The 8 Word Mission Statement for Ad Agency New Business

ad agency mission statement

Your agency’s mission statement can have new business value and measurable results.

A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person, its reason for existing. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. Wikipedia

The mission statement captures the heart of an organization, what it stands for and why it exists.

Here are some examples of the mission statements of popular digital businesses: 

  • Google. To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • Twitter. We want to instantly connect people everywhere to what’s most important to them.
  • Skype. Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.
  • Yahoo. Yahoo is about making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining.
  • Amazon. We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators.

Most ad agencies have a mission statement. But, they are to often filled with wordy jargon that is often forgotten, misremembered or flatly ignored by staff and meaningless to prospective clients. Your mission statement should foster clarity.

Kevin Starr, executive director of the Mulago Foundation, has created a compelling approach to developing a focused and useful mission statement that warrants your attention.  Mission statements in the social sector, similar to the ad industry, tend to be the same kind of word-salad.” Starr insists that companies he funds, express their mission statement in under eight words.

“As investors in impact, we—the Mulago Foundation—don’t want to wade through a bunch of verbiage about “empowerment,” “capacity-building,” and “sustainability”—we want to know exactly you’re trying to accomplish. We want to cut to the chase, and the tool that works for us is the eight-word mission statement.”

The Starr Method: Clients must follow this format: “Verb, target, outcome.”

It’s long enough to be definitive and short enough to force clarity.  This concise method is a fresh approach to developing a useable mission statement that will clarify thinking and keep your agency focused on a single issue.

One of the largest agency networks, is Leo Burnett Worldwide. The agency, founded in 1935 in Chicago by Leo Burnett, now had 85 offices and 9,000+ employees. Leo Burnett celebrated its’ 67th anniversary by unveiling a new mission statement.  The new mission statement, simply declares:

“We create ideas that inspire enduring belief.”

How long is your agency’s current mission statement? Do you think you could get it down to under 8 words using the “verb, target, outcome” format?

Try this exercise and share it through the comments’ section below.

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. I agree completely. And I would add that agencies need to stop creating a mission statement based on what they think will get them business and start creating them based on what their mission is. By doing so, there would be a lot less client-agency spats and seperations!

  2. Thanks for your comments Connie.

  3. Mission statements for businesses! Really? Is that still being pedelled? I’ve worked for and with a few businesses over the years most of whom had a statement of somekind, usually posted on the wall of a staff room or on the wall behind the reception desk. Most management if asked could take a wild stab at reciting it if asked and few of the staff too. If you look at some of the best performing young businesses they have a culture statement; the difference is not the poster on the wall but the very nature in which the employees react and perform, it is intrinsic to their very nature. Hiring new staff has a psychometric element that determines their company fit. One of the examples I refer to is Zappos, of which I’ve had personal experience.

  4. “Love God. Love People. Love Branding”

  5. Making things happen.

  6. Mark Hanly says:

    Wicked. Simple. And very relevant. I had one all the time. All the best. Mark, Rep. of Panama

  7. Thinking about what a consumer will live as the best online experience.

  8. Craig Lindberg says:

    The less said, the more read.

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