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:
- Acquire new business with the least amount of wasted agency energy and resources
- A broader — not narrower — geographical market area
- A stronger win ratio for new business, because your agency is playing to its strengths
- A clear differentiation from its your competitors
- Become an expert and a recognized leader in your field
- Develop a well-defined set of criteria for identifying the clients who want your agency for what it does best
- More easily build awareness among the best prospects for your agency
- A stronger win ratio in new business, because the agency is playing to its strengths
- Fewer competitors, because there will be fewer agencies who do what you do
- 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.
Additional articles that may be of interest:
- Ad Agency New Business is Like Herding Cats
- Expand Your Agency By Narrowing Your Focus
- Social Media “Teaches” Ad Agencies to Promote Themselves the Right Way
- Four Ways Social Media is Changing Advertising Agencies New Business