Should I compare our agency to others?

By |November 18th, 2018|

How many times have you had a prospect say something like:

  • You are a breath of fresh air compared to our current/old agency
  • You actually understand our business
  • Our other agency never asked us questions like this
  • Wow – I actually know where our dollars are being spent with you

It feels good, no make that amazing, when we know we are exceeding our clients’ expectations, even if it is because they were with a lousy agency before us.  That makes it tempting to go out there and shout “we are not like the other guys! Come experience the difference!

I totally get why you ask yourself “should I compare our agency to others?”

I’m here to tell you, whatever you do, resist the urge.

Think back to the 2018 mid-term election cycle and recall what I am guessing we all said or thought as we watched yet another political ad.  “Stop talking about how bad the other guy is and just tell me what you will do.”

I get the temptation. But avoid it in your own messaging and marketing.  You talk about you.  Your philosophy of the work.  Your defined and tested process.  Your unique POV. Your depth of experience.  What is it like to work with you.

Let them read between the lines and sense the difference.

Where you can put some spotlight on the “we’re better than the other guys” is when you share other people’s words and reflections on you.

Think:

  • Google and FB reviews (which you should be actively seeking)
  • Testimonials
  • Client referrals
  • The clients you offer to let prospects talk to

You can create a cheat sheet of the above mentioned points of difference and ask them to wax on.  There’s a huge perception difference between me telling you how funny I am versus someone else telling you I am funny.

Same thing.  Worse stink.

Bottom line — this line of messaging is all about you. They don’t care about you.  Stay focused on what they do care about.  Their business issues, goals and challenges.  Keep your focus there.  That alone will make you very different from most.  They’ll figure out the rest.

About the Author:

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 hundred 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.