Please Help! Take The Survey!
Rebecca Caroe, a Business Development person for ad agencies out of New Zealand, is writing a book called “The Creative Agency of the Future“. It’s about marketing agencies; focusing on how they are run; the challenges and changes that are happening in the advertising industry.
We’ve had some interesting conversations about that topic, and as you may guess, I have a few opinions (see below!). Now you have the chance to join in. Make your voice heard. If you have any ideas, thoughts, suggestions on what the world of marketing will look like down the road go here!
The idea is to compile some of the best thinking a then write a book for leaders in marketing.
We need more data for the book and invite agency owners and managers to contribute. It’ll take 10 – 15 minutes to fill in our online survey. All interviewees will be given a free copy of the book on publication – go to our questionnaire to share your views.
Client Brands: Do you buy services from agencies? We’d love to hear from you about what is the ‘ideal’ relationship an agency can have with a brand. How should the agency world adapt to fit your new needs and what are the best and worst things about working with creative agencies.
Can we quote you? We need more data for the book and invite brand managers to contribute. It’ll take around 10 minutes to fill in our online survey. All interviewees will be given a free copy of the book on publication – go to our client brands questionnaire to share your views.
Technology Companies: If you sell software or services to advertising agencies, one section of the book is about service providers and a double page is set aside for detailing your product or service and it’s utility for marketing agencies. Get in touch if you’d like to be listed.
Consultants: If you advise agency businesses and have a track record in the sector of over 5 years standing, we’d love to hear your views on what is changing and how your clients are adapting to the new business norms. Get in touch if you’d like to set out your views and be quoted in the book.
Our Point of View:
You need to go there and contribute. The more we learn, the more we ask, the more we think about the future the better prepared we’ll be down the road.
Let’s face it – marketing firms of all stripes are being rocked by some serious structural changes that are taking place within our industry that are not good for agencies. I see more and more signs that clients are falling out of love with marketing communication firms and advertising agencies.
The strategic high ground of marketing has been seized by the outside consultants. They meet with the CEO in the board room, discussing strategic issues that CEOs believe to be necessary in order to jump the corporation ahead. Things like the corporate mission and goals. The brand strategy. The new customer retention program. This means access to the top level client management has been blocked for agencies except in unusual situations. In the near future you will find, if you haven’t already, you and your firm taking action based on directives and strategies developed by the consultants. That’s bad enough. An attack on our industry from above. The strategic high ground lost to agencies. Perhaps forever.
And from below? Another attack by a new breed of design firms and project shops. Firms that respond quickly and give clients what they ask for. Firms that are cheaper than agencies and offer strategic planning or branding help only when needed.
And that means the term “agency of record” will soon be found on the trash heap of business history. Out of date. Gone forever.
Is your agency ready for any of this?
Now, let’s get to the action. Specifically, what steps should you be taking to prepare for the future? There are six strategies I want you to follow.
6 Strategies To Prepare For The Future
- Make yourself easy to do business with. I mean real easy. Easy like design firms work. Make doing business with you very easy. Don’t try to sell what clients don’t want to buy. Give them your opinion, but be sure and give them what they are asking for. You don’t have any other choice these days. Build up some good will to cash in later for a real strategic game changer.
- Go after the consultants by offering consulting services of your own. Open up a large new revenue stream into your firm, millions of dollars are available.
- Learn how to sell harder. Focus on overt benefits you offer to the client. Make it very clear what you can do. Don’t be subtle in times like this. Overtness is the key. When taking in your ideas to clients and prospects, please forget written proposal. Proposals are for losers. And don’t use Powerpoint decks with good clients. Decks have no power to sell in your ideas. Once the page is turned in the deck, your idea or concept is out of sight and probably out of mind. Learn how to use California boards, process sheets, logic trails, and emotion stops in your presentations to clients.
- Think about growing the old fashioned way. Buy growth. Yes, do a cross town merger with another firm similar to yours in your market. It’s a wonderful way to grow these days. And it’s a quick way to add new services and new resources clients want.
- Make sure your firm is properly branded. Check to see if you are caught up in alphabet soup with a brand that doesn’t say anything. Do you have an old sounding name? Are you looked at as an old fashioned firm? Ask yourself if your agency have a strong brand promise? Does your firm live your brand, is it part of your culture? If not, maybe it’s time to re-brand.
- Focus on generating leads meaning opportunities to go visit good prospects. Don’t get trapped in the fog of new business worrying about all the minutia of new business. Ask yourself this; Who is building relationships for your firm today? Not who is doing new business. But who is reaching out to good prospects, creating awareness that you are around? Turning awareness into relationships? If no one is doing that today for your firm, if no one is working on outreach, but you are working hard in new business, then you’re probably trapped in the fog of new business.
I have no idea what the Agency Of The Future will look like… I only know that if you’re really good at all of the above then you will not just survive, but thrive in the future. If you want to discuss these strategies any further, reach out and ask! We’re always happy to discuss the future of marketing with anyone.Photo by ~uploathe