AdAge recently published a story called Six Ways Ad Agencies Are Reeling in New Business Now from Rupal Parekh
In it they describe 6 ways you can get new customers (as an ad agency) which really speak volumes about any organization whether you are an ad agency or a simply trying to sell a product.
1. Network Innovatively
2. Show your social media savvy
3. Adopt a recognizable platform
4. Be willing to contort
5. Write a book
6. Offer a direct line to the CEO
I do not agree with the definition of each by AdAge but the general gist it simple communicate. I provided my thoughts on each of these 6 below and how they may translate out to a larger group beyond simply ad agencies.
Networking is key, but doing it properly can mean the difference between being labeled a thought leader and a sales guy. I agree with what John Coleman does, and participate personally in these types of small innovative thinking sessions that are sparked by a single topic. This provides a non-invasive way of getting to know people without much pretense.
Showing your savvy and accepting one platform There are many ways to do this – but I think adopting multiple platforms is a great way to learn and understand a market. If your goal is to get clients, make sales, close business – than understanding what is out there and having an agnostic approach will serve you better than sticking to one platform. Showing your savvy will happen as your expertise develops across multiple platforms and you are able to make agile jumps to new things that come out. Nothing is worse than being pitched on a platform simply because there is no knowledge of other options.
Be able to contourt – this screams COMMUNICATION to me. As the world changes, so should your ability to adapt to customer needs. The cited example is building up an agency around a large brand (Dell). IMHO this should happen EVERY time there is a new brand brought in and account team formed. On a more realistic scaling front, this can be done in the form of listening to the needs of the potential customer and making sure you can meet them. (For those naysayers that state you cannot fit everyone into your business and stay strong against customizing all jobs – take this advice with a grain of salt as I know it will not work for everyone.)
Write a book Everyone jumps at the ambitiousness of this statement. It should read Write an E-Book its simple to do (.DOC to .PDF) low cost (Time) and free to publish (Ill let you publish it here if you want on Marketing.fm)
The work involved will be worth the effort even if nobody reads it (which will not be the case) as you will learn valuable lessons about your ideas and how they really look once they are structured in a publishable format.
Offer a direct line to the CEO Once again the genesis of this idea is communication. You should have open channels and folks that want to be concise, clear, and honest. Hopefully CEO contact will happen as a result of wanting to praise the work vs. move up the chain to be mad at a company. The overall point is that you should empower your employees to solve problems so that speaking to the CEO will be a nice bonus, but not a requirement for solving an issue.
If any agency, or individual wants to pursue one or more of these topics and needs a platform to do so (read: guest blog) feel free to reach out.Communication, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Social Media