Ad Agencies: How to Lose the Fear of Positioning

Thought Leader Survey for Ad Agency New Business

Creating and maintaining agency new business is often harder than it should be because one key ingredient is often missing.

I was recently included in RSW/US Thought Leader panel. Along with providing questions for their Thought Leader survey, each panelist provided Agency New Business advice and participated in an interview with RSW/US Owner and President, Mark Sneider. RSW/US is a full service, outsourced business development group for agencies.

Although each panelist presented different questions for the survey, a common thread across many of them centered on the need for an agency to have strongly differentiated positioning.

In this interview, I shared in-depth how to leverage the power of Inbound Marketing and Social Media to support agency new business programs. I demonstrate how this new approach to new business allows you to easily create a highly differentiated positioning for your firm.

Positioning is the foundation for new business. Most agencies are fearful of it.

Watch the video of my interview with Mark on how agencies can lose their fear of positioning.

Positioning is the area that many agencies have not addressed because of either procrastination or more likely, their unwillingness to make the difficult business decisions.

“Contrary to common belief, all agencies have pretty much the same basic capabilities and processes. They all claim to have proprietary tools and they may have different labels for what they do, but the approach is essentially the same at big or small agencies.” – Avi Dan, Forbes contributor who has 30 years of leadership experience with top global Madison Avenue agencies.

Without a differentiated position, ad agency new business is much harder than it needs to be. A lack of positioning creates many problems such as:

  • No positioning usually means agencies are target-less and limits the appeal for an agency’s services. They all tend to look and sound alike.
  • Without positioning and a clear target audience, agencies lack focus in every day tasks such as who to hire, what to read, what events to attend, etc.
  • Expertise is the only true differentiator. Without a differentiated positioning of expertise, agencies are treated as vendors and abdicate control of the client/agency relationship.
  • Agencies without positioning remain in a perpetual state of re-branding. They can never quite make it happen.
  • With no point of differentiation, agencies are confined to work in a smaller geographical area. Why would a prospective client pass on hundreds of other agencies and are just like yours that are much closer?
  • Agencies that have no positioning are forced to chase new business opportunities and have little choice but to work with clients that are not a match with their core strength or chemistry.
  • Agencies carry over their undifferentiated positions into social media where they will have no success with this new communication channel for new business. They will be forced to go back to the interruption type tactics.

New business is NOW even more difficult due to the paradigm shift in business development. The Great Recession and the empowerment of prospects through social media moved the battle for new business primarily online. Instead of chasing new business, it is now more important to be found. Interruptive type tactics such as cold calls, email blasts and direct mail have become ineffective and inefficient.

There is a new model for new business that makes the existing model obsolete.

New business doesn’t have to be so hard. There is a better way that makes it EASIER. Implementing an inbound marketing program will allow you to quickly gain a positioning of expertise and get qualified prospects reaching out to you without having to use the intruding tactics of the past.

New Business Resources

Email Michael for a complimentary copy of his guide: 7 Steps for Fueling New Business Through Social Media. You might also want to review his On Demand new business course, A New Approach to New Business.

Click on the following link for a copy of RSW/US Agency New Business Thought Leader Survey Report. It contains perspective from other leading agency new business Thought Leaders such as Jay Baer, Blair Enns, Tim Williams, Peter Caputa IV and Mark O’Brien.

RSW/US is a full service, outsourced agency lead generation and new business development firm that helps marketing service companies (exclusively) find and win new business.

Additional articles that may be of interest:

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.

%d bloggers like this: