The Unignorable Advertising Agency Wins New Clients
There are lots of ways to win a new account for your advertising agency. You get a referral (the default for many agencies); you have a unique expertise (let’s say mobile); you are known as a specialist in a category or geography; you have a kick-ass thought leadership program that gets read and passed along; you are an SEO genius and are listed on page one for your Google keywords.
I’ll show you one more approach below.
An Unignorable List
But first, here’s a list of ways to not get the positive attention of a prospective client. Even worse, some serious ways for you to be very very ignored.
- Send them a one-off copy-heavy email and hope they respond.
- Send them a series of emails about how wonderful your agency is (not them or their issues) and then hope they respond.
- Find other special ways to bug the hell out of them. Multiple voicemail messages anyone?
- Make sure that your agency sounds exactly like the other agencies that are trying to get the client’s attention. Here’s a list of me-too advertising agency positionings. Where are you on this list?
- Make sure your agency’s website looks just like your competitor’s website. WordPress templates anyone?
- Hope that the prospects will go on to find your position on Google that’s on page 4 of the listings for your competitive agency set.
- Start, stop, start, stop, start your inbound and outbound business development program.
- Make new business an “oh, we’ll get to that” proposition.
And on and on. I’ll stop so I won’t bore you. Or worse, scare you.
Maybe smarter… here is a way out.
Why Not Try Being Unignorably Creative?
First, let’s make sure we agree on what is unignorable by looking at a family (like them or not) that seems to provide the purest definition of unignorable. You know, the guys on your left. I guarantee you that their ‘being unignorable’ is a strategic goal and a well designed program.
OK, back to your prospective clients… and your business development strategy.
Clients are smart. Clients get social media. Clients can produce their own content these days. Clients understand marketing. Even worse, an increasing number of clients think they can bring all of that in-house.
But, what they can’t do is be unignorably creative. Just can’t do that. Not in their DNA. Nope. But, it’s in yours and it is a major reason for your existence (unless you are just data marketing or apps geeks, etc.) and if used intelligently — your creative secret sauce.
One of the ways that the leading (and famous) agencies get incoming new business inquiries is by being ‘unignorable‘ and you know the usual agency suspects because you hear about them every award season and read about them in ADAGE. The thing is that you know how to be famous too. Many in our industry are chasing technology when they should be chasing and proving their creativity. In the advertising industry, creativity breeds fame.
I just saw this ‘unignorable’ BuzzFeed video about melding Apple’s advertising approach and McDonald’s fries. A smart and simple idea that most Creative Directors could have come up with. It is a simple to produce video. A low-cost video. A video that has 3 million YouTube views. A video that your agency could have used to get the attention of the type of clients you probably should have. I’ll put it below.
But wait wait, there’s more.
There’s a Toronto agency that has been building business behind the idea of ignorability for a few years. In fact, I borrowed the word ‘unignorible’ from them. Here’s their rap…
john st. is a creative collaborative that uses digital, social, advertising, technology, PR and design to make our clients’ brands unignorable.
In our world of media overstimulation, having individual brands and services be ignored is way to easy, is a critical client issue and is a very serious top-of-mind pain point. You can solve this problem. You. Not that in-house agency.
Two Unignorable Agency Videos
OK, enough yapping. The first video is from Buzzfeed (yes, this is a competitor) and the second is from your savvy “old-world” ad agency competitor Canad’s John. St.
1. If McDonalds Advertised Like Apple
Preston Bealle says
Yes, brilliant exposition of Apple’s oeuvre. Not many companies can pull it off. Do you have to set that path and tone from the beginning, or can you adopt it later without looking contrived?