Why Advertising Agency New Business Might (Not) Fail In 2014

I thought that I would ignore my blog today because I am writing a book on a system that will help all types of advertising and marketing communications agencies improve how they run their new business programs. My goal is to write a book that is so brilliant that YOU will have to buy it because the agency down the street bought multiple copies.

However, my goal on focussing on the book has been thwarted. I was surprised to wake up to lots of incoming traffic from search engines. People, I assume advertising people, must be thinking about how to grow their agency today. Its a very powerful 2014 New Year’s resolution. And, for most agencies, one that will unfortunately fail.

There are lots of reasons that advertising agencies do not run optimized new business programs. ADHD Rules.

The most often cited problem is inconsistency. You know, the on and off again program where agencies get the machine cranked up only to fall behind a few months later. Its kind of an ADHD thing. Why are so many agencies scattered and inconsistent? There are lots of reasons, but let me state a few that I will address over the next few months.

  • The CEO is not involved and does not look or act hungry. She is not leading the charge and has not made business development an agency priority.This leadership failure – its a big one – will drive down agency motivation and will make the best agency employees seek greener pastures.
  • The agency does not have a business development plan. Most of the agencies that do not have a business development plan don’t even have a business plan. WTF?
  • The agency is so busy with current clients that they have not made the time for new business efforts. This is really really bad news. Most agencies will loose AOR and project clients this year (I am certain that this will happen.) Starting up the new business machine when you are spiraling down is absurd. The sales cycle is simple too long to wait.

There are more reasons.

Some are people related like having the wrong business development director (or poorly written compensation plan); or they are outsource-related like handing your new business program to a third-party  and hoping for the best or praying that a poorly planned agency blog will simply draw in the most desirable clients because what you write is so compelling and different. My bet is that one quarter of all agency blogs are not based on a strategic content plan. I think that reviewing agency blogs in an industry that thinks that their under-planned blogs will lead to “win without pitching” scenarios should be revealing, instructive and entertaining.

OK, enough spewing. I am going back to writing my book. Today I am working on the agency compensation chapter. It might just be one of the drier chapters but, at the same time, one of the most important. So, as 2014 stimulation I offer…. a compensation mantra for our first day back.

“Show me the money!”

Oh, and call me, I have a plan for helping you get the money you deserve.

While you are at it… Don’t miss any of my brilliant (LOL, but I mean it) thoughts on new business.

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