Viewing entries tagged
ad agency credentials

Control Your Narrative. Control Your Pitch.

Control Your Narrative. Control Your Pitch.

An agency that isn’t in control of its narrative places that control in the hands of the prospect, and that prospect doesn’t have the best interests of the agency in mind. 

Your Ideal Client Doesn’t Care about Your Agency’s Credentials

Your Ideal Client Doesn’t Care about Your Agency’s Credentials

Do you know who your ideal clients are?

When I pose this question to the agencies I work with, they usually summarize information like job titles, types of companies, and professional responsibilities.

It's an accurate answer. Nothing wrong with that, right?

But, when you rely only on data like this, the basis of your pitch becomes a set of facts and figures. You recite your credentials, erring on the side of more information, rather than less. After all, you want to demonstrate your thoroughness and ability to anticipate their every need.

The thing is, we buy based on emotion. In fact, the more complex a buying decision, like evaluating a new agency, the more likely it is that we rely on feelings versus details. It’s an emotional short-cut, a “gut feeling,” that indicates we’re making the right decision.

It’s not that your agency credentials aren’t important to your prospective clients. Your prospects use them to rationalize their emotional gut feeling. The mistake some agencies make is neglecting to think about their prospects as irrational, emotional creatures.

You're a sophisticated marketing practitioner, so this is stuff you already know and likely apply in your work every day. I'm sure you would never agree to develop a marketing strategy for a client without a detailed customer persona.

 So, do you know who your ideal client is? Read more.

Stories, Seth Godin, and Agency Business Development

Stories, Seth Godin, and Agency Business Development

Recently, I came upon this interview with Seth Godin. In it, he and his interviewer, content marketing expert Sonia Simone, got to talking about implied stories.

Anyone who’s followed my posts for a while knows I’m a bit obsessed with storytelling and its role agency new business. The more I learn about the psychology of storytelling, the more convinced I am that it’s a secret weapon for converting prospects into new business leads. 
 
But what about these implied stories? What are they and how should you be telling them? Read more.

Tell a Good Story, Win More New Business

Tell a Good Story, Win More New Business

Stories are engaging, memorable and repeatable—and this has big implications for winning over new clients. Wrapping your sales message in a story not only makes it easy for your prospects to understand your value, they’re also more likely to remember your message and repeat to others what they liked about you and why they want to hire you.

See the video.

Do Awards Help You Win New Business?

Do Awards Help You Win New Business?

Thanks to Publicis Groupe’s CEO, Arthur Sadoun, it was an especially headlined-filled week at the Cannes Festival of Creativity. Sadoun’s announced that Publicis Groupe would take a one-year hiatus from awards shows and other industry events to focus on building out a network-wide, AI-enabled platform called Marcel. It sparked surprise and skepticism (among other things) from both marketers and agencies (some of them Publicis executives who were as surprised by the announcement as everyone else, apparently).

It got anyone with an opinion about creative awards coming out of the woodwork to express it–including me.

For most of my career, I’ve had mixed feelings about awards shows. Do awards materially affect the ability to win new business? And is it commensurate with the massive investment of time and money that competing for them requires?

I don’t think it is for most agencies. In my latest post, I’ll tell you why and offer a few suggestions for other, more efficient ways to redirect that budget.

What's the Secret to Winning More New Business? Know Thyself.

What's the Secret to Winning More New Business? Know Thyself.

It’s January, a time to stride forth into the new year and activate the plans you've made to grow your ad agency – dust off that prospecting list, revive the agency’s blog, hire a biz dev whiz to steer the efforts.

How’s that going so far?

We're as quick to break resolutions as we are to make them. Psychologists call this “false hope syndrome,” which means our resolutions are unrealistic and out of alignment with our internal view of ourselves.

What's the secret to counteracting this natural tendency? 

For a moment, put aside your ambitious plans for 2017 and take a critical look at your team (including yourself) and what it's best equipped to do. See if your agency matches one of these five types. It could unlock the secret to winning more new business this year.

Ad Agency Credentials Presentations Don't Have to Suck

Ad Agency Credentials Presentations Don't Have to Suck

You know how it feels when you get so close to a topic that you begin to lose any sense of perspective? How many of you feel that way about your ad agency's credentials deck? How many hours have you spent debating with your team about whether the client slide should go before or after the awards slide?

Those are hours you will never get back my friends, because no one outside your agency cares about the answer. 

Last month, I extolled the virtues of Nancy Duarte’s Sparklines, a presentation method designed to draw an audience over to your side of an argument. This month, I tell you how to use this technique to transform the garden variety creds deck into a persuasive sales tool. 
 

What Does Persuasion Look Like?

What Does Persuasion Look Like?

Those of you who know me or have worked with me know that my mission is to help ad agencies and creative services firms communicate more persuasively. When I find a tool or technique that has the potential for changing that behavior, I pass it on. Nancy Duarte's Sparklines is one of those tools.  

Sparklines was developed after she asked herself "what does persuasion look like?" She’s certainly qualified to explore the question. Her company, Duarte, helps organizations like Google and Apple tell effective stories through presentation. To find the answer, she analyzed two extraordinary presentations: Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch in 2007.

Essentially, it’s is a method for drawing an audience over to your side of an argument by presenting a series of contrasts between what is and what could be. It's one of the most compelling presentation structures I've ever seen. Plus, it's not a technique that's difficult to learn. In fact, it has more to do with reframing your presentations than reinventing them.

Drop the “Sizzle” – the Dos and Don’ts of a Great Ad Agency Reel

Drop the “Sizzle” – the Dos and Don’ts of a Great Ad Agency Reel

Sizzle reel. I’ve always hated the term, redolent of steakhouse advertising.

The implication is the reel will dazzle prospective clients through a series of quick cuts and a thumping bass track – all without having to give the viewer any kind of context for what they’re seeing.

Ad agencies that fall into this trap are like Narcissus, gazing at his own reflection. (For those who’ve forgotten the myth, Narcissus was so fixated by his beauty that he lost his will to live and stared at his reflection until he died. A cautionary tale for our business if ever there was one.)

In my latest blog post, I'll give you my top four Dos and Don'ts for creating a great agency reel. Plus, I'll share with you what I think is one of the best agency reels out there (plus the reason why it's not quite as good as it used to be).

5 Stupid Reasons to Lose a New Business Pitch

5 Stupid Reasons to Lose a New Business Pitch

Last January, I started off the year with some thoughts on what’s required to hook a big client. In case you don’t have time to re-read the post, I’ll cut to the chase: winning big takes the courage and commitment to think big.
 
But details matter too. Sometimes they matter a lot. In extreme cases, neglecting the details derails the pitch, turning your big ambitions into a lot of wasted energy and frustration.

So this January, I thought I’d start off 2016 with five stupid and avoidable reasons for any ad agency to lose a new business pitch.

A Hack for Always Having a Compelling Sales Message

A Hack for Always Having a Compelling Sales Message

It can easily take more than a dozen points of contact before a prospect says “yes.” That means you need a steady supply of content. If you’re like many of the ad agencies I work with, that can be a daunting thought at first. But you’re probably sitting on more prospecting-ready information than you realize and I have a tool to help you draw it out.

Using Storytelling to Generate New Business: One Ad Man's Quest

Using Storytelling to Generate New Business: One Ad Man's Quest

Think about the number of agencies you’re aware of (including your own) that have a truly differentiated work process.
 
If you’re being honest, the answer is easy: not many. Whether it’s three steps or twenty-three steps, most agency work processes look the same. In fact, sometimes I think they’re more of an afterthought, something to be written up for an RFP response but rarely put into action in real life.

But Park Howell, founder of agency Park&Co., channeled his fascination for the power of storytelling (a fascination I happen to share) into a work process he calls the Story Cycle that's become an integral part of all his client engagements.