Ad Agency Marketing Is Holistic, Interconnected and 3D.
Let’s imagine that you are the Marketing Director of Estee Lauder and you’ve just decided you need an ad agency to revitalize your women’s magazine program. Yes, magazines like Vogue still live. Before you go out and find an agency search consultant, you pull out your laptop and do a bit of research. You will use one or more of a combination of search tactics like getting referrals from like-minded marketing experts, you’ll review agencies that are current award winners, you’ll read ADWEEK and AdAge lists and on. You might even Google, “best women’s advertising agencies.” Believe me, having once been the CEO of two ad agency client companies, finding the right marketing partner isn’t easy.
Whatever the Marketing Director has done to get to a short list, her next stop is the agency’s website. I’ve written lots about how to build sales-oriented agency websites. However, I want to get a step beyond the website. It is a step I use whenever an ad agency client prospect contacts me. I take a look at their “about” / people page and then go to LinkedIn to get a bit more up close and personal about the agency’s key players. If I am interested, I’ll also check out the leader or employee’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Here’s a duh… personal branding is critical these days. And, since an ad agency is made of its moving parts, in this case, its people, why wouldn’t Ms. Lauder check out the people’s brands and stories too. By the way, people chemistry is a key element in agency selection.
Best Practices: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Personal Brands.
Look, I get it. We are all individuals. But, there is a team benefit to being consistent – in key areas.
I think that agencies should have a set of best practices and agency-related branding guidelines for their key player’s personal branding with respect to their company’s branding. While we have all read about how to set up a killer social media profile, for example, chances are very good that some key players have simply not optimized their profile. This means, they simply do not look good to the outside world, including you, hopefully, next new client.
While an employee owns their own brand (and, of course, might actually be using their LinkedIn page to find their next job), each employee should at least sound and look like they work at your agency. Here are some examples of what I mean.
- All related LinkedIn, etc. sites should have the latest agency branding (graphics and other branding devices.)
- There needs to be some consistency in how the employee describes the agency.
- It would be nice if the employee had one or more client Recommendations.
- The profiles should be complete. I am not going to get into the art of personal branding. But, someone at the agency needs to do a review of the key people.
- Last point, no you should not be the personal branding police. But, you do need to control your agency brand. Review your group’s personal brands and make sure that each person is aware of how you want your company represented.
In today’s marketing world, everything matters. Everything you do brands the agency. How you answer your phone, your agency email signatures, your position on Google, your relationship with the search community, your blog posts, all of your magnet sites including The Creative Ham. You know what I’m talkin about.
And…. how you look in your employee’s world. It all adds up.
If you want, give me a shout and I’ll use our Corleone moment to help you do a quick review.