Social media is a time saver rather than time killer for ad agency new business.
Agencies were reluctant to participate as social media was becoming mainstream because they saw it as a major commitment of their time without much value to show in return. A lot of negative perceptions of social media has been changed. But I don’t believe the majority of agencies have yet to appreciate the huge benefit that social media can actually make new business easier.
Here are 5 ways social media makes agency new business easier:
1. Social media allows agencies to define and adopt a more differentiating new business strategy than they were ever comfortable doing before.
“Just thought I would let you know. We are participating in a pitch tomorrow for another national account. This opportunity is 100% related to our agency’s new positioning through our blog, She-conomy: A guy’s guide to marketing to women” – Stephanie Holland, president, Holland + Holland Advertising
Holland + Holland advertising, through their blog She-conomy, has now been invited to three pitches of national brands as a result of their differentiating positioning. Stephanie has also been hired as a marketing consultant for Porsche to help develop a campaign for marketing to women.
Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of her agency. She even had trouble getting local press coverage for their 25th anniversary. But, through social media, she has been recognized by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and NPR radio.
Stephanie had never been comfortable stepping out with this positioning prior to social media. She was like other agency principals who felt that she would be missing opportunities.
2. Social media provides a systematic way to create intellectual capital and share your area of expertise.
It is the best customized continuing education program for your professional enrichment, keeping you ahead of the learning curve and positioning as a thought leader. Plus, it pays in new business opportunities while you focus on being better. “
We just landed a significant project with Coca-Cola purely through our sustainable marketing niche. The best compliment we could receive was when they said our price was waaaay more than the next bid, but given our background in green marketing and sustainability, that it was worth the extra investment. Finally, a value over price purchase. Love it” – Park Howell, president of Park & CO
Specialists are respected and they tend to make a lot more money.
3. Social media eliminates the need for cold calling.
I’m a cold caller from way back. I’ve had excellent success. But times are changing rapidly. Cold calling isn’t an effective or an efficient method for agency new business. You make dozens of calls to find the right prospect and the right time but you still must go through the dating process. Social media allows for you to build prospective client relationships faster than cold calling.
People have a natural tendency to want to work with other people that they know, trust and like.
In my years as an agency consultant ,I’ve yet to make the first cold call for any business. My clients all made contact with me when they were ready for business and our initial conversation was much advanced than an initial cold call. In the initial call they talk to me as if they know me. That is because they do!
The “dating process” that is associated with cold calling is totally eliminated. Social media can provide a much better return on your time investment.
4. Your agency’s market can greatly increase through social media.
Small to midsize ad agencies can affordably build a national awareness. Prior to using social media for new business, The Russo Group, Lafayette, LA, 94% of their new business came from within their market. Since implementing social media, 94% of their new business has been generated outside their market and extended new business opportunities from coast to coast.
Why would a prospective client, outside of your market, want to work with your agency? Give them a reason.
“Kudos to all! Our social program is generating leads and business from around the world. Earlier this year got a client out of Australia and currently talking to a company in Japan that follows me on twitter” – John Sonnhalter, CEO, SONNHALTER
5. Utilizing social media can help you to be more consistent for new business.
You can keep your prospective pipeline full even when your agency is busy with client work or you are away. At the beginning of the summer, while my wife and I were vacationing in Key West, I wrote a post and published it along with a photo while on the beach. I wrote, “Vacationing with Social Media and Still Generating Ad Agency New Business,” to illustrate how social media can keep your new business pipeline flowing even when you’re out of pocket.