The Client Need-Scape = What Ad Agency Clients Want
There is no single type of client. But, most clients want a similar array of attributes and deliverables from their ad agency. From an agency business development perspective, clearly enunciating that you understand the client need-scape, the what ad agency clients want from you, is critical in the early stages of your marketing.
So, What Do Ad Agency Clients Want?
I believe that although clients range from “I want to be cool and plugged into the culture” to “I need measurable incremental eCommerce sales”, they all have at least these three core needs. These are the needs that you must address in your outbound and inbound ad agency business development program.
Here’s my list. Your mileage may vary. But, I bet that you have to hit all or some of these points sooner or later.
The Need For Results – Think ROI
Many ad agencies lead with the ‘we are creative’ story. As an ex-agency owner and client, I fully understand this lead point. This is, without question, a key requirement for virtually any client that is trying to get there marketing noticed and break out of their competitive pack.
However, just saying that your ad agency is creative is simply not going to cut it. After all, being creative is a highly subjective point (like, how do you prove this to a wide range of clients – yes, awards do help) and even worse, being perceived as creative can be fleeting. Yesterday’s creative agency is quickly replaced by today’s. This happens every year. Remember when Crispin Porter + Bogusky was the hot shop?
Having a results-oriented – think ROI – positioning or just a serious and clear agency brand statement about meeting this need is a must have in 2018. Marketing is a tough game.
CMO’s come and go based on their sales success.
Procurement departments want measurable returns for less.
CEO’s want increased shareholder value and to make their performance bonus.
Owners want more cash in their pocket.
Therefore, address these results-oriented needs and pain points. At issue, is understanding your target market’s or brand’s definition of positive results in your marketing will be a bit tricky. Tricky? Yes, because the definition of results will vary by client type.
Some clients just need more qualified leads. Think B2B.
Some need measurable sales. Think eCommerce.
Some just need more targeted digital traffic. Think the travel category.
Some want engagement. Think fashion brands.
Some want to improve their image. Nike anyone?
Regardless of the type of results – clients want to hear you talk about how you know that they know that you will deliver a high return on investment. Need an example of a digital agency that gets it? Visit HawkSEM and see how they immediately message ROI. Of course, they are a type of agency that can put ROI right in your face. But, you get the idea.
Last point. Ad agency leaders worry about inroads by marketing consultancies. They should. Why? Well, one point. These guys fully understand what the ad agency client’s want… Here is a direct quote from McKinsey’s About Us page.
We help our clients make significant and lasting improvements to their performance and realize their most important goals. With nearly a century of experience, we’ve built a firm uniquely equipped to this task.
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