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AgencyFinder’s 2015 Growth and Survival Tips for Marketing Firms

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AgencyFinder’s CEO provides 5 tips on expanding business and attaining new clients in 2015.

Richmond, VA (PRWEB) January 20, 2015

Because the coming year poses new business expansion challenges for advertising and PR firms, AgencyFinder, the marketing industry’s largest online search and selection service, has released the top five ways to recruit new clients in 2015.

Soft measurements like “awareness” or other “feel-good” metrics are quickly becoming a thing of the past. New business will come to the agency that understands the “hows” and “whys” behind what they do.

The AgencyFinder.com team looked closely at the primary obstacles faced by the leading marketing and business publications over the past six years, and with the results, were able to identify the top five ways to land new marketing clients in the new year.

  1. Find the right prospect and make sure the right prospect can find you. This means examining how your agency is presented online, and re-evaluating the various “channels” you use to generate leads. AgencyFinder.com’s profile process helps ensure high quality matches with prospects looking precisely for what you have to sell.
  2. Spot new opportunities before they arise. Over the past four years, major brands have reacted to newly evolving consumer segments by diversifying their agency portfolios via assigning new brand extensions (with smaller budgets) to small and medium-sized agencies.
  3. React quickly to opportunities. Whether it’s responding to a request for more information from a prospective customer or evaluating real-time data from a client’s website and responding with a new campaign idea that extends their brand’s message, agencies are expected to react quickly and professionally to opportunities when they occur (whether that falls into a traditional production cycle or not).
  4. Prepare for slow pay from big clients. As procurement departments continue to exert more and more pressure on the agency-client relationship, agencies and PR firms are sure to see more pressure build for greater “accountability” and more bureaucratic red tape when it comes to getting paid on time.
  5. Be accountable for the right things. While some agencies may push back on the client’s desire to hold them more accountable for measurable outcomes (see number 4, above), please note that this is often standard protocol. Soft measurements like “awareness” or other “feel-good” metrics are quickly becoming a thing of the past. New businesses will come to the agency that understands the “hows” and “whys” behind what they do.

AgencyFinder CEO and Chairman, Chuck Meyst comments, “Many of the challenges facing marketers today are also faced by the agencies who want to help them succeed. Every year, industry trade publications and associations come out with their lists of the top challenges marketing professionals face. With a hint of irony, he continues, “And with very few exceptions, the lists are pretty much the same thing they were the year before – with a few new adjectives and hot marketing buzzwords salted in for flavoring, of course.”

The professionals at AgencyFinder.com helped facilitate 191 new agency-client relationships in 2014, proving that these tips lend results. The firm guarantees an objective review of 3,000 international marketing service providers to help locate the right firms to execute new opportunities as they arise. With this online service, agency-client interactions are immediate.

AgencyFinder.com offers face-to-face meetings between marketers and agencies both early on and in final presentations. After the initial credentials review, AgencyFinder works to get clients and agencies together for an on-site agency tour and chemistry check.

“We’ve seen great long-term partnerships develop,” says Meyst. “I think a lot of that has to do with the quality of the matches that result from having both the client and the agency complete and then make evaluations using detailed surveys outlining their requirements and capabilities.”

Visit http://www.agencyfinder.com or http://www.agencyfinder.eu to begin consultation on how gain new clients in 2015

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Breaking News – Baidu and Alibaba Best Yahoo and Twitter for Digital Ad Revenue Yahoo, Microsoft Continue to Cede Share, According to EMarketer Estimates

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog Posts

This caught my eye this morning because it wasn’t long ago (specifically September this year 2014) that we managed the Baidu search for a PR firm in London. The name Baidu wasn’t well known here in the States or even in London for that matter, but they have every intention of becoming a dominant player. Apparently it’s working. It’s also testimony to the vastness yet the precision of Internet search when you consider Baidu found AgencyFinder!

Here’s their on-line press from today:

Here was our announcement in the Search Announcements section:

Client: Baidu Location: Sunnyvale, CA & Shenzhen, China Budget: $TBA for public relations Client-Category: DOT.com, computer software, mobile apps Awarded to: Waggener Edstrom Communications, London

Contenders: eclat Marketing, London; Sagon-Phior/Turnkey, Los Angeles/London; Touchdown, London

Three Remarkable Alternatives to Spec Creative for Agencies in Final Presentations

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog Posts

Here at AgencyFinder, we advise advertisers not to request or encourage “spec creative” in their final presentations. Yet one ad agency’s “spec creative” is another ad agency’s “demonstration.” But in general, spec creative to most means a sample ad or ad campaign that purports to represent an agency’s best thoughts for delivering “positive needle-movement” for the client conducting an advertising agency search and review.

In the next breath, there seems to be agreement that a client deserves to see, in one way, shape or form, that an agency “get’s it!” by demonstrating they will be able to deliver those positive results if hired and compensated to do so.

Here are some alternatives we suggest:

1. The Backward Glance – have the client reflect back (1-2 years) to a specific situation that occurred (marketing challenge) where they have evidence of actual results. In the Presentation Brief, outline that situation in it’s entirety, then assign contending agencies the task of presenting specific solutions, including “spec creative” if they wish. Then compare and contrast those proposals to what actually did happen.

2. The Dissimilar Business – have the client create a brief for a fictitious business situation (but familiar to the client) clearly removed and distant from the client’s actual business. Let the contenders propose to this make-believe situation (with spec if they desire) but doing it this way, the client can witness the problem-solving skills of each agency without triggering agency concern that this creative might be “stolen” without compensation!

3. The Complete Surprise – client gives contending agency folks (no advance notice other than the fact they can bring as many and whoever they wish) a “surprise” on-site assignment and 1 hour (with client present and witnessing) to prepare; then 30 minutes to present. No tools other than flip charts and markers.

In numbers 1 & 2 above, and with advance notice, each agency is asked to prepare a “Presentation Invoice” with details to show time, rates and totals for the presentation as if the agency were already on-board. That gets presented following the formal presentation.

This topic is considerably more involved than this short discussion allows, but if you’d like to chat or help us expand on this, give me a call or drop me an email.

– See more at: http://www.agencyfinder.com/2014/10/three-remarkable-alternatives-to-spec-creative-for-agencies-in-final-presentations/#sthash.ZRrqI1PK.dpuf

The World’s Most Famous New Business Cure for an Ailing Agency of PR Firm

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Allow me to modestly declare that I hold a field-accredited PhD in business development and cut my teeth in agency new business from 1990 – 1994 working from Richmond, Virginia but teaching agencies and pr firms throughout the US.

Much after-the-fact and years later, I learned that we were plugging away in the midst of a recessionary period ourselves, but since the media had not yet pronounced it so, we were essentially oblivious to the fact. I do know (and we taught it as well) that you had to make your own new business, and that was true then and it’s still true now.

We practiced what we preached – we armed ourselves with computers, a database of agency prospects (eventually about 7,000), contact management software (ACT), “send-me-something” mailers, a headset and a whoopee cushion.

Then we started dialing for dollars … Nothing scripted, but I can assure you, the first few sentences were ingrained after a few calls. We were looking for agencies that needed new clients, wanted new clients, were prepared to work to earn new clients, and were willing (even in those times) to investment-spend in themselves.

Some calls were painful. And some agency receptionists were their own worst enemies. Then again, some were absolute delights. Funny, but we could never predict who was coming next, but I can say that if we stopped because we were told no, or someone hung up on us, that was it for the day! So we learned to press on.

We conducted some research back then, and learned that at any given time, about 35% of the client (as in “advertiser” universe) was willing to talk to a new agency about a possible relationship. We assumed those figures applied to agencies as well (as clients), so we knew to press on. We also operated on the ten percent premise; that being that one out of ten in the database would find our offers interesting. So here’s the world’s best, most famous new business “cure” and probably no secret to you; you just wanted to be reminded. Do some mailing (E or other-wise), pick up the phone and call prospects. Many will say no, but if you do the numbers, somewhere between one and three may say yes. Remember, if you’ve had nine “No’s”, your next one is a Yes! Press On! Take control in this economy when and where you can!

– See more at: http://www.agencyfinder.com/2014/10/the-worlds-most-famous-new-business-cure-for-an-ailing-agency-of-pr-firm/#sthash.xYcVlWpr.dpuf

Think it’s time to find a new ad agency or PR firm?

Written by admin on . Posted in Publicity

Richmond, VA (PRWEB) December 04, 2014

Marketing assignments from brands around the world – worth millions (and sometimes billions) of dollars – find new homes with new marketing, advertising and PR firms every week. “Don’t let the pace of account turn-over trick you into thinking the market is growing,” warns AgencyFinder.com’s Chairman and CEO, Chuck Meyst. “In fact, when an economy experiences a slow rebound like ours, account turnover is a sign that marketers are being more creative and thoughtful with regard to whom they entrust their brands and their money.”

“The worst thing a company owner or brand manager could do with their marketing budget is hastily move it from one service provider to another without carefully considering the consequences,” explains Meyst. “We function in a profession where people craft perceptions for a living. A change in agencies can be perceived as a harbinger of change – with new creative, fresh ideas and a bold voice coming soon.”

“As a result, I’ve seen clients get fooled into thinking they have to make a change as a reaction to a competitor’s move. And that can be a disastrous mistake.”

Meyst’s AgencyFinder has been in the business of helping business owners and brand managers identify, contact and engage marketing service providers like full-service advertising agencies and PR firms for nearly twenty years. The company uses a unique blend of personal counseling (usually provided by Meyst, himself) and a rich database of information on over 7,500 marketing service operations with some located in Europe, but most primarily in North America.

AgencyFinder conducted over 180 searches so far in 2014 and predict seeing even more search activity in 2015 as the economy continues its slow climb. Over the company’s past eighteen years, AgencyFinder.com has been involved in over 11,000 agency search and selection reviews.

“Most of the searches we conduct are for companies with project or account budgets between $75,000 and $10 million a year covering fees, production and media, but we do get the occasional national brand interested in spending much, much more,” says Mr. Meyst. The kind of searches AgencyFinder conducts means Meyst is often in direct contact with business owners and senior management rather than a corporate brand manager – and the perspective of the entrepreneur has helped him identify three critical factors a client must consider before hiring their new marketing partner:

1.) “Don’t be too focused on regionality,” warns the founder of the marketing industry’s first, online-data-driven agency search consultancy. “Technology has made it possible for an agency on the East Coast to successfully service and produce for a client on the West Coast.” Meyst points out that service providers in some parts of the country have a much lower cost-basis than those operating out of major metro areas – making geographic location have a very tangible effect on the cost of services provided.

But it is important to weigh the benefits of working with experts in another part of the country for the need the business owner or brand manager will have for direct, face-to-face contact. “Sometimes clients just need the reassurance that can be gained by a little face-time,” he said. “So, if that’s important to you, make sure that’s a parameter in your search criteria.”

2.) “Make sure your internal decision-making process is worked out first,” continues Mr. Meyst. “I’ve seen several clients with great products, fresh opportunities, new ideas and plenty of money get the cold shoulder from perfect agencies just because the confusion inside the client’s operation meant no one could give clear direction, approvals or make a timely decision.”

The key take-away here: decision-making speed and sensibility are more important now than ever and opportunities are counted in minutes and hours not in days or weeks.

3.) His third point gets to the bottom line: “Know what you’re willing to spend to make things happen – and remember, accuracy is more important than size when it comes to identifying a potential marketing budget.” In order to get an agency’s best effort on a new business pitch, they need a clear idea of what a client is willing and able to spend so they can provide solutions and recommendations that can be realistically (and profitably) produced.

“The most successful agency-client relationships are built on mutual trust and understanding,” explains Mr. Meyst. “And that all starts at the very first budget conversation. It’s on the agency to provide their best recommendations of what can be done and then set the client’s expectations accordingly – but if they get bogus budget guidelines from the client, everyone is set up to fail.”

Once a client has completed the online questionnaire provided to initiate a preliminary database review by the AgencyFinder staff, they are contacted directly (very often by Meyst himself) to introduce the service and review the search and selection process. “Because our services are made available to business owners and brand managers at no charge, we get a lot of initial contacts,” he says. “The call I make really helps separate those folks just looking for an online directory – which we’re not – and those who are serious about finding new or additional marketing service providers.”

“In my discussions, we always work to clarify these three factors first in order to save time and make sure our one-on-one counseling leads to a successful outcome for everybody.”

About AgencyFinder – AgencyFinder and its companion web site, agencyfinder.com, is a service of Business Partnering, Int. (BPI), a Virginia corporation founded in February of 1997. The service is unique in its match-making process for pairing advertising, public relations and marketing agencies with clients and is intended for use by companies seeking agency support for projects, campaigns or long-term relationships. Searching is free to marketers and supported with complimentary search consulting advice (telephone and on-site consultations) provided by BPI’s executive staff. Advertising agencies and public relations firms (right-sized for budgets less than $100,000 to more than $100 million) pay an annual registration fee to be in the on line database and to be eligible to participate in reviews.

– See more at: http://www.agencyfinder.com/2014/12/think-its-time-to-find-a-new-ad-agency-or-pr-firm-here-are-3-things-to-consider/#sthash.DnGjHv4t.dpuf

The Powerless Rainmaker: Why Is There Responsibility Without Authority?

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The problem is they often have no “authority” to command what they need to get the job done.

In agencies where someone does actually have the “title,” the person might be charged with making 25 outreach calls each day, mailing 25 letters with great client suggestions, or searching the press for suspect activity. But if that same individual needs some paltry sum of money to purchase, subscribe to, or participate in something that isn’t free, our rainmaker runs up against the ever-present lack of authority. He needs to submit a request to someone in finance who would prefer to charge it to a client account. (Note: Some rainmakers will actually advance funds of their own and hope to get reimbursed!)

Here are three areas where you need to consider your investment and how it affects your new business executive’s ability to actually bring in new clients and projects:

New Business Budget

Is the rainmaker given a budget with the freedom to make a learned decision to spend it wisely? In many cases, the answer is “no.” Let’s revise that. If our rainmaker wants to visit a prospect to meet face-to-face for that all-important, but really ill-timed, interview, does he have a credit card to cover it? Often yes. For that trip, let’s also bring along an accomplished account person, so our trip’s expenses can reach into the thousands.

When they return home empty-handed and discouraged, generally it’s the prospect’s fault. “They weren’t a great candidate to begin with.” They chalk up those expenses to training and education, not the new business budget they don’t have anyway.

Training and Ongoing Education

There’s no actual budget for them, but when the opportunity does present itself, the rainmaker bats fairly well convincing management to pop for them. Off he goes for a day or two at $2,000 to $4,000. When he returns, he is given 15 minutes to explain to the boss what he learned during the training. And did the seminar producers “test” the students to see who actually learned what the agency paid for and report those scores to the agency? Seldom. Does agency management quiz those who attended for retention and future application? Seldom.

Formal Education

How many rainmakers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from New Business University? Or from a two-year New Business College? Or a six-week, one-month, or week-long new business seminar? Everyone else at the agency has at least a bachelor’s degree in some aligned agency topic. Begin to get the picture? Do you realize “rainmaking” is not a natural talent? This is why your firm’s new business program will continue to be hit or miss.

Your solutions should be self-evident.

By Chuck Meyst

Chuck Meyst is Chairman & CEO of AgencyFinder.com, a world-wide on-line and off-line industry matchmaker and agency search consulting service. He speaks of his 17 years of experience there, at his earlier company Sales Marketing Institute and at Sanders Consulting Group.

Printed with permission from The Agency Post

– See more at: http://www.agencyfinder.com/2014/10/the-powerless-rainmaker-why-is-there-responsibility-without-authority/#sthash.2fThdrBd.dpuf

A Significant Virginia Landmark Needs Your Help with Major Transformation

Written by admin on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

This Virginia State Park is under the new management. The Park sits on more than 1,600 acres, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visitors are drawn to the property, once owned by Thomas Jefferson; it’s been touted alongside world renowned attractions such as the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

The assignment is to transform the park from the one day roadside attraction to a 2-3 day educational, historical, outdoor recreation overnight destination that connects guests to the greater County activities and attractions. Current budget not to exceed $500,000.

Texas & Utah Internet and Terra Firma Gaming Firm Seeks Partner-in-Crime

Written by admin on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

Ours is a nationwide annual summer learning challenge for those in elementary school. Call it fun; call it a game; call it what you want – it’s Internet and hands-on learning and good clean fun at the same time! The experience offers the perfect way for children to spend the summer. Pay attention; do your homework and you could win a college scholarship!

Create and help us execute a comprehensive marketing strategy to grow our current Beta customer base from 500 to 10,000 participants. Identify and effectively manage customer acquisition costs in various channels. Identify best marketing practices for future scalability and growth. We have no preconceived thoughts on media alternatives and look to your firm to illustrate your thoughts for cost- effective marketing. As a national business model, agency location is not a factor – we are looking to grow exponentially …

Student “tuition” is targeted at $200 per student. Student and parent feedback has been excellent. If you see your firm as a candidate, we have an illustrated fact- filled RFP that is part of the invitation. Our launch date for the 2015 season itself is June 22nd 2015. Budget indicated as between $500,001 & $1MM. We’re working between Austin Texas and Salt Lake City Utah. Could you be ready?

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