Social Media Impacts Ad Agency New Business

“80% of decision makers say they found the vendor, not the other way around.”

The growth of Social Media is dramatically impacting how agencies promote themselves.

As Social Media hits the mainstream, I thought agency readers would enjoy a few excerpts from John Miller’s, “Marketing 2.0 Hits a Tipping Point.” This article was featured in the CMO Council’s Marketing Outlook 2008 study.

“Marketing 2.0 is by no means a brand new idea, but this year’s Marketing Outlook survey demonstrates that 2008 is the year it will tip into the mainstream.”

Comparing Traditional Marketing with Social Marketing:

Gaining the Prospects Attention

  • Traditional Marketing uses push marketing tactics, such as cold calls and unsolicited email, that work but only if they interrupt the customer’s attention.
  • Social Marketing uses “behavioral marketing” techniques to engage when and how consumers want, in direct response to behaviors and buying signals.

Controlling the Message

  • Traditional Marketing, markets to prospects. Marketers attempt to control the message as well as the customer’s buying cycle and agenda.
  • Social Marketing, customers interact with each other, and marketers nurture passion and engagement from their best customers – marketing with prospects.

Measuring ROI and Accountability

  • Traditional Marketing was characterized by a severely limited ability to demonstrate ROI and marketing accountability, which led to the perception that marketing is a cost center.
  • Social Marketing gives marketers the ability to measure the bottom-line impact of every marketing activity, to quantify the impact of changes to marketing budgets, and to demonstrate marketing’s impact on revenue.

Today’s CMO lives in a world where traditional marketing practices are no longer acceptable.


  • Don’t want to be interrupted
  • Have found ways to screen out, throw out and tune out unwanted marketing messages
  • Use online tools and techniques to seize control of their buying process
  • Seek out the information they want when they want it

How does this impact ad agency new business?

With a majority of decision makers saying they found the vendor, The smart ad agencies will be the ones which make sure they can be found when and where the prospect is looking! Agencies need to promote themselves using Social Marketing strategies.

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Interesting statistic Michael. I like how this works for both B2B and B2C. An additional point that I would make would be that with Social Media has this visibility as being transparent to your consumer where as Traditional media you don’t get the personal feel to collateral.

  2. Joe, Thanks for taking the time to comment. An excellent addition regarding transparency. A big difference between traditional and Social Media.

  3. Brenda Gelston says:

    We strongly believe in the power of social media but we are still trying to learn how to utilize it without contaminating the channel. If social media is abused or used in an inappropriate way (by marketers or agencies), it will become as ineffective as some forms of traditional media.

    Just as we urge our clients to listen to the conversation before becoming a part of it, we as agencies need to do the same. We cannot simply jump into social media before fully understanding how and why our targets use it and how we can bring value to the conversation.

  4. Brenda, I appreciate your comments. I believe and preach that social media should be used correctly and try and provide as much insight to help ad agencies as I can. There is a time to listen and learn but there is also a time to act. Social media has to be experienced first hand. It isn’t something that you can just pick up in a workshop or seminar. There is some trial and error. Hopefully I’m a better communicator today than I was when I started. I don’t know anyone involved with social media that hasn’t made mistakes. I have no fear of ad agencies contaminating the channels because if they abuse and misuse it they wont have an audience. Social media is building from one relationship to the other and motive matters. But the power of social media is such agencies will have to abide by its rules or they will be the ones left rendered ineffective.

    So, that being said, check out the water, be sure it’s deep enough but by all means jump in!

  5. Very insightful of you. There is a difference in how social media does things and the ad agencies need to stop trying to get people to fit into a box that no longer fits. It is called progress.

  6. Delores,

    I whole heartedly agree. I love the transparency associated with social media. It is making a revolutionary, positive change upon the advertising industry. A change much needed for a long time.

  7. guillaumefoutry says:

    Good article, very good idea to compare traditional and social marketing. Do you think social marketing will completely overwhelm traditional marketing or will become the essential part of the marketing mix?

  8. I don’t think social marketing will take over traditional marketing at all but I do believe it will be a major component. For ad agency promotion, I believe social marketing provides excellent tools that do not need much subsidy with traditional marketing tools. Social media forces an agency to promote themselves the right way. They must lead with benefits rather than capabilities.

  9. mtei, rose says:

    Actually it is a good thing that even Tanzania ads agencies have made some progress. we can now see the changes in our ads agencies.i like the article….!

  10. Thanks Robinet.


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