Tag Archive for growing trend

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

 

Negotiation tips for women – how to tackle negative feedback

Nobody likes to receive negative feedback and be judged for every little mistake they make; unfortunately, it’s a fact of life we can’t do anything about. Every now and then, we get constructive criticism from the people around us. This form of feedback is meant to improve our abilities, our skills and our perceptions. Experts agree that women get more negative feedback at the workplace than men. Why is this happening? Probably because a couple of centuries ago the work space was not meant for a woman, and whether we like it or not, some business fields are still made of 80% men and 20% women.

Negotiation tips for women

Ironically, women are not that sensitive after all. Some are tougher than men; and since modern society believes in equal rights between men and women, it’s now easier than ever to tackle negative feedback through negotiations. As long as women have the nerve to fight back, their negotiations techniques can help them ward off bad evaluations. Determination is everything you need to make yourself noticed.

Maintain control

Do yourself a favor and don’t start to cry at the office. Rather than make others pity you, it’s best to accept whatever they said and move on. Maintain a professional attitude – that will hurt them more than if you had burst into tears. Unlike men, women struggle to control their emotions. Although negative feedback can hurt, you have to be tough. In some circumstances, your boss might want to test your strengths to see how much you can take. If you get upset or defensive, the whole situation might worsen.

Every meeting should be seen as an opportunity to learn, and if your boss or supervisor is criticizing you, maybe you should revise your attitude. It’s really important to take notes when someone gives negative feedback. Accept whatever they have to say with dignity and don’t show any signs of weakness.

Negotiation tips for women

Why did you get negative feedback?

If your boss is giving negative feedback, it’s probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever’s necessary to fix it. There’s no shame in messing up, so just because you’re the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn’t mean you’re responsible for everything. Speak up and don’t let anyone assume you’ll start to cry. “What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I’m better than this”.It’s really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that’s fine. Embrace it and move on.

Prove that you’re valuable

Although it’s not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it’s not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you’re most committed person he’ll ever meet. “I’m going to work harder to prove you wrong”, “I’m driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better”. When a supervisor or manager observes you’re eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Why did you get negative feedback? If your boss is giving negative feedback, it's probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever's necessary to fix it. There's no shame in messing up, so just because you're the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn't mean you're responsible for everything. Speak up and don't let anyone assume you'll start to cry. "What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I'm better than this".It's really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that's fine. Embrace it and move on.  Prove that you're valuable Although it's not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it's not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you're most committed person he'll ever meet. "I'm going to work harder to prove you wrong", "I'm driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better". When a supervisor or manager observes you're eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Negative feedback can lead to success

It’s never easy to receive negative feedback, regardless of your career stage. Both men and women get upset and defensive when someone criticizes their work. Surprisingly, negative feedback is a great opportunity for you to learn, grow and surpass your boundaries. An employee who can take bad feedback with pride will probably become an excellent leader someday. It’s important to take risks if you want to succeed; he who has never taken a risk in his life can’t move forward because he can’t move pass his mistakes.

Usually, when a manager gives negative feedback, it’s because he cares. He sees something in you that you can’t. Young employees take bad feedback negatively; women in particular, often feel attacked and insulted. It’s wrong to assume that your boss has something personal with you. Rather than complain, did you ever think to negotiate? Bargain for what you believe in, let your boss know you’re the best and that his negative feedback will help you grow and make a name for yourself.

Comvort Professional post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Top 5 Communications and Productivity Apps From 2012

Biography

Richard McMunn is the director and founder of www.how2become.com; a career and recruitment specialist. Richard has written a number of books and helped numerous applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes.

Top 5 smarthphone apps

There is no doubt that 2012 was a huge year for smart phones. We saw the iPhone 5, Galaxy S 3, and the Windows Phone 8 arrive on the scene. Yet, in the end it is the apps that really count and 2012 did not disappoint. There are new killer apps that save business users time, and money, while supercharging communications and productivity. The best part is the apps that aren’t free are available super cheaply. It is easy to look at longtime mainstream apps and put them into the top 5, like Evernote. While this is a great app this article focuses on 5 top notch apps that are perhaps lesser known, but deserve greater recognition. In other words, these are top apps that are must haves and you should embrace them if you are a Smart Phone business user.

The first Smart phone app we’ll look at is called CallFlakes, and it is for the Android operating system. The app is available for free, and is supported by ads. CallFlakes does all the things you might typically do after a business phone call has ended. For example, the app offers six useful follow-up options, such as text, reminder, email, meeting, share, and call. The app even offers a Google search option in the event you need to look something up fast. CallFlakes is a must have for all business users, and one tap gets the ball rolling.

Another great little app is Glyder for the iPhone. In the current down economy effective marketing is the key to being successful in business. Glyder easily allows you to create and then distribute a cornucopia of marketing messages, such as daily deals, coupons, and thank you notes. Once you have created your marketing message you can easily send them via email, Facebook, or via text message.
Unfortunately, the iPhone does not allow business users to create email groups. If you are a sales manager it is absolutely vital that you be able to communicate with your team, fast. This is where the MailShot app has you covered. This app allows you to build email distribution lists fast and effortlessly. You simply create your group and the app saves it directly to the phone’s address book. MailShot pro only costs a few pounds, and allows you to create 100 groups and send to 100 recipients.
The Maluuba Android app is your Siri Alternative, and while it looks like a Windows app, it is not. Maluuba is a voice powered app that helps schedule appointments, can check the weather, and can even find the nearest FedEx drop off box. This robust app will have you accomplishing more tasks in less time.
The last app is called WorkFlowy for the iPhone. This little gem is nothing more than a simple outliner. Yet it is the simplicity of the app that makes it so powerful. How? WorkFlowy allows you to organise your thoughts fast and be more productive on the go.
In the end, business users are busier than ever and have come to rely on their Smart Phones to be more productive. Yet, it is the apps you use on your phone that can make or break success. The apps listed offer something for everyone. Give them a try, you communicate better and can be more productive than you ever thought possible.

 

SMARTPHONE SMART MARKETING!

There are currently 5.3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. The mobile revolution is spreading at an unstoppable rate, and mobile marketing is a rapidly growing trend on a global level and provides many of our clients with new opportunities to connect with their customers.

In fact, half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices and consumers are twice as likely to purchase from retailers that have mobile-specific websites.

So, for businesses wanting to make the transition, we have listed 4 key points in Mobile Marketing:

  1. Browser-based Mobile Applications For many companies contemplating the development of mobile applications, often their toughest decision is the choice of platform: Android, Apple, BlackBerry, Palm or Windows. To avoid multiple platform development costs, frequently browser-based mobile applications are chosen, as they are not solely dependent on any external platform.
  2. Mobile Coupons Mobile coupons are an effective way of attracting customers’ attention: (a) at the point of sale, and (b) with a specific offer.
  1. Mobile Online Shopping Consumers use their smartphones to locate products and services from companies, and then purchase them directly. The so-called m-commerce is one of the great growth engines of Online Shopping.
  1. Near Field Communication (NFC) NFC technology allows mobile devices with this system to share data with other NFC devices nearby. This is especially useful for making payments directly from smartphones.

For a quick overview and some interesting statistics on Smartphone Users, please watch “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Consumers”