Be a better proactive ad agency

5 Jan

I can think of four reasons why a client calls an ad agency with a job:

1. They’re passionate about a marketing idea and want the agency’s help to bring it to life.
2. They have an urgent marketing problem.
3. It’s part of an annual marketing plan.
4. They have budget to spend or they’ll lose it.

When an agency calls an existing client with a proactive advertising idea, the client may think:

1. There’s no budget for this.
2. My agency is looking for more billings this month.
3. Sure, it could be a great idea, but I’m the one accountable if it doesn’t work.
4. No thanks, more work for me.
5. The boss won’t like it.
6. I don’t like it.
7. We can do this better/cheaper in-house.

Seems to me the best way to overcome these roadblocks is to align with one of the reasons why clients call agencies:

1. Get the client passionate about the agency’s idea (hint: involve them in its development).
2. Show the client they have a marketing problem they weren’t aware they had.
3. Integrate the idea into the larger marketing plan so it doesn’t seem like an isolated tactic.

Or face the roadblock head-on, and offer:

4. Deferred payment.
5. Payment based on results.
6. Turnkey proposal – client signs off, agency does the rest.
7. Partner with the marketing team to pitch to the boss.

If the client doesn’t like the idea or thinks they can do it better/cheaper themselves, go back to the drawing board to work harder to demostrate value!

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3 Responses to “Be a better proactive ad agency”

  1. rantyyj January 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    “2. Show the client they have a marketing problem they weren’t aware they had.” If this is the case and they have been with your firm from the outset then they’ll find fault with you for not mentioning this earlier.

    “5.Payment based on results.” Nothing ventured nothing gained by the client and the firm is not out that much since the wages where or should have been in it’s annual budget.

  2. Shane January 6, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    thanks for your comment rant.

    For #2, I’m not sure if it would be fair for a client to blame their agency for not noticing a marketing problem earlier. After all, they’re marketers too.

    For #5, I agree – though it’s easy for me to put “payment by results” in a bullet point list, and another thing to actually build an agreement that is fair for both sides (as advertising is only one part of marketing success).

  3. rantyyj January 6, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Shane: For #2. If a companies has a problem with marketing their going to look for scapegoats if their marketing does’nt work and their going to blame it on the agency that they paid since top executives don’t like to be the fall guy. Shit rolls down hill.

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