Agency New Business in the Digital World.


I was returning from a trip to my hometown Toronto the other day. I have always learned from Toronto that the more things change the more things stay the same.

The Toronto Film Festival was on so the town was abuzz.

I remember when Gravity premiered there.

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield was on hand. He sang Space Oddity from above the world. It went Viral. He obviously wasn’t in the ad game but had the social media game down pat. David Bowie sent him a tweet.

I was exiting the plane onto a very hot ramp flanked by a series of posters promoting a Global bank brand. Their campaign was predicting the future.

I hope they get it right this time. Their last misstep certainly contributed to the Great Recession.

I thought it was an ironic theme when banks have ruined the future for many or the belief in a future for others but I was impressed by the campaign.

The campaign was very smart because of the strategy.

The execution was weak on some points but then again I am sure they had a committee room of clients wanting to play copywriter and art director as if it was easy and the agency salvaged what they could.

The series concluded with a last panel with a man in a suit. The copy said that in the future all selling will be social.

The problem is that social selling takes time and patience and time is the last thing agencies build into their New Business timelines.

If you are a New Business person you will generally be greeted with frowns and forehead wrinkles if you start repeating “things take time” in the Monday morning sales meetings. Not a good career move.

Time and social doesn’t consolidate with New Business agency objectives and revenue forecasts.

“You can take as much time as you like as long as your achieve your New Business quota” is the echo I have heard in my life.

The other New Business challenge for agencies in the Digital world is that they have to have digital game just like Chris Hadfield. This means more than a website and an anemic presence on social media.

Agencies also need to strive to have more relevance with their digital content. Hey it’s fun when I see that you are going to have food trucks at your shop but where’s the substance in between that can move my business?

I wrote a blog in the spring of 2012 (wasn’t that a long time ago?) called Are Social Media Experts Empty Suits? Things have changed but not enough for many agencies.

Google your agency’s name or your agency’s principal and then Google Hank Blank. I win. That’s not ego. That’s my craft and yours but you only get credit if you practice what you are trying to sell. I am doing my part.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Watch a Video Called When Is It Time to Fire Your Agency?

I want a New Business Person with a Magical Rolodex.


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