Is Your Agency Going To Wipeout? Stop Being Complacent.

Advice From An Advertising Agency CEO – Learn How To Ride The Waves

So, how is the agency world doing? Are you guys happy? Worried? Running smart advertising agency business development programs? Have a big new business pipeline? Not?

I recently asked one of my advertising agency owner friends what he thought was going on in the advertising agency world.

Here are his answers and my comments. Note, I changed his name and the mega-agency network his agency is a member of to protect his brand.

Insights from an advertising agency CEO:

I called a couple of my XYZ Network colleagues (the ones I like) to gauge what’s going on with their business (pretending that I’ll be going to the annual meeting, which I won’t be).

Then I was at the ANA’s AIMM (multicultural and inclusive marketing) think tank meeting at P&G and asked people what they’re doing about new business and agency business, in general, this year, how it was going and all of that.

Everybody was BUSY in 2018!

Lots of new business happening, more work than they could manage so their focus veered away from biz dev, most not using biz dev folks or other advisors as they have in the past because they’ve been included on RFPs and or winning organic business. This is from a couple of general market XYZ Network agencies and a mix of agencies at the AIMM meetings (only 100 people in total invited so good opportunities to have these conversations).


There are concerns at the agencies that this won’t last; there is a lot of talk about a recession, or at least a slowdown, coming in the next few months. They are asking themselves, should they hire up or hold off or keep working in the business instead of on the business? So, it’s good, really good now for most of the agencies I talked to but there is also fear about what’s ahead.

Advice for ME from the CEO guy:

A thought for you – why don’t you do a blog about these last 2 years that have been pretty good for agencies and how to prepare now for what might come? Just a thought – I don’t want to pretend I know what’s best, but it was an emotional topic for all.

And, it sure seems that many agencies have forgotten to run their sales program.

My advice for you? Stop advertising agency insanity:

Get back on your advertising agency business development surfboard and find the big wave.

I have counseled agencies, agency clients and on this extensive blog, for six-plus years about a simple fact: your agency is going to get fired (by small project clients and your largest client) and if you haven’t been proactively working on filling your new business pipeline every day you are insane.

Both at Saatchi and my days as an agency owner, I rode the big exciting waves of good new business wins and have felt the pain of that gnarly “your fired” call from the client.

The ONLY solution, that is both a business and an emotional cure, is to have that 24/7 business development program running.

Your Advertising Agency Will Get Fired

Take a read of my recent blog post — Your Agency Will Get Fired  It speaks to the inevitable and offers some help to reduce the pain by bringing new clients in the front door.



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