Flash Report @ AgencyFinder – May 2, 2006
This BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT information is for AgencyFinder Certified Agencies, Agency New Business Executives and agency subscribers. Please forward to others in your firm involved in business development. We communicate with registered member agencies using e-mail. The contents of this Flash Report is the opinion of the writer and is not meant to be an infallible source of fact.
1. Surprise, Your Agency Has an Agent
2. Technology Marches On; Man Doesn’t
3. PowerPoint Disasters, Natural and Manmade
4. Free Air Travel Awarded to Food Marketing Institute
5. Client Retains Consultant to Locate Same-City Agencies
6. You Are What You Are – Is It Obvious to The Prospect?
7. Confessions of an Agency; Clients Ask Us Why?
A great philosopher once remarked – “an optimist is one who explains HOW TO using HOW NOT TO examples.” I must be an optimist… you’re invited to comment on this rather philosophical Flash Report.
SURPRISE, YOUR AGENCY HAS AN AGENT
It may come somewhat as a surprise, but in this e-Harmony relationship of ours, we’re your agent! Think of yourself as talent – singer, dancer, model, actor. Then think of us as your agent. When we go to bat for you, (and that’s what our service does every day during each and every client search), you need to be prepared to deliver for us, and for clients.
If and when you’re fortunate to get to “Tom Cruise” agency status, you won’t need an agent, you’ll need a business manager. Business managers don’t sell; their job is saying no to deals.
In a universe of more than 15,000 credentialed agencies, most would appreciate having their own agent. Occasionally, a few of you (those who come to the plate less frequently) seem to overlook this partner bit. Please don’t confuse us as one of them – those client driven, client-compensated consultants who often ask you to stay at arms- length, or not to talk directly with the client. If you don’t like them for some reason, fine. But we’re on your team; we’re your agent, your pal. Periodically it’s not a bad idea to confide in us. Keep us posted, keep us excited about what you are. But if we first met you as a slim, 120 lb dancer and you’ve ballooned to 350 lbs on a 5’4″ frame, you need a new headsheet! If your agency has grown, shrunk, moved, added offices or client categories, you need a new agency headsheet! Please update your data. Garbage in, garbage out. Don’t kill the messenger when we get you an audition for a size 7 assignment and you show up as a size 14!
TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON; MAN DOESN’T
I never thought I’d be old enough to think of industry colleagues as “young,” but I’ve gotten there. What puzzles me is how much they have yet to learn. Then I wonder why they haven’t? I experienced this more than usual the last week or so, and I’ve been sharing my observations with friends and colleagues. They tend to agree. Look at technology and look at computers. They’ve evolved, have they ever. Automobiles have too. Gadgets, all kinds of things, our own homes and appliances, almost anything tangible. We’re quantum-leaps ahead of where we were.
But on the human side, I venture to suggest that if we took a time machine back to the days of Moses and went to the market to meet with marketers, we’d find them discussing the same things, struggling with the same concepts, asking who does what in a
“quid pro quo” relationship and then questioning the ethics of it all, just as we do today. Why don’t humans evolve like technology? I don’t have any answers (yet), but it does make one think… have any theories?
POWERPOINT DISASTERS, NATURAL AND MANMADE
God help the poor presenter! Clients tell us, and I’ve seen it myself, although we’re not necessarily talking about agencies here, where a presenter using PowerPoint will stand center-stage, glaring into the projector beam, then swing around pointing to their 8 x 12 foot image and remark – “I know you can’t read this, but let me tell you what it says…”
This same presenter will undoubtedly dissolve and evolve from image to image where what’s “projected” has little in common with the words being mumbled into the lavaliere mike. Hasn’t anyone explained that an audience can not reconcile two presentations at once.
Then watch out for this one. The event tech says they’ll flip the switch to your presentation laptop, your lavaliere mike and your hand-held remote when your turn comes. Everything is fine until you discover that the wireless mouse transmitter is still on the prior presenter’s laptop. Have a nice day! FREE AIR TRAVEL AWARDED TO FOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE (FMI)
On April 25th, the San Antonio, TX audience of food-industry marketers were introduced to Free Air Travel, a new airline that allows travel anywhere in the system, to any of their destinations without cost. Why free? Because each of the destinations chips in to cover expenses; they want visitors coming to their cities to spend money. Turns out that was a tease. Yours truly then explained: if you need to travel to a new marketing partner (ad agency, pr firm, sales promotion firm) you can actually do so for free on AgencyFinder. Why free? Because the agencies have chipped in to cover your expenses, because they want you coming to them to spend your marketing dollars! Nice crowd, nice people. A very influential organization!
CLIENT RETAINS CONSULTANT TO LOCATE SAME-CITY AGENCIES
A recent AgencyFinder client is headquartered in Austin, TX. They specifically asked for Austin agencies only. I hadn’t been to Austin in years, and suggested they consult the Yellow Pages (thinking it was still a rather small Capital-of-Texas city). We’re not adverse to helping any client, but I wasn’t sure we could do much. Well surprise, surprise –
we had 14 agencies right there in Austin, not just any agencies, but agencies that met his specs. Driving from San Antonio to Dallas last week, I saw first-hand that Austin is no longer a sleepy Texas town.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE – IS IT OBVIOUS TO THE PROSPECT?
I had a great visit to Targetbase, one of our registered agencies in Dallas, TX. For those who might not know, Targetbase is an Omnicom shop specializing in database marketing. What they do, they do well. But they, like so many firms today, are one of those best-kept secrets that clients don’t always know they need, so they aren’t initially looking for them. To address that, they wisely combine a formal outreach and relationship development model with our inbound service.
Their example does raise the question though – if your firm is offering a proprietary service or something not readily apparent to the casual observer, how do you get the attention you need and deserve? After managing almost 7,000 client searches, we’re in a position to observe that most clients do not articulate their needs as well as agencies articulate their capabilities. CONFESSIONS OF AN AGENCY; CLIENTS ASK US WHY?
As a registered agency, you pay an annual fee to be in our database. Clients always search for free, and know that your sponsorship makes that possible. Our fees are published on the website for all to see.
Once in a blue moon, one of our “client” clients will tell us an invited agency spoke with them about their fees. They ask us why an agency would do that? They know each agency is facing certain “investment” decisions to pitch their business. They know there are man-hours, travel, food and lodging, presentation expenses, and they also know there are situations where the agency will hire a consultant to help win the business.
So they ask us – why would an agency choose to single out your fee, as if to ask that we guarantee their selection to justify that small investment? Other than to confuse the client and appear extremely cheap, I don’t know, do you?
Thanks for taking time to read this; as we have since 1997, we look forward to getting you face-to-face with a great prospect. Then & Now – We Built it for You!
Charles G. Meyst, Chairman/CEO
Business Partnering International, Ltd.
Vantage Place, 4327 Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060