According to the Q2 Pearlfinders Index, which is digital marketing research based on interviews with more than 4,000 marketing executives across all industries -- digital and social media services have become more sought-after disciplines, while consumer PR, though still popular, is becoming less of a consideration. However, agencies that only offer digital services are not getting the nod. Despite shifting their budgets towards digital and social media, 3 in 4 marketers aren’t using exclusively digital agencies for their social or digital needs, and the majority of those don’t foresee using them in the near future, according to June 2012 survey results from RSW/US. In fact, only about 2 in 5 think such agencies can survive, with the remainder believing that digital agencies need to offer more traditional services to maintain their relevancy. In Q2, among the times that marketing decision-makers advised that they were considering a particular service category, digital made up 19% of these demands, up from 13% a year earlier. Similarly, social media was mentioned 17.1% of the time, up from 14.1% in Q2 2011. Consumer PR, at 14%, was the third most-desirable discipline, though it fell from 18.6% a year earlier. Advertising and corporate PR rounded out the top 5 desirable agency disciplines for Q2 according to this digital marketing research, though both fell substantially from the previous quarter. Customer Acquisition the Dominant Marketing Objective In Q2 2012, companies’ primary customer marketing objective was acquisition (93.8%), compared to just 5% focusing on retention and 3.8% on development. A year earlier, 71.3% had focused on acquisition, with retention (17.1%) and development (11.6%) figuring more prominently into the equation. Other Findings: NPD/innovation was the strongest source of opportunity for agencies, accounting for 35% of new business opportunities [...]
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?
One of my pet peeves is the hiring practices of agencies -- we need to stop hiring "nice". Earlier this month, we kicked off a conversation about why agencies find themselves relegated to vendor status. If you remember, we identified 3 causes. The economy — workforce reductions, budget cuts and overall fear (out of your control) Agencies willingness to behave like a vendor just to get the project (within your control) Agencies hiring “nice” account executives who are order takers rather than smart business people (within your control) In this post, we'll tackle the hiring "nice" issue that many agency owners and Directors of Client Services seem to struggle with. Every agency owner worries about how solid their client relationships are and who is tending to those clients. We want clients to feel like they're the agency's only focus. As a result, we've often hired people who are relationship nurturers and good at customer service delivery. There's nothing wrong with those traits. But they don't match up with what clients tell us they want. In our AE Bootcamp workshops, we teach AEs what their clients expect from them. Here's what our research revealed clients want in an AE: Knows the client’s industry and markets Makes their job easier Is organized and dependable Is empowered to make decisions Demonstrates a passion for solving problems Is willing to be treated as a consultant and a vendor Is not learning on the job I don't see nice, friendly or even a good relationship builder on that list. It doesn't mean those traits don't matter. It means those traits are tables stakes -- the givens. Clients think of those as a "duh" not a point of difference. What they're [...]