Episode 41:

Michael Farmer grew up in the Midwest and was the first child in his family to go to college. He went to Princeton on an NROTC scholarship and worked at various jobs to pay the difference. After that, he spent 5 years as a naval officer, 3 years at sea, and 2 years teaching NROTC at Iowa State University. Then he was off to Harvard Business School and a one-year research assignment writing cases and teaching marketing in Lausanne, Switzerland. He then joined some consulting firms and worked all over the globe. Eventually, he ended up at Bain & Company where he spent three years in Boston, and then nine years in London, Munich, and Paris. Bain then started his own consulting firm, Farmer & Company, specializing on solving agency / advertiser problems. He stayed in London until 2001, and then returned to the States and continued his work. He wrote Madison Avenue Manslaughter between 2009 and 2015, and the book was published in 2015.



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Some of the big problems agencies face today
  • Why the future is bright for small to mid-sized independent agencies
  • Why your agency needs a uniform approach for working with clients and an example of what that looks like
  • The documented scope of work document: what should this look like?
  • Why it’s harder than ever for agencies to make money
  • Michael’s “price for the work” metric
  • Creating accountability with client heads
  • Why agencies probably will have an easier time fixing scope of work than they think
  • What agencies can do right now to start fixing some of these mistakes


The Golden Nugget:

“Agencies are doing twice the work for half the fee over the last 25 years.” – @farmerandco Click To Tweet


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