Tag Archive for Communication

8 Tips That Will Make Ad Agency New Business Easier

Professional Guest post by Michael Gass, Business Development Consultant | Speaker |Author of Fuel Lines

Learn how to accelerate your agency’s positioning, inbound lead generation, network and referral business.

Since 2007, I’ve conducted over 200 new business workshops for agencies in North and South America and Europe. No matter what country, I find there are some common problems when it comes to business development that makes it harder than it needs to be.

Here are some practical tips I hope you find helpful to make new business easier:

  1. Personalize your agency.

For small to midsize agencies, the agency owner is a key component for new business. The agency owner should be the face of the agency. Why? New business isn’t built on ‘brick and mortar’, it’s built upon relationships. People want to work with other people that they know, trust and like. Using your personal social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and even Pinterest, can become effective networking tools. You can engage with dozens of prospects daily without having to rely upon interruption type tactics.

  1. Identify your best prospects.

This has been a major challenge, particularly for small to midsize agencies. This inability to clearly define their target audience has many agencies floundering when it comes to developing a lead generation pipeline and a consistent new business program. A considerable amount of time and effort is wasted chasing the wrong type of accounts. Learning when to say no is an important component to a successful new business program.

  1. Look for the decision makers, not just the companies.

To make the best use of social media marketing for agency new business, you should be mining the executives of the C-Suite, not their companies. Do the research to identify who they are, where they are online and begin to follow and engage with them personally by using your personal social media accounts.

  1. Create a differentiated positioning. 

Positioning is the foundation of any agency’s new business program. Without a differentiated position, ad agency new business is much harder than it needs to be. This is an area that the majority of agencies have not addressed because of procrastination or, more likely, their unwillingness to make the difficult business decisions. But, contrary to common belief, all agencies have pretty much the same basic capabilities, and processes. I know how difficult agency positioning can be but, I also know that a lack of positioning creates even more hardships.

Creating the right positioning is a lot like fishing. A successful fisherman fishes for a specific fish, using a specific bait. He knows where to find the fish and uses the best fishing tackle. He has also developed the expertise to land the real ly big trophies.

You can use social media to test and refine your positioning by “fishing away from the boat” and apart from your agency’s branded website. You can do this through a “niche blog” that lives offsite. It can become a gateway for new business to a much narrower target group than you have ever imagined. The narrower the focus, the faster you can build awareness and appeal to a specific target group.

  1. Shift from outbound tactics to inbound.

Inbound marketing techniques are rapidly becoming more important for agency new business. Over the past six years, I’ve seen a steady progression of agencies embracing social media as part of their new business program. This is primarily because of the way their prospective clients are now researching for their prospective agency partner. Traditional “outbound marketing” methods, such as cold calling, direct mail and email blasts, are becoming less and less effective.

My epiphany for a paradigm shift from outbound to inbound came in January of 2008. I was reading a CMO Study that stated, 80% of decision makers surveyed found their vendors, not the other way around. That stat impressed upon me the shifting importance from chasing new business to “getting found” by your target audience.

  1. Create a written marketing plan.

After you have defined your target audience and point of differentiation, you need to turn that into an executable strategy. It still amazes me that most advertising agencies do not have a written marketing plan.  I find this amazing. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, you wont’ achieve what you want.

Having a plan makes new business easier and much more consistent with a plan, you have a program that only gets better with time because it is measurable . This allows you to refine and improve it.

 

  1. Hire a new business director/manager.

Someone needs to oversee your agency’s new business program. This person is like the ‘rudder of a ship’ who should keep everyone focused on new business, even when the agency is at its’ busiest. This person is responsible for executing your new business plan.  I’ve learned through experience, “if everyone” is responsible for your agency’s new business, in actuality, no one is. This doesn’t mean that others, particularly agency principals, aren’t involved in the process.

There’s an old saying that cobbler’s children have no shoes. It refers to the fact that a busy cobbler will be so busy making shoes for his customers, he has no time to make some for his own children. Agency’s are their own worst clients because the majority of their focus is servicing clients. A new business director or manager can help alleviate this problem. Their total focus should be on the agency’s business development. It isn’t a billable position, but it’s one of the most important positions within the agency.

  1. Use PR to create awareness and interest.

No other marketing tool replicates what PR can do when it comes to building trust with important audiences. PR greatly enhances your agency’s credibility. Strategic use of public relations can help small and midsized agencies level the playing field with larger competitors. Can you think of a better advantage over your competitors than being positioned by a credible third-party source as a leading expert in your field?

PR helps make your agency “discoverable” through local, regional, national or international consumer media coverage; niche industry trade publications, websites and blogs your prospects read.

If your agency is too busy to execute its own PR strategy, then hire a PR firm to do it for you. Wouldn’t it be fun to be the client for a change? It’s worth the cost to have a consistent PR effort.

 

Post by Michael Gass, Business Development Consultant | Speaker |Author of Fuel Lines

 

E-mail marketing optimization hacks

Although there are many marketing channels at your disposal, email is arguably the most powerful strategy for both B2B and B2C advertisers. This cost-effective solution enables you to reach potential customers in the place they visit every day – their inbox.

However, it’s not enough to just send emails from time to time. Your potential customers receive dozens of emails per day but open only a small part of them and engage with even fewer.

That being said, it’s more than evident that it’s time to start optimizing your email marketing campaign to get the most out of it.

The team behind 99firms.com created the infographic below to provide you with the most efficient hacks, supported by case studies.

 

Email Marketing Optimization Hacks & Case Studies (Infographic)

Mobile marketing

Among the vast array of technologies that have changed the way companies handle marketing, one of the most prominent innovations are smartphones. Just think about how often you check your smartphone everyday.

Mobile marketing is a multi-channel strategy which includes a wide range of activities that connect advertisers to a broader customer base through mobile devices and networks.

This is excellent for marketers since it increases the value of the advertising that gets through.

When done right, this type of marketing provides customers with personalized information so they can get what they need exactly when they need it.  Basically, it is a win-win!

Being early adopters of this marketing trend gave many renewed brands a tremendous advantage over their competitors.

Below, an infographic created by App Geeks about the advantages of  using mobile marketing.

Source:  appgeeks.org

 

104 Facts You Don’t Know About Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing currently represents one of the newest forms of digital marketing present on the market. For those who do not know, it provides customers with personalised information, promoting services, goods and ideas. The technique has been regarded as any marketing activity that is conducted through a network that mobile users are constantly connected to.

Some of the main benefits associated with mobile marketing include the possibility to send location and time-sensitive pieces of information, via a wide variety of channels, including push notifications, app-based marketing, QR codes, SMS, MMS, Bluetooth, in-game mobile advertising, voice email and even through automated calls. As we live in the era of smartphones, mobile marketing carried out via push notifications is essential to promoting services, establishing brand loyalty, encouraging people to purchase products or services, but also making sure that existing customers return to buy more.

In this particular infographic compiled by the team behind Website Builder, you will be able to find 104 interesting facts that you don’t know about mobile marketing, including desktop vs. mobile comparisons, niches that work best, great mobile marketing techniques, but also usage, user friendliness, adoption, commerce, search and conversion stats.

mobile-marketing-final-with-logo

Professional Guest post by Website Builder WebsiteBuilder.org

Women in leadership – what makes public speaking so important to them?

Believe it or not, speaking in public is a national fear most people in business have. Research has proven that women in particular deal with very large obstacles. Even though many women have strong personalities, they cannot develop a “voice” thus are unable to express them through public speaking. Girls lose their capacity to speak up in early adolescence. If that ability is not nurtured on time, they eventually become afraid of standing out and they remain silent.

women Comvort Blog

Speaking in public while relating to others

Speaking in public is not just about speaking in front of people. It’s also about speaking while relating to them. Everyone can stand on a podium and hold a speech; but how many can do that while engaging those in the audience? Public presentations additionally involve communicating with employees, customers, clients and investors, as well as answering challenging questions from colleagues and superiors.

A lot of women find it difficult to convey ideas on the phone or in front of a large group of people. Inspiring and influencing people’s perception is tough because it involves speaking with authority and credibility. Fortunately, there are ways women can do that. All they have to do is take a risk and make themselves visible.

Establishing relationships

Speaking in public is an ability that can only be mastered with practice. Women must learn to speak in front of an audience if they want to thrive in the business environment. A detailed, accurate presentation can open a lot of doors for them. It can help them build strong relationships with their listeners. Confidence and authenticity are paramount when giving speeches. Whether you’re talking to employees or you’re getting ready to close a deal with an investor, it is important to believe in your strengths. You can do it providing that you can find the courage to showcase your expertise through words and body language.

Communicate, connect and inspire

In order to become an experienced leader you have to learn to communicate, connect and inspire. Speaking in public is a vital aptitude in business. One cannot thrive without it; self-awareness, people skills, self-management and social awareness are traits a leader must possess in order to help his/her companies succeed. Unlike men, women are a lot more sensitive. They’re sentimental and they often take things too personal. However, with proper training they can learn to express themselves and not let their emotions take over their judgment.

Voice Comvort blog public speaking

Control your voice

Women should learn to control their tone of voice when holding presentations. They should stay away from sentences that seem like questions. Raising your voice at the end of a phrase creates confusion. That’s why you should listen to yourself speak first. Do that in private in front of the mirror, or better yet, record yourself speak. It will be easier for you to spot errors, not to mention that if you like what you hear your level of confidence will automatically increase too. Statements should sound like statements, so lower your tone and keep things casual.

Find your style

Women in leadership shouldn’t let themselves intimidated by their male counterparts. In order to feel confident while speaking in public, you have to find your style. Learn to feel comfortable on stage. Some people like to speak standing up, others prefer to sit down or move around holding a pen in their hands (or any other object). What makes you feel relaxed when you’re on stage or talking to a group of people? After you’ve made a decision you should begin focusing on perfecting your style.

Use your “womanly” traits to keep the audience engaged. Show compassion, altruism, and empathy. Don’t be afraid of letting people see the real you. Just because you’re a successful business woman it doesn’t mean you have to emphasize on your “bossy” attitude. Men usually do that; they always want to appear superior, and that’s usually because underneath they have serious insecurities they don’t want to deal with.

Speaking in public is paramount in business, and every successful business woman knows that. The more people you can move with your words and presence the better chances you have to take your company to new heights. Don’t let anyone intimidate you and use your “womanly powers” to draw attention. It will all be worth it in the end!

Professional Guest Post by Denny Averill (LondonSpeakerBureau.com!)