Is Your Advertising Agency Good At Timing?
Why? Because if there is any one thing that advertising agencies of all sizes do not do when it comes to business development it’s… a paucity of planning and follow-through.
Note: My research with agency clients indicates that only 40% of agencies use and are slavish to their business development calendar.
I don’t care if you are small or huge. Failure to run your plan, once you have one (and, yes, this is a whole notha story), could be your primary failure. You know it and I do. We even have an oft and way over-used metaphor to describe the issue… the cobbler who does not have the time to make shoes for his own children. I am tired of hearing this parable and so should you. It is a
shitty poor and very lame excuse.
You want clients like Nike and Audi and that huge healthcare client and that global e-commerce website job, right? Well, do you think that these marketers sit around and talk about how they do not have the time to plan and run their sales program? That they are too busy working with their current customers to go find new ones?
If Your Agency Is Shoeless… Read On
Look, I get it. I ran business development at the world’s largest agency and at my own digital and advertising agency companies. Hey, I even do sales right here at my consulting company. Sales requires dedication and on-going activity. It is time-consuming. It takes you away from servicing your current clients. It can be a real pain. But, if you do not do it with a high degree of consistency, you will fail and will go under. You certainly won’t make enough moolah to buy that Porsche 911 or the Cadillac of mini-vans for your kids.
The Solution: The Business Development Calendar
Once you’ve positioned your agency for success and developed a hit list of your most cherished wanna-be clients, it is critical that you keep your business development actions in front of these prospects on a scheduled basis. You never know when they will have a new project for you or will wake up in the middle of the night worrying about their marketing.
3AM client-side iPad usage is growing. Across the globe.
A very simple way of maintaining consistency is to have a business development calendar. You know this…calendars that support business development production schedules are critical. And,,, much more critical than simply having one, is actually using it to hold you and your people, including the business development director, accountable. I believe that once the use of a calendar becomes established – and becomes an element of your agency’s weekly process – you will jump way out ahead of your competition and their laggard BD programs.
After finding a CRM tool that you will use (I tell my agency clients that even a pad and paper is better than nothing), the best way to maintain campaign consistency is to establish a list of business development actions and responsibilities. I suggest that you devote at least two to five hours every month to building and, most importantly, managing your business development calendar. Assign someone to maintain the calendar and give them a chair and whip to make sure that the jobs get done on time.
List the actions and the person or people responsible for getting the jobs done. Clear responsibilities, accountability, assignments, and deadlines are critical. You do this for client jobs and you have to do them for sales. This is as simple as determining:
- Making sure that everyone responsible for BD knows the master plan and has bought in.
- Knowing who is responsible for what and when.
- Understanding the timing of your sales funnel and scheduling accordingly.
- Know what you need to say to get sales traction and do. Blogging? When and how and who? Emails. Who gets these out? And on.
- Know who you are targeting your messaging to and why. Keep the hit-list and their personas fresh.
- Scheduling. Know your messages need to get out and get mad if they don’t.
- Be very clear about how you will nurture your leads once they come in. Not nurturing leads is, well, nuts.
Voracious Inbound-Oriented social media programs especially demand a calendar-based management solution.
There are multiple approaches to running an advertising agency calendar-based sales system. I won’t bore you with a long list. However…
- At least buy a calendar. Even one with pictures of puppies will work.
- Next up is having a simple EXCEL spreadsheet.
- Take a look at HubSpot’s more sophisticated approach.
- If you use WordPress, check out their editorial calendar plugin.
- Seen Zoho?
- Even google has some docs solutions – and a way to share a calendar.
That’s it. Go forth and plan and run your BD program. Planners win.