Clients place a premium on the creative work and strategic ideas coming from their agencies. A recent study found the No. 1 thing clients want from their marketing partners is effective campaigns, followed by outstanding ideas and implementation and strategic counsel and insights.
Clients have demonstrated that they are willing and even anxious to pay for smart people who are able to deliver a strategic impact on their business. More and more it’s about strategy. Brand strategy. Marketing strategy. Business strategy. Not award winning creative. Or better PR. Or great direct mail. It’s all that, and more. Firms that learn how to deliver a steady stream of Business Building Ideas will win. Win more new business, more organic growth, more client loyalty. We call these BBIs (Business Building Ideas).
How best to keep a steady stream of BBIs flowing at your firm?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Create a Culture of Invention.
- Business Building Ideas are not created in a confrontational environment.
- The agency needs a culture that supports innovative thinking.
- Most processes and procedures are too slow for clients who demand great work fast.
- Agencies need to restructure the way ideas are handled from top to bottom.
Think Strategic. Act Tactical.
- Too many agencies think tactical and act tactical.
- Think strategically and act tactically: Maintain focus on client objectives while continuously searching for alternative BBIs.
Push Back More.
- Too many firms forget that their agency’s value to clients increases when agencies show proper discipline.
- This means agencies need to know when to push back with a client and how to push back. Saying “no” can clear a lot of air.
Shift to “Creative” Thinking.
- Be the outsider: Always creatively think about the client’s business.
- Stop talking about ads, PR, direct, etc,
- Focus on strategies that drive client business forward.
- Transform the agency from a marketing communication vendor to a trusted advisor.
We recommend you maintain a steady stream of ideas to your clients; that means one good idea per month. Remember, it’s not important if the client buys into all the ideas. It’s that you are thinking about their business. All the time. Strategically.
Shift Into High Gear
Agency management needs its account teams to operate more efficiently in order to protect agency profitability. But most account teams are already struggling with the current account load, so the idea of working harder isn’t a realistic answer.
The solution for agencies is to train their account teams in new skills, showing them how to work smarter, not harder. And High Gear, a high-impact, one-day on-site learning experience for account management, is the best way to do that.
High Gear shows account management professionals how to manage the client relationship better using personality profiling. Once the client’s personality and personal working style are identified, High Gear can show your team how to plan better, present better and negotiate better. This approach makes the client/agency relationship stronger and more profitable for your agency.
Also included in the program is an important skill-building session on how to manage the financial end of the relationship. Another component of High Gear is a special session on the importance of developing long-running programs as a way to improve both client retention and operating efficiency.
High Gear concludes by sharing skills that top-tier strategy consulting firms teach their new MBAs: the social Do’s and Don’ts of dealing with clients away from the office.
For more information on how High Gear can help your agency work smarter, not harder, contact Sanders Consulting Group.Photo by *lieveheersbeestje