Marketing

Looking For a Job? Ditch the Resume Tips and Open a Marketing Book

For many unemployed young people, the job hunt is a dismal pursuit. Books about resume writing state the importance of “standing out,” but it’s hard to showcase your achievements when everyone around you has comparable triumphs. Even that stellar academic history becomes a minimum requirement when colleges are handing out As at record highs. You’ve listed many accomplishments, but from the perspective of a potential employer, you look exactly the same as every other applicant. If you’re relying on stale resume advice, you’ll only get as far as others taking the same approach. By thinking like a marketer and creating an ad campaign for yourself, you can defy the odds and outshine other qualified applicants. Adopt the marketing mindset Marketers have been tackling the problems of differentiating their product from competitors’ and becoming the go-to consumer brand for years. It’s a constant struggle, and they consistently have to up their game to stay in the race. Like them, you want to stand out among your peers. Applying these specific marketing tactics will help you leave a lasting impression on potential employers. Appeal to your target market. Before potential employers see your name on a list of applicants, you should be working to interact and market yourself directly. Turn one-way communication into an ongoing conversation by engaging with companies on social media. Don’t forget to spruce up your online personality, and keep your digital resume updated.Through your profile and interactions, demonstrate how your personality and experiences would benefit a company and its clients. Consider writing a blog to further express yourself. Ask yourself, "If my work were a product, how would I market myself to my target audience? How would I differentiate myself from other applicants?" When [...]

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. [...]

Marketers, This Is the Best Way to Truly Serve a Nonprofit

We all want to do good in the world. Agencies have a strong tradition of taking on pro bono work for nonprofits -- this sometimes means designing a logo or creating a brochure; other times it's sponsoring an event, or even just simply offering advice. Those things serve an immediate need, but they don't necessarily make a lasting impact. If you want to make a substantial difference, dive deeper: Adopt a nonprofit for one year, and treat it like a paying client. It's a mutually beneficial strategy: The nonprofit gets high-quality attention and resources, and the agency gets an infusion of positive exposure. How Agencies Can Serve Non-Profits Finding a Great Match There are thousands of amazing organizations out there -- choosing just one is difficult. To select a nonprofit that will benefit from your services, send out an application that asks organizations to explain their mission and goals. One requirement of your adoption should be that your agency will make a quarterly presentation to the nonprofit's board, updating them on progress and next steps. Why does this matter? Because community and business leaders tend to be active in the nonprofit scene, so the potential connections could prove invaluable. When making your selection, consider each nonprofit's board membership. Does the board include individuals who would be beneficial for your agency to get in front of? Any potential business prospects? The nonprofit itself probably won't be able to hire your agency after the yearlong adoption, but if you can score just one client from its board, that's a great return on investment. Partnering with a nonprofit benefits your agency beyond the bottom line. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, nearly two-thirds of CEOs are increasing their corporate [...]

Guaranteeing Your Work Using Predictive Marketing with Stephen Woessner

I know and work with a lot of agency owners who do incredible work for their clients but very few of them are willing to guarantee that work with predictive marketing and write their clients a refund check if it doesn’t deliver the results. Are you willing to guarantee your work? To make that kind of promise — you’d better be ready to bring the goods. In my podcast conversation with Stephen Woessner we dig into how today’s agency needs to understand their client’s need for verifiable and predictive ROI and that the agencies that can deliver on that expectation, can plan on a long and fruitful existence. To build that kind of agency — it takes a brilliant methodology, incredible transparency and more accountability than most agencies have in their processes. But it is possible.  And highly profitable. Stephen and I talk predictive marketing specifics about how agencies can deliver leads and sales for their clients and best of all — get credit for doing so. We get into the nitty gritty of issues like bounce rates and the impact that has on sales and we talk philosophically about recognizing that your clients exist in a holistic ecosystem and their agency had better be able to influence every facet of it. You’ll be taking notes through this one so be prepared. To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site (https://agencymanagementinstitute.com/stephen-woessner/) and grab either the iTunes or Stitcher files or just listen to it from the web. If you’d rather just read the conversation, the transcript is below. If you're going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn't you get the benefits too? Welcome to Build a Better Agency, [...]

Digital only agencies aren’t making the grade

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 [...]

Agencies need to walk their social media talk

I had the good fortune of being a guest on a RockStar Radio Network show a couple weeks ago to talk about a topic I believe in strongly -- agencies need to walk their social media talk.  My good friend Steve Olenski was guest hosting for Carol McManus, the LinkedIn Lady and he asked me to be his guest. The topic Steve wanted to talk about is one I have been passionately talking about for some time.  Agencies who sell social but don't do social for themselves are going to be unmasked as the naked Emperors in the near future. Right now, most clients are still mystified by digital/social and they look at the agencies who guide them as magicians.  But pretty soon, everyone is going to understand that social is just a channel and it's really a reflection of our society fundamentally changing how we connect and communicate. At that point -- clients are going to point to the agencies who are charging them a pretty penny for creating and executing their digital strategy and say "hey, if you think this stuff is so revolutionary and important and worth the investment we've been making -- why aren't you doing it for your own agency?" Busted!  You've been exposed as a poser. Most agencies are doing an abysmal job with their own digital strategy.  They're either on auto pilot or they're jumping in and out, depending on how busy they are.  Worse... are the agencies who think their blog is where they should talk about themselves, their awards, their clients, their work.  Ugh. Steve and I dig into all of that during the show.  I'd love to hear what you think after you have a chance to listen [...]

Do you see a vendor when you look in the mirror?

Earlier this week, 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're going to look at what you can do to change your mindset (and choices) so you don't look like a vendor to prospects and clients. None of us like the word "vendor." Vendors sell stuff. They sell umbrellas on the beach, hot dogs on Time Square and truckloads of parts. But the truth is -- many agencies behave like a vendor. They: Charge by the hour rather than use value pricing They set their prices based on the "stuff they make" like brochures and websites They talk tactics, rather than strategies If you recognize yourself, even a little bit, in that description -- here are some things to consider as you wrestle with getting away from the vendor label. Take business with your prospects and clients: Don't limit your interest or your conversations to marketing or advertising. Talk about their pricing strategies, how they go to market with their product/service, sales goals and even operations. Your job is to stick your nose into their business and help ferret out solutions that can change the game. You want to identify and talk about the metrics that matter to your prospect or client. Price like an advisor, not a vendor: Vendors price by the pound, the item and by the hour. Advisors price by the [...]

The economy is pushing agencies into vendor roles

Earlier this week, 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're going to look at what you can do to work around the economy issue. In the current economic climate, ad and marketing managers on the client side are trying to keep their jobs and cut costs. They're seeing fellow employees being downsized are doing everything they can to make themselves look more indispensable to their bosses. One obvious way for them to do this is to bring a lot of the work they normally farmed out to agencies back  in house. Some marketing managers even go so far as to set up an in-house agency, not knowing or not heeding the fact that no in house agency has ever been proven to save money in the long run. (Don’t waste your time or your breath trying to argue them out of this dumb idea. It's one of those "you have to live it to believe it" deals.) It's tough to deal with someone who is operating from a place of fear but that's where a lot of our clients are right now.  They kept waiting for the economy to go back to normal and now they're realizing that this is the new normal.  Now, every dollar they spend is scrutinized and performance expectations are huge.  Human nature drives them to clutch [...]