For a small or midsize ad agencies client diversity isn’t a strength its a weakness.
Most ad agencies are target-less. Just ask, they wont be able to adequately define who is their target audience. They want to be everything to everybody. That is why they are viewed as generalist instead of specialist. A generalist is going to make less money, be confined primarily to business acquired because of location, personal chemistry and networks. They are forced to take on accounts they don’t want and do work they don’t want to do.
Without a target a new business program becomes much more difficult. Focusing on a target audience is foundational, it impacts everything about an agency from how it is promoted to even staffing.
A niche blog is a great tool to help a small or midsize agency focus on a target audience for new business.
To have an effective agency blog you must have a target audience in mind. Another blog about marketing isn’t going to stand out. A blog however that is targeted to marketing for real estate developers would be more effective. If it were a blog for real estate developers using Web 2.0 tools would stand out even more. Such a blog isn’t attractive to everyone but it can be highly attractive to a specific target group and helps build awareness and an expertise for your agency.
G&G ADVERTISING, Orlando, Florida, provides a good example of how a full service advertising agency can position itself as being experts to a specific target audience. Their main Website is general, but they created another division specifically to marketing real estate. This division is called RENDERINGS.COM.
The RENDERINGS.COM agency created a blog about Real Estate Marketing. Allowing the agency to engage their target audience online, providing helpful marketing tips, trends and tactics for developers.
Small and midsize ad agencies can use a blog to build awareness and trust with a particular target audience.
If an agency’s strength is marketing destinations, or professional services, leisure products, healthcare or whatever it may be, they can identify and reach their best target audience through a blog. This is a communications tool that must be used correctly. There are many examples of agencies with bad blogs who have no idea how they should be used to build an online community of prospective clients.
An example of a smaller ad agency that has developed a blog to a broader, but still specific, target audience, is Holland + Holland in Birmingham, Alabama. The agency’s president and creative director, Stephanie Holland, is one of only three percent of female creative directors in the country. This was the biggest and best point of differentiation her agency.
Stephanie’s agency developed an appealing position to male advertisers whose primary target audience is women. The agency developed a blog called www.she-conomy.com, a guy’s guide to marketing to women. The agency has already acquired new business directly related to their blog. She-conomy positions the agency as having an expertise in marketing to women.
This isn’t a niche market and doesn’t lessen but enhances the agency’s new business opportunities. Just look at the following stats. All the agency has to do is target categories that are dominated by the female consumer. Eighty-five percent of all brands purchased are purchased by women. They are the purchasing agency for the family. Plus:
- 69% of household health decisions are made by women
- 74% of all NBA & NFL apparel is purchased by women
- 91% of new home decisions are made by women
- 81% of grocery decisions are made by women
- 60% of the online population are women
- 62% of all workers are women
The agencies target group is bright for the future, ninety-four percent of the wealth acquired in the next four years, will be acquired by women.
“As a general rule ad agencies try to be all things to all clients for fear of losing potential business. We were no different. But narrowing our focus on a particular target audience gives us a much better focus for new business and has led to more opportunities than we could have imagined.” – Stephanie Holland, President/Creative Director Holland + Holland Advertising
Stephanie says they have to continually remind themselves that their target audience is male advertisers as they write their blog post on how to market to women. They even designed their blog with graphics and colors that would not be offensive to men and copy that is helpful not demeaning.