There are a small handful of advertising agency consultants out there and each of us serves our clients a little differently. I thought it might be helpful for you to see our ad agency structure and how we define the role in our work with small to mid-sized agencies.
An advertising agency consultant is:
1) Experienced –a seasoned pro in the business of successfully running an agency. I’ve been running my own agency for the past 20 years.
2) Someone who understands that to offer relevant counsel, he/she must stay relevant. That’s why I still run my agency.
3) Actively working with all variations of agencies — advertising, marketing, digital, media, SEO, PR etc.
4) A teacher — I try to be a thoughtful teacher in as many ways as possible:4)
- Our workshops, offered for agency owners/leaders and account service staff
- Our agency owner peer networks — each one facilitated by me
- My work as I consult one on one with agency owners
- Through my writing, both on this site and in other publications
5) Going to ask some pretty uncomfortable questions sometimes. It’s my job to listen and hear what’s underneath the first answer. Sometimes you already know the answer — you just don’t want it to be the answer. And other times you need someone to tilt the mirror slightly, so you can see the truth.
6) A BS meter. Part of my job in this ad agency structure is to help you see when you’re telling yourself things that don’t serve you or your agency. Call it tough love, call it accountability or call it caring enough to tell you what you need to hear. You’ll always get a straight answer from me.
7) A networker. Part of my job is to have a ready list of experts (lawyers, accountants, etc.) who specialize in working with agencies. I want to be a conduit for you. You know if I give you someone’s name – they’ve been well vetted by me and other agencies like yours.
8) A sounding board. One of the benefits of belonging to one of the owner peer networks is you have access to me. Want to run something by me? Want a second opinion? Want me to review a job offer or talk you through a bonus program that motivates your employees to act like owners? Perfect — let’s do it.
9) There to help you run your business better, make more money and have more fun doing it. That means I’m going to teach you the critical metrics of our business, help you decide which ones to focus on and hold you accountable for doing just that.
10) A trends tracker. I’m with about 200 different agencies a year, through our workshops and the 70 agencies in our owner peer networks so I can see the bigger picture and share those insights with AMI clients.
11) A student of the industry. I’m always working hard to gain new insights, which is why we partner with researcher Susan Baier to do our annual research project. We don’t rely on 3rd party research — we go out and conduct our own and from that — create tools that give AMI agencies the edge.
12) Your advocate, cheerleader, and safe place to share on those days when you’d sell your agency for a quarter. I get it. I’ve been there. And I know what you need to do to right the ship because I’ve probably seen it before.
At the end of the day, being an advertising agency consultant is a blend of coach, counselor, teacher, mentor and cheerleader. It’s a honor to be trusted that much and to be able to genuinely help someone build and strengthen their agency.
If I can help you with your ad agency structure — please reach out so we can talk about how to get that done.