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Your 2020 Advertising Agency New Business Plan
I admit it. I am going to repeat myself (you’ll know it if you’ve read some of my 600+ blog posts). The marketing communications service industry must have a solid advertising agency new business plan to survive in today’s disrupted and lower margin marketing world.
Wha? Agencies do not have a solid plan? According to ad world research, most do not. I’ve seen stats that say only 40% of advertising agencies have solid active business development plans.
While repeating some of the core tenets of sales, I’ll add some new thinking based on my working with agencies in the USA and around the globe.
That said, the bottom-line for building a productive advertising agency new business plan is to do the sales plan actions that are tried and true – with the objective of standing way out. That means having the goal of being unignorable. Not easy, but a ripe goal to pursue.
These actions are general sales actions that are modified for selling a highly competitive service like your advertising agency. By the way, congrats if you’ve gone beyond just offering a service to having a tool or system that you can resell. Give me a shout and I’ll show you examples of what I mean.
You have to break out of the competitive pack. I don’t care if you’re a two-person or a multi-national. You need to say something to a prospective client that stands out and makes them want to make direct contact or say yes when you ask to speak with them.
The agencies that win today deliver messaging that is: well-targeted, succinct and competitive.
Because of this starting point, distinctive agency positionings help clients to quickly recognize the agency’s expertise and value.
I’ve put “winner” agencies into three messaging buckets. They tell prospective clients: ‘what we do’, ‘how we do it’ and ‘who we do it for’ to illustrate the strength of their individual positioning strategy.
The Start Here is without question your agency’s positioning. [Read more…] about The Basics: An Advertising Agency New Business Plan
Lots. Like, Um, Too Many.
So… How many advertising agencies are there? OK, it is a bit impossible to count them all – and I am talking essentially every type of agency from Ogilvy down to your ex-Creative Director that does what he used to do for you but now he works (at a lower cost) out of his home.
So, how many? Here is a number I came across yesterday…
According to Clutch there are 17,532 “Top Advertising and Marketing Agencies” In the United States. 17,532.
Yikes. Want more? There are 193 in Dallas, 182 in Austin and 140 in Houston. That’s 515 in major Texas cities. Did I say Yikes? Now, imagine how many in London.
Here are some links to help y’all break out of the pack.
A link to my enormous ad agency information blog.
Five Immediate Things To Do To Break Out From The 17,532…
- Make sure you are everywhere a client might look to find your agency. Buy attention if you have to.
- Run a smart 24/7 business development program. Sorry, referrals are not enough.
- Have a competitive and distinctive brand positioning. Being an expert in something might help (actually, it will help a lot.)
- Try to look and act unignorable. Good news” your competitors are already ignored given the vast number of agency choices.
- Just hire me to help you grow awareness, leads, and closes. LOL. I am not kidding.
So, how many advertising agencies are in your market? Just to be outrageously obnoxious, a Google search on “Tulsa advertising agencies” turned up 2,820,000 results.
What Does The Advertising Agency Of The Future Look Like? How About Your Agency?
The advertising agency of the future needs some serious planning and agility. No surprise here. But, what is surprising to me is the lack of attention paid to how to craft an advertising agency for the future.
Just for the hell of it. I’ll start with the good old days.
My first job in advertising was at Dancer Fitzgerald & Sample. Back in the 1980’s DFS was New York’s largest advertising agency. We were sweetly based in the iconic Chrysler Building. At that time, we did not spend lots of gray matter on thinking about the future of the advertising agency business because we were making a 15% commission on media and 16.5% on production. We had a sweet client list that included General Mills, P&G, RJR Nabisco, Sara Lee, Northwest Airlines (I ran the account and our annual profits were $6 million on $9 million in revenues), HP and Toyota. As you might expect, we were not too concerned about reinvention. All this client and revenue firepower helped Saatchi & Saatchi love and buy Dancer in 1986.
Today advertising is a radically different business and ad agencies need to be thinking about how to be positioned for a future where multi-year AOR clients; 15% media commissions; three primary media types (TV, print, radio); a positive global network effect and loyalty are attributes of the past.
Not to get too down, but today the advertising world is about project work, crazy price consciousness, competition from all sides (large consultancies, in-house agencies and your ex-Creative Director who does just fine as a freelancer).
Look, for many agencies, it is kinda fucked up out there. As the famous Chinese curse says,
“May you live in interesting times”.
But, but, there are still agencies that grow and make bucks. You can too.
So, in preparation for this blog post – yes, it is ultimately about how to position your agency for the future – I read a bunch of articles on “the advertising agency of the future.” Not too surprising, this is a hot topic.
Interesting (as in ‘Uh Oh’) the first page of Google has articles on your future from traditional agency killers like Deloitte, Accenture, Adobe, CMO.com (an Adobe site).
The agency industry perspective is not on Google’s page one. It isn’t until page two that Inc., AdAge, The Drum and the ANA get to chime in.
I stopped trying to find an actual advertising agency perspective delivered via this search term by the time I got to page four. Do the big guys (even WPP, Publicis, Omnicom, etc.) not want to discuss the future?
Some Findings On The Future on Advertising
Here are some of the highlights from my research. I’m listing these in random order. I’ll have my personal thoughts a bit later. [Read more…] about The Advertising Agency Of The Future