35 Ways To Start & Grow An Ad Agency

How To Start & Grow An Ad Agency

images (1)I sat down recently and listed a few recommendations for how to start and grow an ad agency. By the time I finished, I got to 35 pieces of advice. I put 3 below. The other’s are in the mini-Eish-book “26 Ways To Grow Ad Agency Profits Business-building tips from over 30 years running ad agencies.”, which you can get by subscribing to this blog using the form at the bottom of this post. I like getting subscribers because it makes me feel loved and it will provide me a list of folks to alert about my new book on pitching which will be published this spring.

{ You will see that I have narrowed the list to 26 major points from 35. I can’t change the URL (the 35 number) without confusing Google.

These 3 Are From the Marketing Section

Stay very hungry and have a solid business development plan. Business development is a 365/24/7 priority that needs a solid plan, an active approach and constant senior management attention. Too many agencies wait until they lose a large client to reactivate their business development plan. Speaking of plans. Most agencies do not even have a business development plan. Crazy!

Business development plans need to have clear objectives, lists of must have and should have clients and marketing strategies to target and reach out to these potential clients. Reach out, start to make friends and stay in touch. One of my worst new business experiences was that despite my agency’s work for Nike’s national college and Major League Baseball programs and our sports marketing for University of California and Oregon State University, we were not invited to pitch Portland’s MLS team the Timbers because our lead sports    account manager hadn’t kept in touch with her friend who was leading the pitch. By the time we heard that the account was available, we were too late.

Think niche. Even if you are a full-service agency, consider leading your new business program with a high-interest niche service or product. The concept of less is more works for agencies as well as advertising messages. Citrus used interest in “invisible QR codes” (that were developed by our client Digimarc) to get us into companies like Nestle and Kraft. We never would have gotten the first meeting with Fortune 500 prospects if we simply said that we were yet another me-too “full-service” shop. A niche-pitch will get you in the door. Once in, work your new business magic.

B2B makes money. Even if you love that sexy consumer work, think hard about working with more B2B clients. B2B is a less crowded playing field; B2B clients have on-going budgets; positive ROI drives incremental spending and smart B2B clients will make you more digitally savvy. I am continually surprised at how many agencies leave B2B work to so few.

Other sections include Planning, Attention to Detail, Client Management, Your People, Digital Chops, Marketing and A CEO Thought. This last section is about the fact that it can be lonely at the top.

Check it out. Don’t forget to get the rest of this document at the bottom of the post.

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