No. 1 Ad Agency New Business Article for 2009

Out of more than 200 Fuel Lines’ articles, “Ad agency having explosive new business growth by leading with social media,” was the number 1 read article for 2009.

The Russo Group, a small ad agency (full time staff of 19) in Lafayette, Louisiana, is having explosive new business growth using and leading with social media. Instead of laying off they are hiring. 104% net profit over this time last year. New clients, all outside their market, located in California, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington D.C. Washington state even England. All won without having to pitch and their prospective clients called them. The  hard cost for last year? $11.95.

I talk with ad agency CEOs on a daily basis. There was a lot of doom and gloom in the beginning of 2009. I understand the pain and frustration many small to midsize ad agencies are having in the midst of a global economic crisis and a revolutionary shift in the advertising industry.

Now for some good news. I think you will enjoy FUEL LINES first podcast interview with Jaci Russo, principal of The Russo Group. Jaci is impressive (more so than her interviewer).  Jaci’s agency was started in February 2001. A typical small full service ad agency that had been obtaining new business through a cold calling system, referrals and networking.

Realizing a change was coming, Jaci lead her agency into social media and she is using it as a new business tool. The (updated) results:

  • 14 new client acquisitions since January
  • Agency’s profits up 104%
  • New clients located in Texas, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Washington State, Washington D.C. and London. A complete reversal from prior years, where 94% of their business came from within their market. The trend is now reversed. The geographical barriers are broken down.
  • Almost all of the new client accounts were won without a pitch. Clients want to work with someone that they know, like and trust. Social media provides the channel to best accomplish it. Networking on steroids.
  • All of these prospective clients that became clients initiated the call to the agency

In the following audio taped interview with Jaci Russo, she discusses social media, its impact upon her agency’s business model, new business acquisitions and profits.

Interview with Jaci Russo

“There is a change coming … you can’t be all things to all people … people like to do business with people they like … not everybody likes us but that is okay … we’re now fishing in a global pond … we’re not laying off, we’re hiring … we don’t see a recession … clients are still spending but they are moving their budgets into different places … I feel very connected to what is going on in the world …  if you have nothing else but time social media is not a bad way to invest it … social media right now is the biggest tool in the tool box for now … most results and least expensive … this is how (new business) is suppose to work.” Jaci Russo

I want to say thanks to Jaci for willingness to share and provide positive example to agency’s in these trying times.

Here are a few ways to engage Jaci online. I’m sure she would enjoy hearing from you.

Additional articles that might be of interest:

  • Social Media “Teaches” Ad Agencies to Promote Themselves the Right Way
  • Ad Agency Survey Finds Traditional New Business Methods Aren’t Working
  • Is it the end for cold calling as an agency new business tactic?
  • Social Media Impacts Ad Agency New Business
  • A Revolutionary Time for Ad Agency New Business
  • Agencies Gaining New Business Opportunities Using Social Media
  • Unconventional Times Call for Unconventional New Business Methods
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    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.

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