Why Agencies Don’t Have A Clue About New Business.


Successful agencies that I’ve met, and I’ve met many all over the country, really know how to get New Business.

They are focused and determined so nothing will get in their way.

Just like a Marathon runner, they know that you have to focus on your investment of time and the finish line which can seem many foot steps away.

I get emails from strangers at agencies all the time.

They tell me they would appreciate it if I could refer them to any of my contacts who might be looking for marketing and advertising help.

Let me stop what I am doing to make money in my life.

After all I have just known you for a minute.

Not going to happen. Continue reading


The Secrets of Hiring Great Agency Talent.


The world has changed but a lot of agencies didn’t get the memo.

In the New Normal, this includes advertising, public relations, digital or interactive agencies, content marketing firms, automated marketing firms, lead generation firms, social media agencies, direct marketing firms and probably another ten disciplines that don’t come to mind. This run on sentence alone should convince you that the world has changed.

All agencies, marketing firms and clients are competing for the same talent as marketing becomes more and more digital.

The last time finding talent was this challenging was during the .com boom when anyone who could fog a mirror wanted $80K. Continue reading

How To Succeed As A New Business Person?


So you want to be an agency Rock and Roll star?

Work on New Business. If you win, you will have pats on the back, promotions, and smiles from everyone until it ends.

If you aren’t making it rain then everything changes as fast as a game of Red Light, Green Light.

New Business is a hard road my friends. Van Morrison has a song called Philosopher’s Road where he sings about turning Lead into Gold.

That pretty much summarizes what New Business is all about.  Turning lead into Gold. Simple as that. As difficult as that. Continue reading

Can I Work Remotely?


I don’t work remotely.

I work from my office in my house or on my IPad or my IPhone.

That’s because I don’t have a job. My job is me. It doesn’t matter where I am.

I learned about location when I was a puppy in Canada. Marshall McLuhan predicted a global village and he was right. He studied medieval history.

If you don’t believe the world is a global village watch how Wall Street reacts to financial issues on the other side of the world. It will impact your 401K no matter where you are. Continue reading

Want More New Business? Turn It Down.


Chasing New Business is an interesting game. I know because I have played it a lot. From both the agency side and the agency review side.

I learn a lot from walking down both sides of the street.

Some agencies chase every shadow. “We’d be perfect for (name the client)“, they always say.

Some agencies say they don’t respond to RFP’s and only work with clients who seek them out or through referrals. Nice place to be.

Some agencies never respond to my outreach when I am looking for agencies as a search consultant. Surprising but very true on the majority of reviews I have completed. Continue reading

My Intern is Smarter than Me!


There is no doubt about that. I have used paid interns since the time I started my own business in 2001. I had worked successfully in the corporate world and then I started Blank and Associates. I had business cards quickly but I didn’t know much beyond that on how to create a job every day for myself.

So I went back to where I started. My youth. I had nothing to lose then. And then I connected with youth to help me. I hired my first paid intern. He has been in the workforce for a decade now and I pitched him this week on a project.

I have continued to use paid interns since then. Continue reading

In the New Normal Agency Life is a Game of Jump Ball


I really don’t know much about Basketball having grown up in Canada. I do know quite a bit about Hockey though. I do know that Basketball was invented by a Canadian named James Naismith. Wikipedia said he was a Canadian American, although I don’t think you can get such a passport that would pass with TSA or INS.

I like talking to agency principals. I have written about that in the many times in the past.

I was having some wine with an agency principal from a global agency the other day. Part of a major agency holding company.  He makes more money in a year than I make in 3 years. He hadn’t had a raise in three years. It is all about the bonus baby, if you make the number. That number was created for NYSE but not for the New Normal.

They were lamenting how much the agency business has changed and that even the larger clients are dropping AOR relationships for project work. This reminded me of when I saw the CEO of Razorfish speaking at a New Business Conference a couple of years ago. He said that 50% of his agency’s work was project based.

I remember thinking, how do you manage that when you have to make payroll for 3,000 people? Continue reading