How Clients Find An Advertising Agency

How Do Clients Find Their Next Advertising Agency?

One of the more challenging questions I ask my advertising agency business development clients is, “How do your prospective advertising, design, digital or PR clients find your advertising agency?”

In most cases, the number one answer is referrals or WOM. Of course, of course, this is a wonderful way to gain future client interest. However, the referral route is rather passive unless an agency has a highly active referral program. Even with a proactive in-house referral program, counting on referrals is not a high numbers game and is a bit too passive.

I am not a fan of passivity and think that an advertising agency needs to be everywhere a prospective client might look for them.


In the old days, that even included having a Yellow Pages ad. Call me if you do not know what the Yellow Pages were.

Back to the question… “How do your prospective advertising, design, digital or PR clients find your advertising agency?”

The general list of responses goes like this. I’ve included links to some previous thoughts on some of these front doors:

  • Through direct referrals from clients, friends, and family. General word of mouth. Read: Six Business Development Referral Strategies.
  • Clients find us using a Google search. Read: Google Will Screw Your Ad Agency.
  • We run ads on Google.
  • We are on third-party advertising agency lists. Read: The Ultimate Advertising Agency List
  • We have won creative and marketing awards that increase our brand awareness. Clios help.
  • We get press from advertising industry publications.
  • We get press from client category/industry publications.
  • A future client saw one of our ‘great’ existing client ads or programs and contacted us.
  • Our social media programs attract new client interest. Read: Does B2B Social Media Still Work?
  • Our account-based marketing sales program directly targets the clients we want.
  • We get RFI and RFP requests advertising agency consultants. Read: 34 Advertising Agency Search Consultants.
  • We are listed on the local advertising club website.

So, How Do Clients Find Their Next Advertising Agency? As in, like yours?

First, let’s agree that you want to be found (maybe not by every potential client. But, you still want to out there.)

The only way to do that is to be everywhere a potential client will look for you. If this sounds simple and you are already doing this, Great. If not and you need an actionable strategy and tactics to solve this formable problem/opportunity…

Let’s talk about how to grow your business. You are in a hurry, right?

Contact me and take me up on my free Vito Corleone offer. 

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