The RSW/AgencySearch New Year Outlook Survey is out. It was completed by 150 senior level marketers in December 2013. I haven’t had a chance to review it in detail but I found the section on how clients find agencies (or conversely, how advertising agencies should find clients) particularly relevant to my current agency new business clients.
I had two meetings yesterday where we discussed the balance between inbound and outbound marketing. I can’t see an agency only doing inbound marketing (social media, etc.) as suggested by some of my agency new business colleagues. Is is simply too passive and the great majority of agencies are not so specialized or well-positioned that they get a high level of incoming leads. I believe that its a mistake to put all of an agency’s chips on blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. I stress “all.”
The research shows that agencies need to directly target clients and make the “call” — a warm call. Agencies also need to have a referral strategy to stimulate referrals from current and past clients, friends and family. Yes, even cousin George.
Back to the study. As you can see, 32% of marketers find out about agencies from direct contact and 48% use referrals. To not go directly to clients with the right message and not stimulate your referral base would be a huge mistake. You need sound strategies for both.