Several years ago I ran across a little ditty by Joe Adams that I've kept around just to re-read and remind myself of what business I'm in. Joe called it his Commandments for Running An Advertising Agency. It's a good reminder to all of us that it takes is a little common sense, enthusiasm and guts. So, here they are: Thou shalt market from the top down. (Call on the best fit prospects first.) Don't work for bastards - and don't be one. (Pick people you want to work for. Take on ones with great potential. You must like your clients.) Thou shalt learn to speak in numbers. (How much, what will it cost - that is what clients want to hear.) Thou shalt be creative. (Creativity can be learned. Being creative is believing you are creative.) Eat bran flakes and hire competitive people who like to win for your agency and your clients. Be conspicuous. (You must make your agency stand out. Don't copy your competitors.) Thou shalt think business. (Clients have business problems. These problems are our opportunities.) Thou shalt be emotional. (Most advertising is boring. They are afraid to be emotional. People don't buy because of facts; they buy for emotional reasons.) Learn to say "No!" Hire people that are smarter than you are. Thou shalt have fun! (Do everything possible to enjoy work. Quit your job if necessary.) These commandments are 20+ years old. How do you think they hold up in today's world? I modified two of them. Can you guess which ones?
Awhile ago, we received a call from an agency in upstate New York. "I was looking through a back issues of Money Magazine," he said, "and I saw your letter to the editor mentioning that one of the things you do is work as an advertising agency consultant. You might be the kind of person I'm looking for to help me with my agency." So far AMR has helped him on several occasions. An unsolicited qualified prospect called us at the cost of one stamp on the letter to the magazine. (Today, it would be the cost of a mouse click!) If you think that letters to the editor only provide a place to sound-off on some issue of public issue you're wrong. They can also provide opportunities to spread the word about your services to an enormous audience. But for this strategy to pay off, you have to remain alert to opportunities during your regular reading, carefully construct an effectively subtle letter and promptly send it off. First, stay on the lookout for articles to relate advertising or marketing issues. Then consider how you can agree, disagree or add to what was reported in the article. Start your letter with a reference to the name and date of the article you are responding to. Then present your comment using this formula: "As the principal of an advertising agency, I have found/feel/think ____." For instance: "As the owner of an advertising agency that specializes in the mining industries, I feel ... " "As the owner of a graphic design company that deals with high tech companies, I've found ..." For some excellent examples, take a look at the letters column in Entrepreneur Magazine. Almost every [...]