done a tremendous job of recycling and repurposing creative assets from other media and channels, in an attempt to make sure that as much of the budget as possible goes into working media.

This is an opportunity for agencies to step up to the plate and deliver a better quality product while demanding more fully funded mobile production budgets.  While most creative types currently believe that mobile environments have significant creative limitations, the reality is that this is indeed not the case. The problem is that most creatives are not aware of the technologies currently available and hence what is actually possible.

While there are currently some notable agencies out there leading the charge and creating excellent work, most seem to be overlooking the opportunity.

 

 

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Social Media Fuels Land Grab Within Client Marketing Departments!

October 13, 2009

The exponential growth in social networking and popularity of social media, has created an incredible land grab within many internal client marketing departments. This can be both an opportunity and threat as it relates to the agency world.

In a June, 2009 survey by Zoomerang/StrongMail, marketers were asked the question, “Which marketing function owns social media within your organization?” The survey revealed that 29% of respondents said that it is shared by multiple functions. The majority of respondents however (36%) reported that direct marketing owns social media with only 9% saying that is was owned by PR and just 5% claiming to have a dedicated internal social media department.

A deeper look into what may be driving this revealed some very interesting facts. According to a recent eMarketer article, when marketing executives were asked what they perceived the benefits to be of social media, their responses were as follows:

value of social 

 81% of respondents stated that the major benefits were both brand building and CRM. 69% also believed that it was a viable recruitment tool too, with customer service close behind it at 64%.

Looking even deeper, here is how this same group of marketers answered the question, “For what reasons do you use social media?”

 resons they use sm106332

                                               

For those respondents who claimed not to be using social media, here are the responses as to their reasons why not to.

Reasons they don't106328 

 It’s no wonder that social media responsibility is shared between departments for nearly a third of marketers and very clear to see what exactly is stopping the majority of the non-users from leveraging it. Depending on how you look at it, this can either be an opportunity or a threat, whether you are an incumbent agency or a competitive agency trying to win some new business.


NFL Type Special Teams Are Perfect For Ad Agency New Business

October 5, 2009

special teams

Special teams have been used very successfully in the NFL for many years. While they may not be on the field all the time, team members with special skills are brought into the game when they are needed to help win that play. The same approach can be used very successfully for ad agency new business.

While most agencies have a specific area of expertise/experience for which they are known for, many of the agency staff members bring with them a much broader range of experience/expertise gained in other agency environments. Quite often this expertise is dissipated across the agency’s various departments and client teams, and never brought to bear in a cohesive and organized fashion. By not doing so, you may well be missing an excellent new business opportunity!

Over the years a number of agencies have been successful using this special teams approach to target and win additional new business. By bringing together in virtual teams’ staff members, who possess certain skills or experience, they were able to create a competitive offering in the marketplace. An excellent example is Leo Burnetts’ “Kid Leo” group. A virtual group of staff with specific expertise/experience marketing to kids. Other agency groups have built similar special teams focused around marketing to women.

Special teams are a great way to break into a new category. They allow you to leverage your existing resources without having to hire on new. They aggregate the collective expertise that already exists within the agency into a credible and saleable client offering. The special team provides additional job satisfaction to your staff by allowing them to showcase their past experience and gives them an additional challenge. Best of all, they open up new sources of revenue and new client opportunities for the agency.

The risk is relatively small. If it does not work out, at least you have not invested a huge amount of money and hired on overhead that you now have to let go. It’s a great way to prove out a concept and then bring on additional resources as required.

Try conducting a simple internal audit. Ask your staff to highlight any specific category, product or target segment expertise that they have. If you identify some interesting pockets, find out how broad or deep the expertise goes. They may even have existing client contacts that could be the targets of your initial new business approaches.

You never know, this may well be the start of something big!

 

 

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New Business Opportunity for Ad Agencies…Web Analytics

October 1, 2009

Data aggregation

When Webtrends surveyed marketers worldwide about how to close the gap between data analysis and business action, their top answer was more knowledgeable staff. These marketers just self identified a real new business door opener for savvy agencies.

Smart agencies are always looking for a compelling reason for approaching new business prospects. Most have already found out that the offer of a credentials presentation is not the answer and most often leads to no response at all.

In this particular instance, marketers themselves have identified a specific frustration they are experiencing, as well as what they believe they require to help them solve it… More Knowledgeable Staff! Their problem, however, is that in the current economy, most marketers have had to cut their staff overheads to the bare minimum and hence do not have all the capabilities and smarts that they need on their marketing teams. According to Unica survey, 72% of marketers had no full time staff member devoted to analytics!

What could be a better new business door opener for a smart agency that can help them close the gap between data analysis and business action? Heck, there is even Independent research available to help agencies support their approach, and identify the specific issues that need solving.

Challenges with web analytics 

Of course this assumes that your agency has the capabilities to help the client:

  • Integrate data and results across all channels and from all possible sources.
  • Verify the accuracy of the data.
  • Simplify the data as much as possible and drill down to find the insights within it. (If you torture that data long enough, it will confess)
  • Develop a dashboard that’s easy to use and powered by real time, up to date information.

I once asked a client of mine what she attributed to her meteoric success within the company. Her answer was simply:

“She who owns the data has all the insights and therefore holds all the power”

A perspective that might be helpful as agencies consider the opportunity at hand and whether to pursue it or not.

 

 

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