10 New Year’s Resolutions For Advertising Agencies

babyNew Year’s resolutions work. Well, at least some do. The bottom line: at least give them a chance.

Here are ten 2014 resolutions for advertising agencies that I think your agency should make. I mean… really do if you want to grow your advertising agency and your bottom line.

1. We will strive to create an agency brand position or business model that stands out from our competition. This will be designed to give prospective clients a compelling reason to want to work with us. Let me help you out here.

2. We will write and execute an annual business development plan that uses both inbound and outbound marketing. In fact, we will start by updating our master business plan. Too much has changed in the past twelve months to not revisit all of our assumptions and objectives.

3. We will manage and run our business development program with consistency. We will not start and stop. It is too late to restart a new business program after loosing a large client.

4. We will not pitch every account that comes our way. The pitch process is simply too costly. Before we pitch any account we will work hard to determine if the prospective client is a good fit for the agency based on a set of predetermined criteria. Here is a start. Is the client famous? Do they respect marketing? Do they want us to do brilliant work? Will they pay well? Are they a cultural fit? Hopefully you can say yes to two or three of these.

5. We will establish a recommended agency compensation plan and will share this with current and perspective clients. This plan will include cost-plus, fixed fees and performance-based remuneration based on a client’s performance metrics and an annual agency review. I’d like to se agencies get out in front of this issue.

6. We will ensure that we provide more value to all existing clients than we did in 2013. We will make sure we know how to prove our value.

7. We will give our people the time to fully explore the marketing value of new media or communications technologies. Some savvy agencies jumped on Vine when it was introduced and used it to build agency awareness.

8. We will work to grow our expertise in mobile and video marketing, the two fastest growing segments. To not do this will kill us.

9. We will write the book we want to read. I stole this line from Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like An Artist.” I wrote about why advertising agencies like The Gate Worldwide write books to grow their awareness for the blog Agency Post.

10. Have Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Go for it this year. I firmly believe that without BHAG’s agencies will wither away.

-> Here’s a bonus resolution:

We will call Peter Levitan and take him up on his Vito Corleone offer. We have nothing to lose and so much to gain from his new business insights. No, I don’t think that humility is a business-building attribute.

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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