10 Advantages When Ad Agencies Focus New Business Efforts on Their “Sweet Spot”

New business targeting is about finding an agency’s sweet spot. Deciding on the most fruitful audience that match your agency’s core competencies and wastes the least amount of your agency’s energy and resources to win.

The sweet spot is that part of the club, bat, tennis racket, etc. that wastes the least amount of energy when it collides with the ball.

Too many agencies fall into the trap of pursuing any prospective client with a budget. Most are not a good fit for the agency.  I think that is the primary reason why 53% of advertisers are dissatisfied with their agencies and the average agency-client relationship is now two years.

If your agency will go after anything and everything you are playing a numbers game. You might get lucky and win a few but you wont be building your brand. Also, when it’s not a good match, you, your staff and most likely your new client are going to end up miserable.

Think about these 10 advantages for focusing new business on your agency’s sweet spot: 

  1. Properly brand/position your agency for success with surprisingly little effort. Most agencies are in a perpetual state of re-branding their agency and redesigning their agency’s website. They can’t ever turn the corner to get them done. Focusing on your sweet spot simplifies the process.
  2. You are able to clearly articulate how your agency is different from the rest. I recently asked agencies to share how they are different from the rest, from the 243 responses, I would say that this is a major problem for most agencies.
  3. More easily build awareness among the best prospects for your agency. Your agency is just a tiny dot in the ocean when you have no target audience. You wont be on anyone’s radar.
  4. With a narrower focus you have the ability to become a respected expert and thought leader in your field. There is no credibility when your agency claims expertise in dozens of industry verticals or disciplines.
  5. Acquire new business with the least amount of wasted agency energy and resources.You know where your agency needs to have a presence. What trade shows, conferences to attend, sponsor or speak at. Your new business budget becomes more strategic and you can better harness the creative prowess of your agency when it is needed.
  6. A much better defined set of criteria for identifying the right prospective clients. Creating a top 25 list of prospects is an easy thing to do and makes building relationships with those prospects easier.
  7. Less strike-outs and a stronger win ratio for new business, because your agency is matched up with its core strengths.
  8. A much broader geographical market area. Most small to midsize agencies have gained new business through referrals and personal networks. Focus on your agency’s sweet spot helps you to broaden your appeal. With the addition to social media, you can have a global reach. As an example, I am headed to London this week to meet with a new client that came about by way of my social media program.
  9. Fewer competitors, because there will be fewer agencies who do what you do. You can also know who your chief competitors are and better maximize hone positioning and appeal against theirs.
  10. As a specialist you can command premium pricing. The cost for seeing my family physician from the expense of my neurological specialist who performed a spinal fusion on my neck was a huge.  Lewis Communication’s, here in Birmingham, AL, commands premium pricing for its services to academic medical centers.

Instead of having a lukewarm appeal to a broad group of prospects, focusing on your agency’s sweet spot can generate a feverish appeal among prospects that are the best match for what your agency does best.

Here are a few examples of small to midsize agencies with a focus:

  • The Dudnyk agency, Philadelphia, PA, biotech brand specialists.They’ve even employed Dr. Chris Tobias, who has a PhD in neuroscience and directs new business development for their agency.
  • The SONNHALTER agency, Cleveland, OH, is being sought out by manufacturers who want to reach professional tradesmen.
  • Kleber & Associates, Atlanta, GA, focuses on brands that build a better home.
  • Levelwing, Charleston, SC, that are experts in data-driven marketing solutions, particularly in auto aftermarket companies.
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. Excellent article, Michael. Linkergy’s strategic work with agencies emphasizes getting the Intellectual Property / Sales Platform right, and the “sweet spot” of capabilities is the focus and central theme of all go-to-market plans.

    Keep the examples coming!



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