Flash Report – April 4, 2003
This BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT information is for agencyfinder.com Certified Agencies, Agency New Business Executives and agency subscribers. We communicate with registered member-agencies using e-mail.
1. New Business & The War – Mutually Exclusive?
2. One Last Gasp for ROAI
3. Almost Smart, Nice & Fine (work)
4. First Quarter Internet Traffic
5. They Left The Lights On
I say that with some hesitation. Depending on the latest Centcom briefings from abroad, the day can be good or not so good, depending on how you see things. It is clear that our advertising economy is literally “hanging” on words of war. I don’t remember that it was at all like this when we went into Afghanistan. Imagine textbook content in the years to come, analyzing and accessing our economy from 9/11 forward.
In the meantime…
NEW BUSINESS & THE WAR – MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?
Many agencies question whether it’s possible to do new business, to actually get new clients while the war is on. All the sensory feeds tell us people are alternating between “business as usual” and reports from the front. And that’s not just at home. How many times did YOU check the NYTimes website today? The networks are getting slammed by CNN and Fox, but at the same time, everyone is engaged in name- calling as it relates to journalistic objectiveness. The press is alive with talk about clients and agencies strategizing the placing and pulling of ads. Enough already!
As long-time agency new business consultants (ad & pr), we can tell you that staying the course (as in hanging on to what you’ve got) will not necessarily keep you whole. You might argue that if your clients will just continue as they have been, you can adjust to “make ends meet.” Problem is that those clients are also looking for ways to “stay the course.” So they might elect to cut spending, and if all your clients do just a little of that, you’ll have to cut again yourself. And if you think you’re alone in seeing things dry up, your clients can set you straight!
If you’re relatively new to agency new business, maybe the expression “new business is the lifeblood of an agency” is NEW to you. But it’s a refrain that repeats year after year, in new business conferences nation- wide. Back in the early and mid 90’s, ADWEEK Magazine and Sanders Consulting Group produced scores of seminars coast-to-coast, teaching agencies the basics of new business development. There were some other famous new business educators – Tony Mikes and his folks at Second Wind; then our sister company Sales Marketing Institute, Ltd. tutored and consulted to many. But these seminars and consulting engagements were reduced in numbers as times got better and agencies were lulled into the belief that the “good times” would last forever. If only that had been true.
Please accept this as fact – agencies that want to survive need to practice pro-active new business development at ALL times. That means you need an outreach effort that encompasses some form of prospect database, some regular outreach effort (mailings, telephone calls, public speaking, etc.), plus outside training so you know what to do and how to conduct yourself when you get the chance to “pitch.”
You also need what Sanders called “Bluebirds.” Bluebirds are those unexplained, inexplicable inbound calls and client invitations you can’t directly
trace to your outreach efforts, but do seem to come as a result of the general flurry and new business energy. Those bluebirds come from agencyfinder.com. While you’re chasing “yours,” we’re chasing “ours” so they can become “yours.” ‘Nuff said.
ONE LAST GASP FOR ROAI
In last month’s Flash Report, we introduced the fact that we want to help address the question of ROAI and find some answers. We’re adding fields to our database that you’ll use to define how your agency confronts the issue of ROAI (Return on Advertising Investment). For that, we’d like your input and this is our “last gasp” request.
We don’t need your details now, (meaning you’ll have your chance for data input after we update the database) but we would like your input to identify labels for the fields and essays we should add. For instance, in our agency data section entitled Services Offered – what can we include to help YOU describe those services you use or bring to the table? Maybe you just call it “ROAI Measurement” – that works. Maybe you look for and measure an increase in sales. Rather than sales, maybe you measure inquiries. What or how have you “labeled” that? This is new and controversial territory – give us your input now so we can help. We’ll be adding one general Essay entitled ROAI Measurement, but if you have something else, let us know. You’ll see an announcement when we’re ready for your updated data. Take a moment NOW to write. Thanks!
To contribute your thoughts – Select Reply to Sender and insert your thoughts HERE.
ALMOST SMART, NICE & FINE (WORK) ET AL
We broke a slow but wide grin when this agency made application. The folks at Smart, Nice & Feinwork in Newburyport, MA (principals Julie Martin, Joan Seamster & Shiela Beninati come from diverse backgrounds and rather impressive Big-Boy agencies, but the name does bring a smile.
In their words – “OUR NAME SAYS IT ALL…and what clients deserve in an agency relationship. A team of smart, nice, experienced marketers that produce effective, “fein” work. ”
We’ve even got another – Ready, Willing & Abels in Denver, Colorado. Here’s what they have to say about themselves – “Over the years, we have been responsible for hundreds of advertising campaigns and absolutely love being in the advertising business. But you know the saying “all work and no play…” So outside the office, we’re passionate
about: hanging with our families and friends, skiing fresh powder, reeling in fish, making par, biking with a tail wind, hiking downhill, reading anything, traveling anywhere, listening to everything from Miles to Cowboy Mouth, lazing on a beach, or gazing at art.”
In both cases, these profound outpourings are found in the “essays” section where clients get a feeling for the potential of good chemistry.
Some agency names make them sound like law firms, but Feinwork or Ready seems more appropriate than Yellow Pirates, Heptagon or The Integrators.
FIRST QUARTER INTERNET TRAFFIC
Our site traffic is something of an investment tool. Right now in particular, the ebb and flow is directly linked to the war and stock market. We regard visits as our prime indicator, and that’s what our statistics are based on.
January this year was running 63% of last January; February at 76%; and March at 105%. Overall for the current quarter, the total is running at 80% of this time last year. Our rude, crude figuring suggests that agency searches and the economy go fairly well hand-in-hand. HEY LEFT THE LIGHTS ON
We managed two client searches on the west coast recently; San Francisco area specifically. It’s too much to expect that an agency that closes will notify everyone, but we’re often the last to know, and we generally learn when they don’t answer their phone, fax or e-mail. In these cases, the attrition rate was tremendous. San Fran has been hard hit by the recession (dot com specific), but we’re seeing the same thing throughout the country. A new agency registration is often offset by the demise or merger of others.
We only hope that the new business opportunities from agencyfinder.com can help you stay ahead of that curve.
Thanks for taking time to read this; we look forward to getting you face-to-face with a great prospect.
Charles G. Meyst, Chairman/CEO
Business Partnering International, Ltd.
Vantage Place, 4327 Cox Road
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060 USA