Flash Report – May 11, 2005
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. $750,000 to $ 1 Million – Talk About Pay-to-Play!
2. Those Clever, Clandestine Stealth Reporters
3. Visit Our Offices; We Wish You Were Here
4. Death to the RFP – Please!
5. Contest – You Can Win!
$750,000 to $1 Million – TALK ABOUT PAY-TO-PLAY!
April 22, 2005. There it was in the press – ARMY CANCELS LONG-RUNNING AD REVIEW. It was summarily reported that six agencies that had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pitch the U.S. Army government account were advised that the Army canceled the long-running review. Since that report, the Army has asked contenders to “start over.”
By my calculations, that hundreds of thousands might be $200,000 / 6 or $33,333.00 invested per agency. In an updated story April 25th, a competing publication ran the line, “Sources say agencies spent from $750,000 to just over $1 million on this pitch, and nobody anticipates being reimbursed.” That might move the investment to $166,666.00 each!
It’s an interesting juxtaposition, since the first-mentioned publication recently reported on our less public and certainly less coveted $20 million agency review in their piece entitled: “Want in The Review? Pay Up!” Neither publication addressed what criteria would warrant an agency’s financial speculation and investment of those magnitudes – other than a staggering client budget! Experience suggests that each agency must make that choice for themselves. The publicity acknowledges that every agency, depending on the circumstance, makes a financial investment every time they pursue new business. On an interesting side note, it was rumored that one west coast agency declined to participate, citing workload issues associated with their involvement in a Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes.THOSE CLEVER, CLANDESTINE STEALTH REPORTERS
Back to the press. May 4, 2005. Byline San Francisco, a most persistent industry reporter breaks the story that WellPoint Inc., the nations largest insurance company, has begun a review, and speaks of an anticipated $70 Million account. She goes on – WellPoint, headquartered in Indianapolis; search managed by a named search consultant, yet neither client nor consultant “returned calls by deadline.” Seems no one wants to talk.
One big issue on every client’s mind that speaks with us is “confidentiality.” To paraphrase them:
1. Why would any client in their right mind go public on a review of this magnitude?
2. Why would any consultant do the same?
3. Who might have broken this story to the press?
4. Why would a west coast reporter be the one to flesh out the story on a Midwest client (and from whom)?
5. Why would any invited agency leak this so that “more” agencies would know about the review?
6. How might an invited but declining agency collect “brownie points” with the press for tattling?
VISIT OUR OFFICES; WE WISH YOU WERE HERE
We’re pleased to see an increase in the number of agencies coming to visit us here in Glen Allen, a suburb of Richmond, VA. The get-togethers are educational and enjoyable, and we appreciate advance notice. Caution however – if your agency information (attributes, essays, case histories, client list) is not in our database and not up-to-date, then hand-shaking, show & tell, and lavish gift-giving won’t make a critical difference. Seriously, clients must be able to find you when they search on-line. We can only help feather-your-nest after-the-fact.
When you visit, we’ll proudly show you “behind-the-scenes.” You’ll literally see drawers and drawers of in-process client searches. And it happens each time – a light bulb “lights up” when folks see what our staff does and what we have access to on this end. I wish you all could see; we wouldn’t have to explain so often. If and when you’re planning to be in the neighborhood, do make a point to visit.DEATH TO THE RFP – PLEASE!
In many situations, clients registering with us explain they’ve been building an RFP. They know the acronym and that it stands for Request for Proposal. Then we look them over (with thought to incorporating into our invitations). We have yet to see one that doesn’t ask for redundant or irrelevant agency information, or for privileged information that would shock them if you were to ask the same of them.
But in their minds, they are expecting each agency to propose and “price” in such a way that they can do an apples-and-apples contrast and compare. We have yet to see anything that comes close.
Here’s what we do suggest, and it works. For final presentations, most clients want three presenters. We discourage spec creative, but do encourage broad strategic presentations with limited tactical components. The client should advise each agency in advance, that on that day of presentation and at the conclusion, they also want to receive an invoice for the presentation itself – with detail reflecting what the presentation would have cost the client had the agency already been on-board. When the client is struggling to select between three often outstanding presentations, the “invoice” helps the evaluation.
Beyond that, we promise to do what we can to eradicate the very name, the very concept from our industry. We do guide them to the enlightened RFI or Request for Information. We explain agencyfinder.com is just that – a repository of agency information in a standard, easy to read and comprehend format designed precisely for that purpose.
If what a client wants to know isn’t in your record, we’ll ask you for that in our invitation. Make sense?
CONTEST – YOU CAN WIN!
Here’s the deal – you can win a year’s (12 months) Directors Club or Referral Network with all fees “paid” (or a year’s extension if you’re already paid) if you’re the first to e-mail and tell me (all of the following):
1. There’s something new and “improved” here at agencyfinder.com. What is it?
2. How many times has your agency been a preliminary candidate in client searches?
3. When did we start counting those preliminary searches for your agency?
4. How many searches have taken place here since we began?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, VA 23060