Obsolete Boondoggles in the Modern Age of Training
The first question I ask the agency principal is “What did you do to win new business this year?”
The first answer I usually get is, “Well, we went to NY in the Spring for a new business conference.”
Me: “How was it?”
Them: “Well, we won’t be going back.”
I’ve heard this so many times over the past 6 or 7 years that I’ve lost count. Of course, I ask why; and the reasons are invariably the same.
- It’s expensive. When you add airfare, hotels, NYC restaurants to a conference registration fee you’re making a minimum investment of $5k per key employee. It might be worth it if you know it worked. But…
- Disseminating the content is challenging. Assuming someone took great notes, it’s still difficult to capture all the elements necessary from a live setting. The learning resides with one or two agency people. Cascading the information accurately throughout the agency is a common complaint I hear.
- The content is dated and similar every year. For those few agencies that do go back a second time, they pretty much get the same old playbook with a new wrinkle here or there. Chaucer said “There is nothing new under the sun.” Boy was he right
about New Business Conferences.
- The content is not effective in the modern economy. The “big takeaway” at these conferences is that your agency needs to be a category specialist. It’s a round peg/round hole approach. It was somewhat relevant in the awful and fear-driven economy of 2008-2011. But, it’s a weak application today in the booming, modern economy. You’re paying a ton of money for content that was born in a world prior to uber, AirBnB, Amazon and Facebook.
Please make it stop. There has to be a more cost-effective, internally efficient and fresher way to impact your agency’s business development program. There has to a better method led by proven coaches that actually won new business at an ad agency like yours. There will be…and just in time for 2018. Stay tuned to mikepalma.com