Ad Agency Owners Will Hate This Book But Prospective Clients Will Love It

Jordan Zimmerman Leading Fearlessly

You may not be a fan of Jordan Zimmerman, but you will miss a lot of valuable lessons about new business if you neglect him. I volunteered to read and write a review of Zimmerman’s book, Leading Fearlessly. After I read it, my first thought was, agency owners are going to hate this book. They’ll never […]

A New Approach is NOW Needed for Ad Agency New Business

inbound marketing for ad agency new business

Business development has undergone a major change. New business has historically been a problem for agencies. Most small to midsize agencies have no positioning and no point of differentiation. They look and sound the same. They are often treated as vendors because they lack a positioning of expertise. Most don’t have a target audience thus, […]

My Favorite Aunt Passed Away

Love is more than flowers and a happy ending. True love is making another’s well-being more important than your own. I’m attending the funeral of my aunt, Josephine Willis, today in Winchester, Tennessee. I know, you are not supposed to have favorites, but she earned this recognition. Since my childhood, she always made me feel […]

I Have Lost My Most Faithful Companion

Over the past seven years I’ve primarily written content for Fuel Lines that was specifically about agency new business. Rarely have I written anything personal. I hope you will grant me this exception. Since starting my consultancy and working from my home office, my constant companion each day has been our tiny Yorkie Terrier, Bracie. When […]

AdMan Remembers 9/11

advertising remembers 9-11

I was in my office at The Maryland Group, a full-service ad agency located in Brentwood, TN when I learned of the first plane striking the North Tower of the World Trade Center. All of our staff were glued to sets watching live televised reports of the tragedy as it continued to unfold. We scanned the web for additional information. There was a lot of misinformation, such as the the possible bombing of our own State Capital Building in Nashville, being reported. Little work was done that day. Our minds and hearts were with the people of the city of New York.

For Ad Agency New Business Life’s a Beach

vacationing for ad agency new business

 Here’s a reminder for those charged with ad agency new business … You have to periodically step back and smell the roses or you will easily burn out. My wife insisted that we take a break. So we’re spending a long weekend here in Panama City, Florida. I could get into working full time from […]

Ad Agency New Business is Harder Because One Key Ingredient is Lacking

Ad Agency New Business Missing Ingredient

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

Positioning is the foundation of any agency’s new business program. It is also 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.

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Report: Thought Leader Survey for Ad Agency New Business

Ad Agency New Business Survey

Most agencies have an active new business plan but 67% of responders don’t view their program as successful.

“When it comes to new business, it’s important that agencies never become complacent, even when times are good. In order to nurture and grow a vibrant agency, there must be a steady stream of new business opportunities in the pipeline. Clients can be unpredictable and losing a piece a business without replacing it quickly can be detrimental to an agency’s future.” – Laurie Mikes, Chief Operating Officer of Second Wind

I was asked to be part of the annual Thought Leader Survey conducted by RSW/US, a full service, outsourced agency lead generation and new business development firm.… Continue reading

Ad Agency Prospects are Looking for Expertise 

ad agency new business

Agencies fail to realize the importance prospects place on having a knowledge of their industry and a positioning of expertise.

Small to midsize agencies continue to promote themselves as full service, even though it’s rare for an agency to have a full service client. They use “full service” to broaden their appeal to most prospects. But these old adages are true, “a jack of all trades is master of none” and “when you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to none.” 

Isn’t it time to drop the “full service” way of thinking for new business?

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Describe Your Ad Agency in Six Words or Less

ad agency tag lines

Here’s a challenge for advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

Let’s take it one step further … Can you describe your agency in six words “without” using these 10 Things Ad Agencies “usually” Say About Themselves?

Ten things agencies are most likely to say about themselves:

  1. Full service
  2. Comprehensive solutions
  3. Great ideas
  4. Results oriented
  5. Integrated marketing approach
  6. Wide range of experience
  7. We are strategic
  8. Great chemistry
  9. Out-side-the-box
  10. Award winning creative

If you are up for the challenge, share your description in six words or less in the comment section below.… Continue reading

Successfully Executing a New Business Strategy Requires a System

A System for Ad Agency New Business

A plan is just a plan until it’s executed. Execution is the battleground that determines success or failure.

According to the RSW/US survey report,

66% of agency execs stated their new business hire was unsuccessful because the person lacked a methodology.

How many annual planning meetings has your agency gone through to create a strategic new business plan only to have it fail in its implementation? Maybe this year, instead of focusing so much attention on the plan, use annual planning to create a dynamic process for execution.Continue reading

Making Time for Ad Agency New Business

A Calendar for Ad Agency New Business

Time Management: If it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist.

The working atmosphere of an ad agency is chaotic. It is an environment that is in a perpetual state of distraction.

Have you often reached the end of a day with nothing to show for it? I know exactly how you feel. An entire day can be disrupted by just one phone call or email.

One of our biggest challenges for new business is knowing what to work on each day.… Continue reading

Social Media Isn’t Working for Ad Agency New Business

social media and ad agency new business

 

If your agency’s social media participation isn’t developing new business leads, it’s important to know WHY. 

From my experience, most agencies finally got on board with social media in 2010. They created their agency’s blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts and jumped in.

70% of marketers report that social media marketing delivers poor or average return on investment.

Many agencies thought that by merely having a social media presence, it would give them social media credibility.… Continue reading

Podcast: Inbound prospects in 30 days

Inbound Marketing for Ad Agency New Business

How to speed up the process of developing inbound leads for ad agency new business.

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jake Jorgovan for this episode of his, Working Without Pants Podcast, sponsored by Outbound Creative.

I share in-depth tactics to help agencies with their inbound marketing strategies. A lot of agencies have a hard time seeing new business results from inbound marketing, or success is taking a long time. I show ways that inbound and social media can start creating an impact within 30 days.… Continue reading

8 Primary Problems for Ad Agency New Business

Problems for Ad Agency New Business

 

Agencies have lots of problems when it comes to new business.

Almost my entire career in advertising was spent in business development. I’ve been a consultant to advertising, digital, media and PR firms for over ten years. I’ve worked one-on-one with over 270 agencies. From my experience, new business is becoming more complex and challenging. 

Here are eight of the most common problems of small to midsize agencies and what to do about them:

1.  

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CEOs Can’t Afford to Ignore Social Media

the social ceo

Social media is a primary force that is redefining the role of the men and women who oversee the world’s largest companies.

The importance of social media to business has dramatically escalated. We have moved through the “hype phase of social media when businesses felt compelled to participate because it was such a fad. We have entered a productive phase where companies are starting to crack social’s code to turn it into a genuine marketing advantage.… Continue reading