See How Advertising Agency Humor Can Sell You

When I owned my Portland advertising agency I was always looking for a way to really grab the attention of a business development prospect the second they hit our home page.

I mean grab them. Excite them. Hold them. Sell them.

An approach that I considered over and over was to have a stand-up comedian do one or more video sets about advertising issues, the issues that our agency would solve plus toss in some self-deprecating agency humor. The key here was to immediately capture home page attention, look different and find a way to deliver our sales pitch via laughs. For some reason, I never made the decision to go this route and I kinda regret at least testing it.

A new liquor company looking for marketing help approached me last week. As I was starting to think through their objectives, product line and target market opportunities, I began a search for what is currently considered smart liquor advertising. One of my advertising agency clients pointed me to the Deadpool actor Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin. I’ll get back to him in a minute. Read More »

What’s Your Smart Guest Blog Pitch?

I’ve done a fair amount of guest blogging on advertising and marketing industry websites to drive my awareness within the advertising agency market. Based on this experience, I strongly recommend the guest blog opportunity to my agency clients and give them both strategic and tactical methods to amplify their messaging on OPW – other people’s websites.

As you might suspect, how one delivers the guest blog pitch is critical.

To start, these are the core objectives of the guest blog (care of Neil Patel):

Positioning yourself as an authority and well-known name in the industry. (This is especially important for an advertising agency that wants to get in front of a specific target market that reads their large audience industry blogs.)

Getting exposure (traffic) back to your website.

Building backlinks to your website.

An Incoming Guest Blog Request

I recently received a request to guest blog on my website. I believe that the incoming email provides a teachable moment. Here is the email from Piyuesh Modi of Amsterdam + Bangalore + Melbourne’s PagePotato Digital Marketing.


Hope you are doing great.

I was searching on relevant influencers talking about content marketing and stumbled upon your blog

Being the co-founder of Digital Marketing agency and sketching enthusiast, I have tried to put my sketching skills to use and made sketch notes on topics related to content marketing. The attachment has one example and this has many more and have found it interesting and went ahead to publish them (the links will take you to the published blogs). This made me think that content marketing readers are finding it useful. Since I saw that your blog is already helping a lot of readers, I thought it would be a good idea to reach out to you and offer my content marketing sketchnotes FREE for use in your blogs or in your social media.

I am not expecting anything in return for this. However, if you choose to share it with your audience, it would encourage me to keep doing this 🙂

Moving a step further, if you have any valuable fresh content, then I would also be interested to share with my audience.


Piyuesh’s Guest Blog Pitch

Let’s break down Piyuesh’s guest post ‘pitch’. Read More »

What To Learn From Learn From Crispin Porter Bogusky

Advertising Agency Learning From Crispin Porter Bogusky

I use a bit of show and tell when I work with my advertising agency clients. Based on their business objectives, positioning, and service offering, I show a series of relevant benchmark agency websites and marketing tactics to help agencies learn from related B2B best practices. Here is what I think is valuable learning from the recently rebranded Crispin Porter Bogusky and its new website.

Crispin Porter Bogusky – Background

Crispin Porter Bogusky was once the golden creative baby of the advertising industry. It came to fame in the early 2000s with its Truth campaign for the Florida Department of Health. From AdAge, June 2002:

Crispin Porter + Bogusky had a good week in Cannes, winning two Media Lions for its launch campaign for the Mini and picking up two Film Lions for anti-smoking work for the Florida Department of Health. The agency’s brand new campaign for Florida “Truth” takes a rat’s eye view of the tobacco industry.

Over the years, the agency moved from Florida to Boulder and then expanded globally. They’ve been named “Agency of the Year” 13 times, was Advertising Age Agency of the Decade in 2009 and was Cannes Lion’s Interactive Agency of the Year – get this – three times. The agency is owned by MDC Partners.

Getting The CPB+ MOJO Back

Read More »

Advertising Agency Sales Meeting Insanity

Yikes: Sales Meeting Insanity

This is a shoutout to RSW/US’s Lee McNight and his mind-blowingly sad video about advertising agency sales: 3 Takeaways Ep16 – 3 Reasons Why Initial Agency New Business Meetings Go Nowhere

I watched this video on my mobile phone in the dark at 6 AM in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico while I waited in a long line to fill up my gas tank (we are experiencing a fuel shortage due to an anti-corruption effort by Mexico’s new President.)

I thought that the fuel shortage and associated stress was a bummer until I watched Lee’s video. Bummer might not be the right word for how some agencies run their business development program. Insanity is a better descriptor.

Other than Lee’s points about how some agencies do not know how to run a sales meeting, I am most perplexed that an agency that does any one of these three points is still in business. As an ex-major league agency business development director and growth-obsessed agency owner, I cannot believe that by the time an agency leader is invited to a sales meeting that she or he has not prepared for the meeting. At this point, I suggest that you buy my book: “The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches.”  250 pages on how to win new business.

Back to Lee.

The 3 Reasons Why Initial Agency New Business Meetings Go Nowhere…

“You didn’t do your homework.”

Read More »

Would You Buy Your Advertising Agency?

If You Put Your Advertising Agency Up For Sale… Would You Buy It?

I could turn the important question, “Would you buy your advertising agency?” into a long blog post. But, good news, I won’t. I’ll get to the point.

I just finished listening to Kara Swisher interview Khosla Ventures’ partner Keith Rabois – On The Future Of Innovation In Silicon Valley on Recode Decode.

Wowzer… is this guy smart and opinionated. Please listen to this interview. I also follow him on Twitter – @rabois.

This is his investment criteria. If you applied it to the sale of your agency, would you buy you?

What is anomalous? (As in, deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected.).

What “secret” is the company predicated on? What could this be?

Could this be one of the most important companies on the planet?

What is the accumulating advantage?

Can the founder attract the talent requisite to achieve the vision?

Why do we have a comparative advantage?

These are really tough questions. Especially if you think that advertising, PR and design agencies can’t generate meaningful differentiation. But, they can.

Are you working on that?

Will you ever sell your advertising agency?

I sold mine. It took a very strategic effort to build value a year plus ahead of that sale. If you want to sell your agency, even a couple of years from now, you need to build it for a sale.

Ask the big question… “Would you buy your agency?” If the answer is no. Well, its time to rethink your offer.

I have written more about selling an agency: Will you ever sell your advertising agency?