Monthly Archives: January 2014

A New Approach to Ad Agency New Business

7 Myths to Avoid for Growth in 2014

1. “New Business is a Numbers Game” – Bah, humbug. Less is more. Pick 15 Primary Prospects and 15 backups. Out of the 15 primaries, pick 5 as your highest priorities. Treat them as if they are already clients. Bring them ideas. Recruit them. Stop spamming the world with your newsletter. Nobody cares about your blog. Let’s get over that nonsense and get back to intelligent, personalized agency outreach.

2. “Clients Want Category Specialists” – Nah. Clients want great creative built upon unexpected insights and great service. They assume you will understand their business and their category. This specialization theory that runs rampant today is not a point of differentiation… it’s a point of sameness. “We’re experts in your category” — could you be more pompous, maybe? Category specialization may get you into a pitch, but it will NEVER win you an account.

3. “Size Matters” – oh, yeah? Tell that to Barton F. Graf 9000 or Baldwin& or Made in Boulder. Creativity matters. Clients want 6 key people on their account, not 200.

4. “Social Media Creates Inbound Marketing” – Sure, it does. Tweeting out your agency propaganda brings in tire-kickers by the barrel. 999 out of 1,000 “inbound” leads are crap, admit it. And let’s get over this in 2014.

5. “Clients Seek Collaboration” – That’s what they say. But, they really want leadership that listens. Anyone can collaborate; but, few can lead. And even fewer can lead through breakthrough creative. Collaboration is table stakes. Stop selling collaboration and start leading.

6. “Agencies Are Marketing Partners” – Stop drinking your own Kool-Aid. Agencies are vendors. You earn marketing partnership after you help that client achieve business results. Stop selling your agency as a “partner.” Think about how you would feel if a candidate on a job interview claimed they would be a partner at your agency. Partnership is earned, not claimed.

7. “Price Matters” – No, it doesn’t. It never did, and it never will. If they have to ask what it costs, they can’t afford it. If they want a volume discount, send them to Costco. Do your homework up front and stop recruiting cheapskate prospects. Professional Marketing Services are costly. Great creative is expensive. Sell quality.