Marketing Technology LUMAscape = Insane

The Insane Marketing Technology LUMAscape

I’m laughing a bit. Clarity is not exactly what I get from this Marketing Technology LUMAscape chart. Clearly, LUMAscape provides a great organized overview. However, the marketing tech landscape is insane – especially when shown in aggregate.

Insane due to its complexity, competing platforms, the time that is required for any ad agency to drill down into the information, etc. For me, the chart makes charting the path through this ever growing marketing technology universe daunting – and time-consuming and expensive (for the agency and its clients).

But. But. Clients are shifting dollars to marketing technology. And, while this ad zone is complex, your agency better be applying some gray matter and resources to this area. Here’s some research proof about the shifting landscape.

LUMAscape Gets It Right

LUMAscapes are an excellent example of smart, compelling content marketing.

Here is how LUMAcape describes itself:

LUMAscapes are some of the industry’s most widely referenced resources. They organize the ecosystem across all critical categories and provide clarity to a complex digital media and marketing landscape.

Want even more organized and sharable complexity?

Head over to see mobile, display, video, content and sales tech LUMAscapes. Yikes!

A note to advertising agencies.

Consider acting like LUMAscape.

LUMAscape probably hired a bunch of intern-types to create a list for each subject group and then a more senior person edited and ranked and then handed it all to a junior designer and — Voila, LUMAscape has a great sales tool that gets distributed by people like me. Couldn’t you create some on-going, easy to produce yet valuable insights that can be reproduced and distributed? This kinda stuff can get your agency noticed.

 

 

Amsterdam Is Fun

KesselsKramer Makes Amsterdam Fun

Yeah, you know Amsterdam is fun. I’ve just had that confirmed: spring weather; the gorgeous canals; tall blondes; really fine design; marijuana is legal (but, I am from Portland so who cares.) And the two best photography museums I’ve been to. Foam and Huis Marseilles. I’ll put links to them at the bottom.

Getting to the real point… there is an Amsterdam agency that has never been boring. Never been unignorable. From their website history to their publications, they act different.

Different in a world of zillions of agencies. This is a good thing.

KesselsKramer

On my first day in Amsterdam, I took a random walk and found an excellent photography bookstore that had books by Erik Kessels, one of KesselsKramer’s founders. I already own a couple from his series In Almost Every Picture. My books include a flat-headed rabbit and a woman that never gets out of her car. Erik’s books are mostly sold out but you can find some on the KesselsKramer website and on Amazon.

Back To Fun

I’ve written about KesselsKramer’s approach to acting and looking and sounding different (rare in the agency world). This was way apparent when they had an ever-changing website plus an absurdist angle. You can see my take on their approach here.

The agency’s current website is tamer. However, take a hard look and you’ll see that these guys understand the power of the different thing. This makes it way easier for a future client or employee to want to make contact. Yo, good vibes and contact are what an agency website is all about.

Why is fun excluded from the way most agencies represent themselves? This has always baffled me. Sure agencies need to be serious as they help marketers market and have to be prudent with client budgets. But, unlike accountants, agencies can offer a bit of humor, fun and even sound a bit over the top creative. Afterall, creativity and fun are what the client organization does not have.

Things I like:

Clean, simple graphic approach.

To the point agency description: “Established in 1996, KesselsKramer is an independent communications agency in Amsterdam, London and now in Los Angeles with about 50 people of 10 different nationalities. We bring brands and communities together by creating meaningful experiences in every media imagined.”

Need more? Here is what the L.A. office says (Hmm, I’d like to meet and eat with these guys.): “KK Los Angeles is a communications agency, original content studio and art gallery all under one roof. We set up shop in the heart of gallery row in Chinatown and promise to blur the lines between culture, commerce, content and collaboration.”

KK leads with the work. (Though, I am not a huge fan of carousels.)

Their work + cases make me want to work with them. Here is one sweet client case + work. It’s for ONZV, a healthcare insurer. Not the usual.

The Exhibitions and Publishing sections deliver proof that this is not your ordinary agency. Please dig in. When many agencies think that brewing their own beer is the cool thing to do, KK has been a serious member of the Amsterdam art scene for years.

Read their 100 FAQ’s.

The Photography Bookshop & Museums

Foam and Huis Marseilles.

PhotoQbookshop.

Yup, Amsterdam is fun. Especially the art.

Show And Tell Works

I Use Show And Tell To Massage Brains

OK, what the hell does Show and Tell mean?

One of the sections of the customized marketing & sales plan that I write for my clients includes a look at a range of agencies based on their positioning and sales proposition. I call these agencies Benchmark Agencies and by pointing them out, I deliver real-world teachable moments. These show and tell examples help agency leader brains to digest my main points. Plus, ad agencies love looking at other ad agencies.

 

Here is the lead-in to the show and tell section from one of my agency recommendation documents…

 

Benchmark Agencies

I view these agencies as being worthy of benchmarking based on Agency X’s (as in my agency client) business development objectives. In my estimation, these agencies have broken out from the competitive pack.

They deliver messaging that is: well targeted, succinct and competitive.

 Because of this, they help clients to quickly recognize their expertise and value. A clear enunciation of value is critical at the early stages of a hoped-for relationship. This helps them stand out and then break out.

For the sake of clarity, I’ve put these benchmark agencies into three buckets: ‘what we do’, ‘how we do it’ and ‘who we do it for’ to illustrate the strength of their individual positioning strategy.

Show and tell works because I frame my recommendations in the real world. The benchmark agencies are proof that smart, crystal clear, focused agency positions, plus supporting marketing programs, work harder than trying to be everything to any client that raises their hand. I know you know this.

BUT

But, my biggest point is that a focused positioning, actually a distinctive + competitive sales proposition, will get both more client hands and the right client hands to rise up and contact you.

Give me a shout and I’ll share a couple of my favorite benchmark agencies with you.

3D Ad Agency New Business Marketing

Ad Agency Marketing Is Holistic, Interconnected and 3D.

Brilliant ad agency marketing leads to searches that lead to your agency.  Today these searches are much more 3D and, often,  chaotic than you think.

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.

I often see a total lack of consistency between the way an ad agency projects its image and the images that its people project.

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.

Holistic Marketing.

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.

How Do Clients Find Your Advertising Agency?

How Do Clients Find Your Advertising Agency?

Let’s start with some defining and extremely important questions that you should be asking at least twice a year. OK, every month. In this case, I am aiming these questions at your advertising agency website.

  • How do potential clients find you? What was the path?
  • When they found your website, what did they look at?
  • What percentage of your visitors contacted you?
  • What percentage made some other actions like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper?
  • Are you happy? Are the right clients making contact? Need to make adjustments? What’s your success metric?

Let’s break these down a bit.

How do potential clients find you?

First, let’s get referrals out of the way. Advertising agency business development research has indicated that referrals can account for over 80% of agency new client inquiries. While I love referrals and have written about the importance of having a documented active referral strategy, there is no question that referrals have become the default new business attractor because most agencies are not doing a stellar in or outbound sales job. Referrals then must drive the majority of leads. Not that there is anything wrong with referrals. They work. But, they can be a bit random.

The easiest way to determine how prospects found you is to ask them. Of course, many people will have forgotten their first intro to your world. They simply forgot or they used multiple ways in including a search, your LinkedIn page, that conference you spoke at, your tennis buddy, etc. But always ask this question – quickly before you get lost in sales speak.

Second, in respect to your website, use your Google or WordPress analytics to see where they came from. On Wednesday, 30 April, my individual visitors came to me via Google 116; direct 47 (where a user probably entered the URL); LinkedIn 5 and Bing 1 and other 9.

These numbers suggest that my content-oriented inbound sales strategy is working. Most people find me on Google because I have dedicated the past five years to writing over six hundred blog posts on the specific subject of advertising agency new business.

What did they look at? Did you help them get to the good stuff? Do you have a funneling plan?

Using Google and WordPress analytics, I know exactly what people are looking at on this website. Obviously, since my blog is so focused on one subject, my visitors are looking at my posts about ad agency business development. I mix this up occasionally by promoting edgier posts, like Gary Vaynerchuck Is Full Of Shit. But, the bottom line is that I am slavish to one subject. Frankly, most agencies have some trouble with being this focused and keyword conscious. It would also help if they had a focused positioning. Here are some thoughts on that rather important goal.

The typical advertising and communications agency website has a defining Home Page; an About page; Our Work; News or a Blog and a contact page. Is there a flow you want the visitor to take? A place you want them to end up? Are you funneling them towards an action? If they get lost or bail, are you tracking your exit pages?

If you are a B2B marketer, and that folks, is what an ad agency business development program is, you need to funnel the visitor to your contact page. Or, at least, have them ask for something like that brilliant white paper on a subject that supports your agency positioning and sales proposition. I build my mailing list via an offer of this paper: “22 Ways To Run A Highly Profitable Agency”. I admit that it comes to you via an ugly home page pop up. But, again, hey, it works.

What percentage contacted you and what’s your success metric?

Do the basic math. How well do you convert your visitors into sales prospects? Frankly, when I look at the number of visitors I get every day, I could get worried that I am not converting as many as I should. However, here is what I know:

First, I give a lot of information and insights away for free. Many agencies tell me that they often get all they can eat just by reading my stuff. This drives good vibes.

Second, I know that my sales cycle takes a long time. Many of my clients tell me that they have been reading my stuff for over a year. It takes most advertising agencies a long time to admit that they need business development advice.

Third, I am meeting my personal sales goals. Sure, I could dial up my website. But, it works. I am a lone ranger consultant. Given your agency’s overhead, you should be way focused on delivering a website experience that drives a high volume of the right leads.

What is your success metric? Without a metric, you will never know that your website is working.

So, give me a shout. Maybe its time for you to get some outside expert advice.