About Drew McLellan

For almost 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies and then started his own (which he still owns and run) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.

How Remote and Contract Workers Fit Into Agency Culture

You might think that only a full-time, on-site employee can handle your agency’s work, but the reality is that remote and contract workers may have more specialized knowledge than your current team. In this piece I recently contributed to SpinSucks.com, I consider how agency owners can make contract workers team members rather than people to whom they just assign tasks.

Client satisfaction surveys- Part 2

In last week’s newsletter we started the conversation about how important it is to understand how our current clients are feeling about our work, our people, and our value.  And yet, customer satisfaction surveys are rarely done well. We’ve all been on the receiving end of bad customer surveys.  They ask us too often.  They ask us the same questions every time.  And we never hear back or see any real reaction to what we shared. No wonder why the completion rate is so low, and the input is so tepid. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Customer satisfaction surveys, when done well, will give you a competitive advantage in terms of both client retention and new client acquisition. So how do we conduct our research in a way that ultimately serves both our organization and our clients? Last week we covered: Invite your customers to participate and tell them what you’re going do with what you learn Strongly consider getting both qualitative and quantitative input This week we’ll cover: Determine the timing Be thoughtful about the questions Determine the timing: This is one of the aspects most agencies miscalculate.  Most don’t ask at all but if they do, they err on the other side and ask too often — risking fatiguing their clients.  This is especially true if you keep asking the same questions repeatedly or the survey is too long. There’s no one size fits all answer to the frequency question.  If you want to stay on the surface and ask simpler, shorter questions, you can risk asking more often.  But if you want to dig deeper and ask your clients for more information, you’ll need to rachet back your frequency. [...]

Client satisfaction surveys- Part 1

Client satisfaction surveys are nothing new and yet, they are often done poorly.  The saddest part of when they’re done badly is that most agencies are missing a huge marketing opportunity. Yes, it’s wonderful to get the data points that you’ll glean from the survey but there’s also an incredible amount of goodwill and soft marketing that can happen when the research is done well.  (This is true for your clients as well, if you help them with customer satisfaction work.) Your clients will appreciate that you care enough about their business to ask.  But only if you also help them see how you are going to genuinely listen and react to what they tell you.  We’ve all been on the receiving end of the same survey, over and over, from a business who asks the same questions after every interaction, but we never hear about the survey results or how they’re going to put their new insights into action. This week and next, I want to dissect what we’ve learned from doing countless client satisfaction surveys for agencies.  You can build a DIY model or share this with your favorite research partner as a guide. Invite your clients to participate and tell them what you’re going do with what you learn:  Without a doubt, this first step is one of the most critical.  And yet, there are elements of it that are often overlooked or purposefully skipped.  Don’t miss a single nugget of this step if you want to maximize the value of the research. Start by sending an email or letter to your client base, telling them that you’re going to be sending them a link for an online survey or that your [...]

3 Ways to Help Women Join the Ranks of Agency Owners

Although women have made great strides in the business world, the number of marketing agencies owned by women is unusually small. It's time to change that. In this piece I recently contributed to MarketingProfs.com, I discuss three steps to help you change the course of the industry for the better and how you can pave the way for more women founders and CEOs.

Here’s Why Thought Leadership Is The Boost Your Business Needs

By establishing your thought leadership, you’re not only helping to educate your customers on important topics, but you’re also positioning yourself as an expert in your industry. That rapport and top-of-mind position will help you maintain a steady flow of new business over time. And it’s why failing to position yourself as a thought leader can be detrimental. In this piece I recently contributed to Forbes.com, I discuss how thought leadership can boost business, here are a few tips to kick off your thought leadership strategy.

3 Ways To Navigate Business After Leaving Your Covid-19 ‘Safe Harbor’

Too many CEOs have normalized the idea of hunkering down and seeking shelter—but they don't realize the gathering ice can become a death trap. In this piece I recently contributed to ChiefExecutive.com, I discuss how even with all the risks associated with putting yourself “out there” after so much uncertainty, you’ll be positioning your company for better things  

2022 Marketing Trends That Agency Pros Need to Know

Agency life. It’s something I’ve been immersed in for more than 25 years. I’ve experienced a variety of ups and downs, including the rise of the internet bubble and the Great Recession of 2008. Little surprises me anymore. That being said, the industry trends I’ve seen throughout 2022 have been truly eclectic. They reveal the magnitude of the post-pandemic shockwaves marketers have ridden since 2020, and they also point to tremendous opportunities and potential. In this piece I recently contributed to SiteProNews.com, I discuss the breakdown of the industry trends in 2022.

With a 6-On, 2-Off Workflow, Your Agency Can Start Being More Proactive and Creative

Constantly scrambling to put out fires means clients have all the power, creatives don't have the time to do their best work, and no one can enjoy a more balanced life. In this piece I recently contributed to MediaPost.com, I discuss how some agencies are moving past the pedal-to-the-metal mindset and opting for a six-week on, two-week breather work cycle.