10 Things Ad Agencies “Usually” Say About Themselves

Read the ABOUT page of any agency’s website or read through some of their promotional material or listen to their capabilities presentation and you are likely to read and hear the same descriptions over and over again.

Nothing new, certainly nothing differentiating, even if they say, “but it’s really true about our agency. We really are strategic. We really are fun to work with, yada, yada, yada.”

Here are the ten things agencies are most likely to say about themselves:

  1. We’re full service
  2. We offer comprehensive solutions
  3. We provide great ideas
  4. We are results oriented
  5. We use an integrated marketing approach
  6. We have a wide range of experience
  7. We are strategic
  8. We have great chemistry
  9. We provide you with our best people
  10. We have award winning creative

Sound familiar? Sound the same? Care to add to this list?

Agencies commonly fail to differentiate themselves. They typically focus on what makes them the same instead of what makes them different and that is why they look and sound the same to prospective clients.

Agency’s that try to appeal to everyone are appealing to no one.

A diverse portfolio of clients, for small and midsize agencies, is not a sign of strength but a sign of weakness.

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About Michael Gass

Michael Gass is a Business Development Consultant to Advertising, Digital, Media and PR Agencies | Speaker | Author of Fuel Lines. Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

Comments

  1. Pretty comprehensive list, but you could add “we’re a partner”.

  2. Yes, that is another good one that is heard often.

  3. You could retitle this post “10 Things Clients Usually Say They Look For”.

  4. Todd, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I believe clients are looking for specialists instead of generalists. When agencies use terms like these to describe themselves they fall into the same batch of all other small to midsize ad agencies with no point of differentiation.

  5. we turn insights into action
    we’re close to the customer

  6. We’re the new generation agency. Amazing post, it’s funny cause it’s true.

  7. This is hilarious! How ’bout “We’re Different”…

  8. Jennifer, I’ve actually heard that one on a number of occasions!

  9. – we’re results-oriented
    — we’re passionate about developing long-lasting relationships with the consumer

  10. Viewpoint.Orange says:

    Hahaha, so true ~ and sometimes “we employ the most innovative talents”

  11. “… and we have fun doing it.”

  12. Another classic is: “We only work with clients we believe in”.

  13. These are all very familiar agency descriptors and definite additions to the list.

  14. It’s all so true… but look at the flipside. What else are agencies going to say?

    1. We’ll work with anyone who pays us.
    2. Most of the work we do isn’t award winning, it simply answers the brief and deliveres real value to our client’s business.

    True – but not a pitch winning approach.

    Most decent agencies offer a pretty similar service. The major problem is clients deciding to go with the “safe option” at pitch – and that’s not the agency that differentiated itself from the crowd, it’s the one that ticked all the cliche boxes in the original post.

  15. It has been my experience that, at the end of the day, it always comes down to cost. Most of the time the prospect picks the agency with the lowest price tag. I’m sure there are times when this doesn’t happen, but I’d be willing to bet it happens 90+ percent of the time.

    I have been trained to ask “is this going to come down to price? Is that your #1 requirement?” They usually say no, and at the end of the day, they select on price.

  16. Todd,

    Sadly what you say is true a lot of the time. It comes down to cost, especially in the current economy.