How Agencies Can Move Up the Food Chain?


Things have rapidly improved for most advertising agencies especially if they have a strong digital game or are a digital firm. You no longer have to chase every sniff of potential income.  Thank God.

With these improvements have come the discovery or confirmation of one of advertising’s greatest operating tenets. It costs almost as much to service a smaller account as a larger one. And since many clients with smaller budgets aren’t really the best marketers, you get other headaches.

They often don’t really understand all the pieces and stages of the digital process so there are too many revisions and changes etc. You get the drift. You have lived this before and remember the frustrations.

So how do you catch bigger fish? Well you have to go where they go to start and this is Conferences.

Now it doesn’t take much work to find out which are the best Conferences to attend. Here is a list of them. Attending Conferences requires a financial investment. The Conference costs money to register. The costs can easily be $2,000 to $3,000 a Conference. You also have travel costs and will be forced to pay big city hotel room prices even with the discount code. You have to invest because you don’t catch big fish in a row boat unless you are Hemingway.

Many agencies have a hard time writing checks to market themselves. It is much easier to waste their employees’ time.

Speaking at Conferences is also an excellent way to land big fish but you have to have some thought leadership in order to speak, which means you had to invest in blogging, writing or leveraging your expertise in another fashion. That investment in thought leadership and having some speaking game requires the commitment of your time, that is if you want your voice to be authentic. Hard for some agency folks.

Let me ask you a simple question? When is the last time you spoke to the local AMA, AAF, PRSA or IABC Chapter in your town? Never isn’t a good answer.

I work for a digital development firm in Buenos Aires because I once spoke to the Cleveland Ad Club. Not exactly linear. That’s another story called How Long Does it Take for the Penny to Drop in the New Normal.

The other way for any agencies to move up the food chain is through your reputation. Now reputation isn’t a New Business tactic. It is a way you live your life and career. We all know the Agency Leaders in our town who are really prominent and seem to know all the right people. In the New Normal, you don’t get that on the golf course because golf takes too much time.

These are the agency leaders that walk a different way. They often have a reputation for having social currency in addition to business success. So how many Marketing folks have you helped in the past year? How many marketers who may be frustrated with their careers or in transition have you seen? How many of their kids have you helped? Graduating into the New Normal poses many challenges these days. If your client does a reorg and some people hit the transition beach do you see them the following week to help them align?

These are the leaders that give up their most precious resource.  Their time.

You have to earn the reputation of being somebody who folks will seek out. You don’t have to promote it because your actions will build your word of mouth.

You see in the New Normal to Catch Big Fish you have to act like a Big Fish.

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Watch a Video called What Makes a Great AE?

I want a New Business Person with a Magical Rolodex.

Read What Do Young Agency People Want?


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