Here’s Why Your Agency Didn’t Get Hired

When a client chooses not to hire your agency, it's easy to start second-guessing yourself. Often, I hear from agencies that are curious to know why they were disqualified and what they can do to improve. In our 2015 report, Agency Hiring & Firing Insights, we got the scoop on what 500 marketers -- CMOs with budgets up to $10 million -- believe and how those beliefs influence whether they hire or fire an agency. The results surprised us. We found that a whopping 94% of respondents believe their search and selection process is effective in finding agencies that are good fits for their organizations. So if their processes are so effective, what's that "special sauce" that makes them hire an agency? We saw a range of answers -- everything from "gut" to "socializing with clients" to a "review by a variety of staff, not just the marketing department." But we also learned a number of surefire deal breakers. What's Getting You Kicked to the Curb? We asked clients why they would disqualify a firm. These reasons came up consistently: The agency is a generalist. In other words, it doesn't have experience in the client's industry. It's increasingly important for agencies to find their niches and stick to them. The agency personnel is arrogant. The employees are self-aggrandizing or imply that the client should be grateful just to work with them. The agency has poor testimonials. The potential client reaches out to the current clients (often on LinkedIn) and learns that it hasn't grown those clients' businesses. The agency brings a pitch team, not the people the client would be working with on a daily basis. Clients want to know exactly with whom they'll be [...]

The Key to Agency Profitability? Good Old-Fashioned Time Sheets

Did you complete your time sheets today? Did your employees? If your answer is “no,” your agency is missing out on a crucial opportunity to increase agency profitability and productivity. There are consultants out there who think agency folks shouldn’t have to do time sheets, but they’re wrong. People are your biggest asset and your biggest resource, but they’re also your biggest expense. Consistent use of time sheets is the only way to know how your employees are spending their time and whether that time is well spent. Without the use of time sheets, you cannot evaluate the performance of your business — both how your assets and resources are being applied and how profitable your clients are with respect to your time investment. More Data, Better Decisions The data you collect through time sheets will make evident what you’re doing well, and it will also demonstrate where there’s room for improvement. Most importantly, it will reveal the profitability of each client by illustrating the time spent on every project. That being said, everyone needs to get on the time sheet train. Yes, that includes you. Every person in your office should be completing a daily time sheet so you can get the best and most accurate picture of your agency. Regardless of whether you’ve never used time sheets or you’ve just gotten lax about completing them, here are a few steps to get the process back on track: 1. Acknowledge It’s Your Fault. This step is the least fun, so we’ll get it out of the way first. Take responsibility for the fact that you’ve allowed the maintenance of time sheets to become sloppy or disappear altogether. It’s now up to you to lead the charge. [...]

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