Ad Agency New Business is Driven to Distraction

If you want to EXPAND your agency, NARROW your FOCUS.

Most small to mid-size ad agencies seem to be suffering from ADHD. They have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when it comes to new business. There may be lots of hyperactivity but most of that activity is unfocused.

In turbulent times … the natural response is to try  and “be everything to everybody.” To appeal to more clients seems like common sense, but it’s exactly the wrong growth strategy. If you try and appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one. The more profitable agencies by far will be the ones who have a strong FOCUS.

There are clear advantages for agencies that have and can maintain FOCUS when it comes to their new business program.  Here’s my top 10 list:

  1. Acquire new business with the least amount of wasted agency energy and resources
  2. A broader — not narrower — geographical market area
  3. A stronger win ratio for new business, because your agency is playing to its strengths
  4. A clear differentiation from its your competitors
  5. Become an expert and a recognized leader in your field
  6. Develop a well-defined set of criteria for identifying the clients who want your agency for what it does best
  7. More easily build awareness among the best prospects for your agency
  8. A stronger win ratio in new business, because the agency is playing to its strengths
  9. Fewer competitors, because there will be fewer agencies who do what you do
  10. Better margins, because specialists command premium pricing

How to keep your agency FOCUSED on new business:

First, have someone who is responsible for new business. If everyone is charged with new business no one is responsible.

Secondly, for a new business program to be successful, it has to be consistent. The measure for whether it is maintainable should be … what can is sustainable when our agency is at its busiest?

Third, to be consistent, the person charged with new business is empowered to set and maintains FOCUS for the entire agency. There will be constant readjustments needed to keep your agency headed in the right direction and pointed toward your best prospective client audience.

“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, author of the blog She-conomy, A Guys Guide to Marketing to Women. She-conomy in the news: ‘She-conomy’ teaches marketers how to capture the biggest consumer demographic: Women

The graphic illustration used in this post is from the  Optical Illusion’s website. Check out their collection of illusions.

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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.

Comments

  1. John Arends says:

    Michael – Heads up for you. Joe Grant used the same artwork to support his blog on the same topic, agency focus, posted June 1 at http://jjgrant.wordpress.com

    Might wanna acknowledge the serendipity and give Joe a nod…

    John Arends

  2. Thanks John for the heads-up, but my post predates Joes. If you read my blog chronologically you will find that my post was published on May 26. I had not seen Joe’s article until you mentioned it. I’m not sure where he has gotten his graphic or inspiration for his post.

    The use of the graphic I used was from a site called Optical Illusions http://www.optical-illusions.in/ illusions/focus.jpg and was posted March 3, 2009.

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