Tag Archive for Global marketing

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)

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

What Is Your Lead Generation Process for New Business?

Believe it or not, most small to midsize agencies have no consistent process for generating online leads.

Business development doesn’t have to be so difficult. With a little forethought and the creation of simple steps and processes, you can create a system that will make it much easier to kick-start your online leads.

Here are 7 ideas to help get you started:

1. Consistently Use Lead Generation Platforms

The battle for new business has moved online.

According to Marketing Sherpa, 80-90% of business to business transactions begin with a search on the web.

Lead Generation
You want to enlarge your agency’s online footprint to have the ability to consistently generate more leads. These are some proven platforms:

  • For over eight years, I’ve prescribed creating a niche blog for agency new business and have helped create over 200 personal blogs for agency principals. A personal blog can provide small to midsize agency owners with a perfect platform to create positioning of authority and appeal to a very specific target audience. It’s like a fishing expedition. You fish for a specific fish with a particular bait, you fish away from the boat (the agency’s website) so you don’t scare off the fish.
  • Repurpose your online content into white papers, eBooks, SlideShare presentations and videos.
  • Create your own training events. Add live webinars, online training courses, offline seminars and workshops to your lead generation tool box as a way to build relationships and buy-in from prospects. You’ll quickly establish value and a positioning of expertise when your first face-to-face meeting is a paid engagement.
  • Use your personal social media accounts to grow your online community of prospects and engage with them online. Most agencies still haven’t tapped into the power of social media for creating new business leads. It is networking on steroids.

2. Create Specific Calls-to-Action

A call to action is an important element for generating inbound leads. Every call to action must immediately answer two primary questions: First, what do you want prospects to do? Second why should they do it? An effective CTA will eliminate the guesswork. A resource that you might find helpful is Hubspot’s 101 Examples of Effective Calls-To-Action.

3. Qualify Your Leads

To begin a successful lead generation program, one of the first steps is to identify and qualify your best prospects.

A business development person without leads is like a fish out of water. Neither can survive very long. Yet …

Only 30% of B2B marketers know the names of decision makers in the companies they are targeting. The RAIN Group

To be successful in new business development, you must first name your prospects. Then it’s important to qualify them. Unqualified prospective client meetings are as bad as no meetings at all. It is a waste of agency time and resources.

4. Try Speaking for New Business

Speaking at events attended by your best prospects will provide you with instant credibility. It’s an excellent tactic for business development, particularly for small to midsize agency owners. Having the opportunity to speak in front of a highly targeted, interested group of prospects is the most effective form of lead generation.

Public speaking is an essential component to my business development program. I have been the keynote speaker for more than 100 events in the U.S., Canada and in the UK, speaking on topics related to leadership, business development, and social media. It’s typical to come away from these meetings with new clients. That’s why my personal marketing is designed to facilitate more opportunities to speak.

5. Eliminate Web Forms to Connect with a Person

Most people don’t like completing online forms. Prospects have no idea who gets their information,  the follow-up or how their info will be used in the future. When a prospect has an interest, it is often short-lived. I encourage my clients to make their contact information directly available to their prospective clients. Remember, you’re not selling widgets! Make it easy for them to reach out to you.

6. Add and Optimize Landing Pages for More Leads

Landing pages are vital to producing inbound leads. According to some studies, over half of landing page visitors leave within 5 seconds. You need to know how to get the most from them. For instance:

  • Using correct targeting and testing methods can increase conversion rates up to 300%.
  • According to the Marketing Sherpa’s Benchmark Report on Landing Page Optimization, only 52% of businesses and agencies that use landing pages test them to find ways to improve responses.
  • You should have only one specific offer for each landing page but 48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.
  • Adding videos on a landing page can increase conversions by up to 86% according to a study by Eye View Digital.
  • You may not realize it but long landing pages have the greater potential to generate significantly more leads, up to 220% more leads than above the fold call-to-action. Email Monks

New business success is dependent on the number of qualified leads. So, the first step toward this objective takes place by developing effective landing pages.

7. Provide Social Proof

As part of my consulting work, I’m asked to review a lot of agency websites from a new business perspective. Recently, I was reviewing the website of a large agency in New York. I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t find a single testimonial from a happy client. A good number of agencies neglect to add this important component to their marketing mix.

Third-party validation is a powerful tool.

63% of consumers indicate that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has reviews and testimonials. – CompUSA and an iPerceptions study

Adding client testimonials and recommendations is one of the easiest ways to empower your lead generation program. Testimonials help to eliminate skepticism, provide credibility and trust.

 

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

5 essential speaking skills every entrepreneur must have

public speaking skills

Success in business is not solely about having excellent business ideas or a good product to sell. These things don’t guarantee success. Long-term success depends on several other core skills. As an entrepreneur you must learn to masters most of them. Speaking in public for instance, is a trait you can’t overlook. Every business owner must know how to entice an audience. Here are 5 essential guidelines to help you master the art of public speaking.

  1. Time management skills

Every entrepreneur should have sound time management skills when speaking in front of an audience. For instance, if you have to talk to employees about a certain issue in the office, you are advised to be brief and concise. Don’t take be shallow when delivering a speech, but don’t get in too much detail either. Focus on the issue and seek for solutions. Ask for help from employees and look for a way to reach common ground. Time is of the essence, and if you’ve decided to talk to them during working hours, do it fast. Workers hate it when superiors take time from their schedules because this usually means they have to stay late to finish their tasks.

  1. Decisiveness

When speaking in front of an audience you must showcase thoughtfulness and decisiveness. Nobody will want to know what you have to say if you’re uncertain or unsure of what you’re trying to say. This skill is fundamental and it has to be mastered. Entrepreneurs deal with suppliers and investors all the time. They’re often compelled to make decisions fast otherwise their opponent may lose interest. Do you have what it takes to speak your mind and ask for what you want?

  1. Negotiation skills

There’s no way an entrepreneur can avoid speaking in public. This job usually entails a variety of additional responsibilities. You will have to deal with employees, investors, suppliers and vendors, so you can’t afford to lose your temper or worse, become nervous when it comes to making a decision. Negotiation skills are extremely important in the business environment. Speaking to 20 potential investors is not easy; you have to find a way to send a message and thus sell them your business. If you can’t grab their attention or bargain for a better deal, they won’t even listen to what you have to say.

Speaking skills- Comvort

  1. Confidence

Speaking in public is all about feeling confident. The better you feel on stage (or in front of a group of people) the higher chances you have to win them over. Believe what you’re trying to say and showcase dedication. Put passion in every single word and your audience will want to hear more. A lot of entrepreneurs are not confident because they don’t feel powerful enough. Truth be told, there’s nothing to be afraid of. You are the owner, so people will have to listen to you. But for that to happen you must exude poise and charisma.

  1. Appealing posture

Posture and body language matter a lot in business. You cannot afford to look sloppy as people won’t respect you. Good posture, calmness and determination are traits that will make you the best entrepreneur. Don’t let anyone sense your anxiety and use mimics and gestures to keep an audience engaged. A good public presentation is based on information; although you don’t want to make it seem too technical. It’s quite alright to loosen up the ambiance a bit, and add a bit of humor to wake up those that have fallen asleep. Don’t cross your hands, don’t raise your voice, and don’t be shy in talking to the people. Address them questions and make them part of the speech; this adds value to your presentation and it makes it a lot more original.

 

Too many entrepreneurs fail to make their businesses thrive because they lack essential speaking skills. They don’t communicate with their people, and this decreases engagement in the office. When people don’t feel appreciated by their superiors, it is impossible to work in harmony and be productive. But if you learn to master the art of speaking in front of an audience, then it will be a lot easier for you to communicate with employees and grab their attention.

 

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