The Big Advertising Agency Resource List

Advertising Agency Resource List 

This list is updated every month.

My advertising agency resource list is curated to help advertising, digital, design and PR agencies easily find the inspiration and industry resources that will help y’all build killer agencies and careers.

As a warm-up to my extensive resource list… I offer a direct link to my best seller on how to win more new accounts for your agency: The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. I highly recommend that you buy this book. (Of course.)

OK, one more. This blog has over 650 posts dedicated to helping your marketing communications company grow. I hope that my insights on agency business development, growth and management help you to make more bucks.

I recently added links to:

branding in asia. Need to know what’s up in the Asian marketing and advertising world? Sure you do. Check out this comprehensive resource for creative work, news, interviews, and insights. Read it and you just might take the next non-stop to Singapore.

Digital Project Manager. Simply put…. “The Digital Project Manager provides project management guidance for the digital wild west where crazy clients, tiny budgets & silly deadlines reign supreme.” Check out their interview with moi.

Google Alerts. Stay ahead of client, a prospective client (as in category, brand, and people)and industry news by creating a list of Google Alerts.  Frankly, this should be a primary business development t tool.

toggl. As an agency owner, I needed to keep track of the hours that we all used to meet the needs of our clients. While I think that tracking every minute kinda sucks, we simply have to track our time to help the agency be profitable. toggl is a very simple timer tool.

The Resources List…

Advertising Agency News Sites

Ad Agency Directories

Top Advertising Blogs

Favorite Social Media Tools

Video Marketing Tools & Information

Creative Inspiration & Idea Generation 

Creative Space & Time

Online Advertising Education

Online Legal Resources

Life After Advertising & How To Make $$$ 

Top Ten Twitter Tools 

Top Advertising And Design Awards 

Marketing & Advertising Podcast

Marketing Tool Generators


Advertising Agency News Resources

  • Advertising Age. Ad Age delivers the latest news from the world of advertising and marketing agencies.
  • Ad Asia Online. AdAsia Online focuses on automation, advertising technology , nd creative technology,
  • AdNews. Australia’s advertising, marketing and media industries news resource.
  • Adweek.  Adweek covers media news, including print, technology, plus.
  • branding in asia. Need to know what’s up in the Asian marketing and advertising world? Sure you do. Check out this comprehensive resource for creative work, news, interviews, and insights. Read it and you just might take the next non-stop to Singapore.
  • Business Insider. Business Insider’s daily take on the ad industry.
  • Campaign Asia. Campaign Asia reports on advertising and emerging media in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Campaign Magazine. Ad industry news from the UK’s advertising industry “bible”.
  • Communication Arts. Print publication offering competitions, forums, feature articles, job bank, graphic design resources and online shopping.
  • Creative. The magazine of promotion and marketing.
  • Digiday. Digiday creates content, services and community that foster change in media and marketing.
  • Direct Marketing News. Provides news, feature articles, columns and special reports on direct marketing.
  • The Drum. The alternative to Campaign. Delivers lots of news and views.
  • MediaPost. Comprehensive advertising and media industry coverage.
  • TechCrunch. Keep up (or try to keep up) with the fast-paced world of startups and VC’s.

Ad Agency Directories

  • Ad Forum. Global agency directory and creative gallery.
  • Advertising Agency Search Consultants. My list of the top 34. Any missing?
  • agency compile. A directory of marketing communications agencies plus a searchable database.
  • Agency Spotter. Super fast search for creative, digital, design, and branding firms.
  • The Creative Ham. A list of who the Ham views as the most creative agencies. You can pay up too.
  • Dmoz. Directory of selected advertising agencies in the United States and Canada.
  • LookBook from Ad Age. Use the LookBook Directory to see ad agencies’ robust offerings and content featured in Advertising Age & Creativity to discover new marketing partners.
  • Pinterest Advertising Agency Directory. An easy to scope out agency directory from yours truly.
  • Redbooks. Information and research on advertising agencies and advertisers worldwide.

Top Advertising Blogs

  • Agency Post. Jami Oetting’s in-depth HubSpot blog for the agency professional.
  • The Ad Contrarian. Bob Hoffman’s personal unfiltered take on the advertising universe.
  • @adweak. Just laugh. Please.
  • AdFreak. AdWEEK’s daily blog of the best and worst of creativity.
  • AdPulp. Serious juice from the ad biz.
  • Advertising Age Blogs. AdAge’s blogs & columns covering advertising, media, and digital news.
  • Agency Spy. Agency Spy covers the ad agency industry from the inside.
  • Digital Project Manager. Simply put…. “The Digital Project Manager provides project management guidance for the digital wild west where crazy clients, tiny budgets & silly deadlines reign supreme.” Check out their interview with moi.
  • Engagio. Want to grow your advertising agency? Engagio’s Account Based marketing will tell you how to do that.
  • Fuel Lines. Insights from Mr. Gass.
  • realSEO. the ultimate site for tips and tricks to grow your video audience.
  • Seth Godin. Just because.
  • Strands of Genius. Follow Rosie & Faris on their voyage to unearth ideas, events, news and who knows. You’ll be smarter.
  • TrinityP3. Like it easy? Just sign up for their Twitter account. Yes, they speak Austrailian.

Favorite Social Media Tools

  • bitly. Bitly shortens URLs and reports on clicks.
  • Buffer. The fastest way to schedule and share content across social media platforms.
  • Canva. A free tool that makes it easy to create custom graphics to go with your social media posts.
  • Google Alerts. Stay ahead of client, a prospective client (as in category, brand, and people)and industry news by creating a list of Google Alerts.  Frankly, this should be a primary business development t tool.
  • Google Analytics. You want to track your website right?
  • Google Keyword Planner. Find the best keywords for any subject or marketing goal.
  • Grammarly. Check your spelling and grammar right from your browser. I have to have this!
  • Klear. Find influencers on Twitter via Klear’s large database of 60K+ categorized social profiles.
  • K-Meta. A free, just try it, keyword and competitive tool.
  • Long Tail Pro. A keyword tool used by the pros.
  • Snagit.screen image and video capture plugin that allows you to grab what you see on your computer screento edit and share.
  • srproutsocial. A sweet social media tool to manage messages across multiple accounts.
  • tweepi. A fast way to grow your Twitter Follower list.
  • TweetDeck . A desktop Twitter management tool with a nice clean UI.
  • Twitonomy. I love this competitive tool. See what the other guy is up to.
  • Yoast. The best WordPress SEO plugin.

Video Marketing Tools & Information

  • ADWEEK. ADWEEK on YouTube video viewability plus a handy infographic.
  • BirdSong Analytics. Pay as you go video and social competitive analytics platform. Se what works for your competition.
  • Cyfe. Track your YouTube channel progress and stats for individual videos.
  • Facebook Video. Facebook’s video marketing guide.
  • Forbes. Why “mobile video advertising will eat the world.”
  • YouTube Into. YouTube’s very own guide to their video ad platform.
  • realSEO. the ultimate site for tips and tricks to grow your video audience.
  • SEO Chat Keyword Suggest Tool. This is a cool tool to easily find a range of keywords for videos.
  • SproutSocial. Vimeo or YouTube… which is best for agency marketing?
  • The Video Ink. A Quick look at the pros and cons of video ad platforms.
  • Vimeo. HD videos for all.
  • Visual Measures. Lots of information, stats, and charts for your next video oriented client meeting.
  • Wistia. A lovely and smart video marketing platform for business. Nice tracking.

Creative Inspiration & Idea Generation

Creative Space & Time

  • Moving To Mexico. I wrote this just for you. Why and how to move to Mexico. I did. I’m very happy.
  • 30/30: An effective productivity app for the procrastinator.
  • Ad Block: OK, OK, I know that this is a major NO-NO. But, stop looking at those Zappos ads!
  • Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones 25. My favorite noise canceling phones. Airplanes love these.
  • Coffitivity: Stream the sounds of a coffee shop at work. Good training for when you freelance.
  • Duolingo. Fast (up to you) and free online & mobile way to learn languages.
  • Evernote: Another way to collect what inspires. Like it? save it. And, move on.
  • Games List: Need a break?
  • Headspace. Just like it sounds. A meditation app for your mobile, available for both iPhone & Android.
  • Noisli:Background noise & color generator.
  • Spotify. My streaming system.
  • Timer Tab: A tool to help control your thinking time.
  • toggl. As an agency owner, I needed to keep track of the hours that we all used to meet the needs of our clients. While I think that tracking every minute kinda sucks, we simply have to track our time to help the agency be profitable. toggl is a very simple timer tool.
  • Trello: Keep track of everything.

Online Education

  • Codecademy. It is time for you to learn to code. At least, start to sound like you care to your CTO.
  • Coursera. Lots of career advancement courses. Like attending a Wharton course on marketing.
  • Freakonomics. Listen, learn and out-smart your clients.
  • Google Online Marketing. Learn from the leader.
  • The How. Learn from entrepreneurs.
  • HubSpot Inbound Training. Get on the inbound marketing bandwagon or, frankly… be left behind.
  • Khan Academy. Free courses from programming to economics to finance to what you should have learned in the 8th grade.
  • Launch This Year. Get ready to launch your online business — this year.
  • The Lean LaunchPad. How to Build a Startup
  • Lyndia. Yikes! Go forth and learn… 4,354 courses · 169,690 video tutorials
  • Marketing @ TedTalks: Prefer video? here are the top TedTalks on marketing.
  • Mixergy. Entrepreneurs training  other entrepreneurs. Or, how to start your own advertising agency.
  • Skillshare. Courses designed for the creative in you.
  • Startup Notes. Need inspiration? Hear startup founders tell their personal stories.
  • Smart Passive Income. Let Pat help you leave advertising, and go live on a beach while watching your PayPal account grow.
  • Startup Talks. More startup videos.
  • UdemyYou name it, they teach it.

Online Legal Resources

  • Agency Legal ProtectionSharon Toerek answers important legal questions like this: “What should we do to protect the agency during a new business pitch?”
  • Cornell University’s Library. Dig databases? You’ve arrived at a long list of legal databases by subject.
  • Legalzoom. From wills (get one!!!) through incorporation (for your new agency). LegalZoom is the leader in online legal docs. They are an ex-client of my agency and I have been using them for years. Know what, way back when… they were a great client of mine and they loved to eat well in L.A.
  • Docracy. Open source legal documents.
  • Docusign. Legal online signatures. No more inky hands.
  • Find Law UK. Employee rights for UK workers.
  • 4A’s On Compensation Agreements. Read this before you marry that new client. Consider this prenup advice.
  • Right Law. Employee rights explained. Yes, you have rights.

Life After Advertising & How To Make $$$

  • Entrepreneur. How to start a business online. I know you want to.
  • Ferris / Kagen. Seriously – How to create a million dollar business… This weekend. Do this from your beloved cube.
  • Fizzle.  How can you pass this up? “Excellent courses from real experts and a community of like-minded business builders.”
  • Razor Social. Ian is another genius who will tell you how to make money from your blog. He does!
  • Reddit. Hear your peers hash out what your life after your advertising career looks like.
  • Small Business Association. The SBA to you. Your federal tax dollars want to help you build a business so you can employ your ex-ad agency friends.
  • Smart Passive Income. How to build an online passive income business. Read every word. Listen to the podcasts. Take control of your life.
  • Social Media Monitor. A vast resource for social media advice. use it in your day job too.
  • The Social M’s. How to use guest blogging to help grow your business. I do. Read about it here.
  • The How. Learn from entrepreneurs.

Top Ten Twitter Tools

  • With a 140 character limit, you have to shorten any URL’s posted to Twitter. does a bit more cool stuff. But shortening alone means you need to have this built into your browser.
  • Buffer. Buffer is my number one easy to use scheduling system, it is connected to my WordPress blog to automatically send my blog post URL’s and a snippet to Twitter (and LikedIn and Facebook). Importantly because I need to save time, it also allows me to schedule a set of  Tweets into the future.
  • Canva. According to the Gods of social media, having a graphic will increase your clicks and retweets by something like over 1 million times, or was it a billion. Or, some crazy number like a trillion. Canva is a very easy to use web-based graphics tool that edits images that you’ll use in your Tweets and can even be used by your CEO.
  • Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to work on and monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress from one place. It goes deeper so head over if you are looking for a ‘total’ solution.
  • HubSpot. HubSpot is a very big boy. Its inbound software will help your agency attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. And, you can use it to woo new clients with your supreme inbound marketing expertise. As in, using HubSpot will make your agency a social media expert that actually has tools it can resell.
  • Klear. Klear (formerly Twtrland) delivers social monitoring, influencer marketing, and competitive intelligence. Try it out for free. The full plate is a bit expensive. But, it works as a smart business development tool. You gotta spend money to make money.
  • Social Quant. Social Quant says, “Social Quant increases the size and quality of your Twitter account rapidly.” OK, how can you beat that? Try the 14-day trial and then splurge and pay them $50 bucks per month.
  • Twitonomy. Use Twitter as a competitive wrench. As Twitonomy says, “Get detailed and visual analytics on anyone’s tweets, retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags… Browse, search, filter and get insights on the people you follow and those who follow you.” Damn, go forth and use your competitor’s data against them, um, for you!

Top Advertising And Design Awards

  • ADDY Awards. This is the largest award program with over 5 million entries – local agencies love this one because it can level the playing field vs. the mega shops. Competition includes three levels of judging: local, regional, and national. Winning an ADDY at each level qualifies the work to progress to the next higher level.
  • Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The big boy and, if you like acting as if you are a major playa, it’s a great excuse to use up your expense account. The seven-day festival that includes the coveted Lions award is held yearly in Cannes (that’s France to you). Win this and you’ll get a big bonus.
  • The Clio Awards. Another big international award that should get you a round of drinks at your local. Time Magazine described the event as the world’s most recognizable international advertising awards. Even your mum will smile.
  • Communication Arts Annuals. Communication Arts puts out a series of publications that highlight the best in advertising and design. Believe me, you want to have your work highlighted in The Illustration Annual, The Interactive Annual, The Advertising Annual, The Typography Annual or The Design Annual. These are nice mags to send out to your prospects.
  • The Effie Awards. The Effies honors the most effective marketing programs. That means, your work actually moved the sales dial and not just the right (as in creative) side of another Creative Director’s brain. Clients dig this one.
  • The One Club. The One Club produces four annual award competitions: One Show, One Show Design, One Show Interactive, and One Show Entertainment. The One Club pencil award will fit nicely on your shelf.
  • The D&AD (Design & Art Direction). A British award that, according to the D&AD “…exists to stimulate, enable and award creative excellence in design and advertising.”
  • OMMA. Media Post’s OMMA Awards honor agencies and advertisers that push the potential of digital advertising.
  • Rosey Awards. Portland just might be the most creative city in America (on a per capita basis that is). The Rosey Awards competition is run annually by the Portland Advertising Federation – the oldest ad club in America. Good news… Wieden & Kennedy has stiff competition.
  • The Webby Award. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences’ Webby Awards is all about honoring excellence in digital and Internet marketing. Categories include brand content, DIY videos, and over 30 categories in Advertising & Media.

Marketing & Advertising Podcasts

  • Build A Better Agency. Drew Mclellan’s series is dedicated to the art of advertising agency management and new business. Listen up.
  • Tim Ferris. I became a Tim Ferris addict after reading his brilliantly titled best-seller, “The Four Hour Work Week.” Tim combines a very active and curious mind, an effervescent talent for self-promotion in the best sense and a very long list of talented friends to interview. I find at least 75% of his podcasts (and blog posts) to fall in the zone of high mental stimulation. Of course, one of his recent interviews is with Seth Godin.
  • Duct Tape Marketing.  Another serious and broad look at the tools and techniques marketers are employing today. 
  • Foundr Magazine. Nathan Chan interviews some of the most successful founders in the world to find out what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Go for the osmosis.
  • TED Radio Hour. If you don’t have the time to watch TED Talks, then listen to them via their podcast.
  • Six Pixels Of Separation. A secret…  Leverage the power of social media to grow your agency. One of the most active advertising agency leaders using social media is Canada’s Mitch Joel (CEO of WPP’s Mirum) and his Six Pixels Of Separation podcast which, as of today, get this, has 508 podcasts. Clearly a record and what should be an inspiration to any agency CEO who values the marketing power of looking smart and building fame for his agency. Oh, you’ll see just one of the reasons why I love this podcast by clicking on the link.
  • Sound Opinions. Now that we’ve killed the record / CD store, it seems like it is more difficult (as in time-consuming) to know what’s going on in music. I get my fix from MBEZ’s Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis. Listen to this and have something other than Steph Curry to talk about at those client dinners.
  • Freakonomics Radio.  The Freakonomics team explores “the hidden side of everything”. From the economy, headline news to pop culture. A great example is the “Economics of Sleep” show.
  • #ASKGARYVEE. Best-selling books, one of the fastest growing advertising agencies, and a renowned wine business. Gary is the energizer bunny of agency CEO’s. Listen to this show about how to accelerate business growth. Your clients are probably listening to him.
  • Smart Passive Income. This podcast series from Pat Flynn will do two things for you. 1. It will make you much smarter about the universe of digital strategies and tactics (even how to do a podcast series). But, more importantly, 2. It will help you figure out how to make money by building your own online business. Pat made over $171,000 last month – not working for the MAN and he will tell you how. A way to get past advertising.
  • Social Media Marketing. Michael Stelzner’s podcast is designed to deliver the latest news and perspectives on social media. There is a very good chance your clients listen, so you better too. Need an up to date Facebook strategy? Listen to this show.

Marketing Tool Generators

Resources, Resources, Repeat, Repeat

Bookmark this advertising agency resource list (hey, I have to keep on repeating this so Google loves me) or sign up for my weekly newsletter to never (did I say never) miss any of my favorite incredibly useful advertising agency resources.

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh, need a nice list of small business resources? Check out the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Resource Guide from Job Hero.

Top Advertising And Design Awards

A List Of The Top Advertising Awards & Why Winning Should Be Part Of Your Business Development Program

Note: This award list gets updated. Let me know if I am missing anything.

Winning the right advertising awards is good for business and agency and client morale. Just make sure you know why you are entering. Too many agencies don’t approach the award process with a plan or objectives beyond the search for ego fulfillment. This can make the whole effort a bit too C R A Z Y. But, you know that. Or, do you? Go here to hear an advertising award judge on his less than optimal experience reading agency entries.

I have a memory about the power of awards from my first day at Saatchi & Saatchi London way back in the 1990’s. I walked through the creative floor and noticed a tall glass case randomly stuffed with lots of creative trophies. This haphazard display delivered two messages: 1) Saatchi wins lots of awards and 2) they don’t take these too seriously. Of course, the second point was bull shit. Saatchi was always about looking like a winner and the award case proved that point in a cheeky manner. It worked better than the usual and obvious shelf of awards that sit behind the ad agency receptionist’s head.

Why Enter Award Shows?

I have always had mixed feelings about advertising awards. On one hand, they are, like winning an Academy Award, i.e. ridiculous. No one ad, digital program or actor is the “best.” On the other hand (the one with the wallet), they are way expensive. As an agency owner, I often cringed when a creative director came to me with his hand out asking us to spend hundreds on award entries.

However money aside, advertising awards perform some very big advantages for agencies, clients, and creative-class workers:

The awards celebrate creativity itself. Creative strategies, art, copy and the media platforms that deliver the work.

They help our most talented people get noticed.

They help smart well-designed agencies get noticed by occasionally confused clients who need second party confirmation when selecting an agency. To me, this is a very important point and one that makes writing those increasingly expensive entry checks worth the cost. Awards should be a big part of an agency’s business development program – not just an ego stroker.

To put all of this go-for-it into context, I wrote about the Portland agency Pollinate a few years back that has done very well (!) by hammering Advertising Age’s Small Agency awards show. The blog post, “How To Win The Ad Age Small Agency Award? Twice?” is a demonstration of the value of entering and winning an award that has meaning for prospective clients because it is delivered via an industry-leading publication. Check it out.

My 11 Favorite Advertising & Marketing Awards

I did not list every award. Just the ones that I know can launch careers and help grow agencies. That said, there is a subset of awards that I highly recommend agencies consider. These are the awards handed out by client category organizations. An example is when my own Oregon agency won the best bank advertising award from the American Bankers Association. As you might expect, we leveraged the heck out of that one across the world of potential financial services clients. Yup, we grew our national financial roster. Prospective clients need that third-party stamp of approval.

ADDY Awards. This is the largest award program with over 5 million entries – local agencies love this one because it can level the playing field vs. the mega shops. Competition includes three levels of judging: local, regional, and national. Winning an ADDY at each level qualifies the work to progress to the next higher level. Read More »

Advertising Awards

A Judge On How Not To Win An Advertising Award

I Am Stealing From A Genius To Help Your Agency Win An Advertising Award

Warning: I will be testy here. Despite the fact that advertising agencies love winning the big advertising award – they shoot themselves in the foot when writing the entry.

Too often agencies are really bad at how they write up their award entry. Given the number of the “We want to win” bucks agencies spend on creative and ROI awards — to fail at the application stage is insanity.

RFPs Too

Side note, after writing mucho RFP responses for my agency; talking with dozens of clients – who are often baffled by poorly written RFP responses; and reviewing RFP proposals assembled by my agency clients, I have to tell you that the same affliction is running rampant when agencies respond to RFPs. Reponses are often poorly written; rushed out the door; do not follow instuctions and on. But, that’s another blog post.

Back To Awards

You want that ad award…. here’s why… the wonderful, shiny, famous advertising award begets a range of benefits:

  • Fame. The fame equation is simple: advertising awards equal global and local industry awareness. Let’s go big. If you win a Cannes Lion or an ADDY more clients will hear about you. You can talk about your win on your agency website. But, even more people will hear about it in Ad Age, your local business journal and the award website itself.
  • Awards deliver third-party confirmation of your prowess. Awards deliver new client interest. Awards are proof that you are great at what you do. This is especially true when you consider the amorphous concept of ‘creativity’ and how wonderful it is when someone else calls you ‘creative’.
  • You get something new and shiny to talk about. If it is a big award, you can put it on your home page. And, even in your outbound marketing.
  • Your clients will receive confirmation that they made the right decision when they hired you. Some might even congratulate you.
  • Your agency staff feels really good.
  • You’ll use the award to entice talent to join up.
  • You will have a statue of some sort to put in your award-strewn agency reception area.

All good, right? However, over the years I have seen many hungry agencies fail at the actual art of writing award entries.

Yes, there is an art. When I worked at New York’s Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (the largest agency in New York) we prided ourselves on our ability to write great award entries. For a few years running, we won more EFFIES than any other agency because we understood how to meet the needs of EFFIES judges and had a smart, effective template. In fact, if you go to the EFFIES website, you can read award-winning case studies. But, right now I’d like you to stay with me.

Writing a smart, well-written advertising award entry seems like a no-brainer. But, for too many agencies, it is a no-brain act.

But… Don’t Take My Word For It (OK, Now The Genius Part) An Advertising Award Judge’s Perspective

Read More »

How Strategy and Brains Drive Attention and Sales

Faris-Head-Shot-StarBurst-EDIT-254x254The Art Of Strategy And Sales

You are about to read one of many interviews with advertising geniuses that are in The Levitan Pitch. my book on pitching and presenting. You can buy the book from Amazon and I make is really easy at the top of this page. If you are in a hurry, just click here.

But, first…

The Wonderful World Of Strategy From the Effervescent Mind Of Faris Yakob

When I first moved to Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising London in the early 1990s, I had the pleasure of entering the golden age of account planning. Even New York agencies hadn’t truly grasped the benefits of account planners vs. America’s traditional researchers. One of the definitions of account planning is that it brings the consumer mindset into the process of developing advertising. Here are two more definitions that directly relate to most client pitches.

“The account planner is that member of the agency’s team who is the expert, through background, training, experience, and attitudes, at working with information and getting it used – not just marketing research but all the information available to help solve a client’s advertising problems.”

Stanley Pollitt, founder Boase Massimi Pollitt and wrote the book, Pollitt On Planning.

“Planners are involved and integrated in the creation of marketing strategy and ads. Their responsibility is to bring the consumer to the forefront of the process and to inspire the team to work with the consumer in mind. The planner has a point of view about the consumer and is not shy about expressing it.”

– Lisa Fortini-Campbell, Kellogg School of Management

Earlier in the book, I discussed that the Internet and a wide array of easy to use strategic tools have helped us all become more adept at research and being able to deliver many of the benefits of account planning. That said, being an expert in strategic planning and innovation is a full-time job. Here is one of the worlds most famous full-time experts.

A Strategic Expert Talks

Faris Yakob, Founder and Principle, Genius|Steals and… his book “Paid Attention: Innovative Advertising For A Digital World” 

41gjmX9VsdL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Faris Yakob is the Founder and Principle of Genius|Steals a global planning, idea and innovation consultancy that works on new product concepts, new communication ideas, workshops, inspiration, strategy, content creation, and new ways of thinking. Genius|Steals’ clients include: Fast Company, Grey Advertising, Marriott, Microsoft, Ogilvy (NY), and P&G.

Prior to founding Genius|Steals, he was Chief Innovation Officer MDC Partners/KBS+ and EVP Chief Technology Strategist at McCann Erickson. To top it off, among other kudos, Faris was Chairman of Integrated Jury and Content&Contact Jury at the 2011 Clio Awards.

PL: Do you call yourself an account planner?

Faris: That’s a good question. I have been an account planner, a media planner, a digital strategist, a communications strategist, and I’ve been a management consultant. So I guess, loosely in the area of strategy, I’d say yes. Read More »

Advertising Agency Business Development & Cold Calling

The ‘not so cold’ call works better Web to Print and Sales Tips by PagePathEeeew, Advertising Agency Cold Calling

One of my advertising agency business development clients asked me today if cold calling was better than doing nothing.

I responded that cold calling is so ineffectual that he might just want to do nothing. Of course, we had a more in-depth conversation about objectives, strategy and tactics — but his question points out that many agency people still employ cold calling. They must think it works.

Cold Facts About Cold Calling

I took these facts from the 2018 ZoomInfo blog about B2B cold calling:

  • 63% of salespeople say cold calling is what they dislike most about their jobs
  • Cold calling is ineffective 90.9% of the time
  • Less than 2% of cold calls actually result in a meeting
  • Less than 1% of cold calls lead to a sale
  • In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts

Don’t make cold calling an important element of your biz dev program. But, you know that.

Cold Information

One more serious point about make-believe B2B marketing. All you have to do to get Sales Qualified leads is to do content or inbound marketing.

As you traverse the world of business development thinkers, you will find people that tell you that inbound is the only way to go – even going so far as saying that if you are brilliant and narrowly focussed you will never have to pitch for business. Sorry, not true.

Today, as has been the case for years, you need to exercise all of your business development muscles and tactics to win.

Don’t make content marketing the only element of your biz dev program. But, you know that.

In and Out

Hey, I have no issue with inbound and social media marketing as I have built my global consultancy on inbound – I get it. My 650+ blog posts get Google, LinkedIn and Twitter action.

This has worked for me because when I get a call from my very (very!) narrow target audience of advertising, PR, and digital agencies, they most likely found me because I am on page one of most ad agency business development related searches. Now really, do you think your agency will be on page one for a search of PPC or PR or general, even local, agencies? Probably not. That’s why you also need to be very smart about outbound marketing. Or, as it is now called Account Based Marketing. Which simply means… find a set of companies that you want to work with and go after them with a very smart, well researched, insight-driven marketing program.

LOL. For years, we’ve called this ‘sales.’

As pointed out earlier, a ‘nerve-racking’ element of outbound marketing is the cold call. I prefer to call it / make it warm calling.

Just the mere mention of cold calling strikes fear in the hearts of the most accomplished advertising agency CEO’s and business development directors. Let’s face it, who really likes to pick up the phone to call a stranger and ask them for something… like their advertising or design account? Um, chances are rather good that it’s not you.

Because of this painful fact, we now have an entire industry of social media experts telling you that all you have to do today to win at business development is inbound marketing. You know, if you blog, Tweet, leverage Linkedin and Facebook, the business will just come knocking at your door.

Really? I don’t think so.

Please note, I am not telling you that a refined agency positioning plus the strategic use of social media coupled with targeted insight-driven content marketing won’t deliver incoming leads. I am just saying that inbound alone is a bit too passive for most aggressive (in a good way to be aggressive) sales programs.

I am sure you know what accounts that you’d like to work for and why they should think about you. OK? So, go get them. But, do not wait for the looong social media cycle to get them to find you. Will attracting the attention of the specific clients you want to work with take time? Yes. But I’d rather be intelligently pro-active than 24/7 passive. Read More »