Author Archive

Feel the Wind in Your Hair; the Snow at Your Feet – Hold It! That’s for the Consumer to Enjoy Here’s What Your Agency Must Do

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

We’re a Western Ski Resort looking for an agency to help us in three areas: Guest Research, help us understand our millennial guest. What do they like about our brand, what don’t they like What motivates them to choose us. Brand Positioning Statement: Use our brand pillars to craft a new position statement Brand Style Guidelines: Deliverable will be a Brand Positioning & Messaging Guidelines document presenting the culmination of all efforts outlined in this project. Budget: $100,001 – $250,000 Fees & production

Are You an Agency CEO Willing to Gamble? This luxury Fashion Consignment Business in the Northeast is “Ready to do a deal.”

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

Are you an agency CEO willing to gamble? Talk about high-end! How about ladies’ Balenciaga boots for $1,650! Or a Chanel purse for $2,300; Or Chanel boots for $3,999. They don’t ignore men either. This Louis Vuitton hooded “long jacket” can be yours for $1,450. This client is a luxury consignment business in the Northeast. They operate a “selling” & consigning website and also have sales agreements with eBay, Amazon and others. This family run business has been selling since 2013 with Gross Sales last year in excess of $1MM. The assignment is to migrate all business to their website, thereby eliminating duplicate inventory and stocking issues.

Here’s the deal … They sell on consignment; the agency is invited to work on commission.  If interested, contact Chuck Meyst.  I’ll identify the client (you can check them out). This is a free-ride – no fees, no how.

How Agencies Can Achieve 3.0 Status – Simplicity and the ‘Four Ts’ will help them evolve

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Consultancy

By  as appeared in ADWEEK

The advertising industry has never been hit as hard as it’s being hit today. It’s facing economic, technological and even geopolitical disruption across the board. Add the complicating factors and steep learning curves around new tech-driven touch points—artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, voice command, chatbots—and you can see why marketers are scrambling for footing and pushing their agencies to prove their value. The unprecedented volume of advertising budgets—more than $30 billion—that has recently changed hands during what many referred to as “Mediapalooza” is a clear indicator of this disruption.

It’s no secret the agency model needs to evolve. As an advisor to some of the world’s biggest brands on priorities ranging from organizational transformation to agency reviews and client-agency “therapy sessions,” I have a front-row seat to what marketers want and need from their agency partners—a new set of skills and capabilities best represented by what Adweek has dubbed “Agencies 3.0.” RFPs today solicit competencies that reach beyond the traditional agency mandate and include integrated content and distribution strategies, greater operational agility, transparency, data science and analytics, and programmatic expertise.

Those requirements might seem like a tall order, but there are a few things agencies can do to meet them. The first is simple: simplify. Agencies can flatten their structures and tear down silos that separate integral disciplines. Agencies 3.0 demand a rebundling of disciplines that were historically unbundled—creative, media and analytics. Creative and media practices should be built upon a strong data and analytics foundation and be woven closely together.

In one recent pitch, the client demanded a truly integrated approach to media and creative, intricately linked to one another and built upon insights in near real time. Look to Omnicom’s McDonald’s win last year for another clear example of an astute Agencies 3.0 approach weaving together content, data, strategy and social through one aperture. And it’s not just McDonald’s.

Honda recently returned its media buying assignment to RPA to more fluidly synchronize content production. Other recent industry moves indicate the demand for new agency configurations as a real and growing trend. According to Advertiser Perceptions, 64 percent of U.S. brands will review their media agencies in 2017.

Recalibrating to become an Agency 3.0 also requires a killer content strategy. Marketers spent more than $72 billion on TV ads in 2016, but they spent just as much on digital content across Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube, Amazon and other content-distribution platforms. In one recent agency review, the client specifically focused on the creation, distribution and ultimate monetization of content. They didn’t want to merely create their own content; they wanted to profit from it. In a world in which everyone is a content creator, Agencies 3.0 help clients maximize the value of that content.

A third, and perhaps most critical, requirement for Agencies 3.0 is transparency across all economic elements of the client-agency relationship. In the past month, the world’s largest marketer, P&G, announced a review of all agency contracts—but it’s not alone. In fact, according to the World Federation of Advertisers, or WFA,” a trade body that represents brands including L’Oréal, Emirates and P&G, 90 percent of advertisers are taking a closer look at contracts to demand more transparency. Agencies 3.0 are going to have to be accountable as marketers demand more granularity around every element of their investment and agency compensation in media, production, staffing and technology.

Finally, Agencies 3.0 will have to be savvy to what MediaLink calls the “Four Ts”: trust, technology, talent and time.

Trust: At its core, the agency-client relationship is a partnership. Metrics should be verifiable, and ROI and operating costs should be transparent. These are fact-based conversations.

Technology: Tech fluency is table stakes in a world where the explosion of devices, platforms and innovation have forever transformed the way consumers receive content and messaging.

Talent: Our industry runs on people and competes on talent. In the past two years alone, the ad industry has lost approximately a quarter of its global talent to competing industries. Marketers tell us they need more “athletes,” meaning those who can deliver, or orchestrate, multidisciplinary solutions across the data, tech, media, marketing and monetization of it all. That won’t happen if we can’t attract, train and retain more and smarter people across the board.

Time: “Always on” is an overused, yet under-appreciated phrase. Consumers are tech-empowered, device-rich and content-weary. Agencies 3.0 run at the speed of people.

It may feel daunting to stand at the starting line and see the finish so far away. But agencies are resilient, and they are packed with smart, creative thinkers accustomed to solving big problems for their clients. Now agencies need to turn that brainpower inward to resolve their own challenges, and speed is of the essence. The same changes that have rapidly and dramatically reshaped our clients’ industries require agencies to move quickly to fortify their own before they are swept away.

Lesley Klein is a managing director at MediaLink.

An Open Letter to Marketers Considering an Ad Agency Review

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Agency Search Tips, Blog Posts, RFP Writing Tips

Great advice for marketers and agencies – read both and take notes!

This just popped up in AdAge Thursday February 23rd and I have to say, it’s one of the best, most common sense approaches and executions of an agency review I’ve read in a long tome. It’s great fodder for client and agency alike and certainly highlights the time, energy, financial investment and necessary dedication it takes to participate in an agency review. Feel free to comment if you have something to share.

by Michael Fanuele – Before becoming a client, I spent more than a dozen years at ad agencies around the globe, working as a brand strategist, trying my best to help our clients crack opportunity wide-open. But honestly, most of my time was spent diving in deep on dozens of pitches. That’s one of the many secrets of ad agencies: their shoulders are generally pushing against the Sisyphean boulder of new business, doing everything to win bigger and braver clients. It’s thrilling, exhausting work.

And so I knew very well the massive commitment of time and treasure I was demanding of ad agencies when, as chief creative officer at General Mills, I called a review of our creative partnerships last year.

Although McCann and Saatchi & Saatchi had served our brands so well for so long (more than half a century in the case of the former), a shake-up seemed in order. The brutal stress of our business … (Continue Part One and Part Two below)

Part One: http://adage.com/article/viewpoint/open-letter-clients-ad-agency-review/308002/?utm_source=agency_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1488570692&utm_visit=102073

Part Two: http://adage.com/article/viewpoint/open-letter-clients-ad-agency-review-part-2/308050/

 

Special Edition Flash Report – Telephone, the Failing New Business Tool

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

Prologue: The majority of agency new business authors are of the “How To” variety. They volunteer pleasant, positive but not necessarily tried & true, battle- proven kinda stuff, but makes sense, sounds good kinda stuff. Not here. We’re a, I’m an agency search consultant (match-maker) and get to hear from clients about all that How to stuff that didn’t work. And I’m here to report it to you now.

As a new business tool, the telephone is failing. Time was, when a courageous young man (in difference to women, back then it was men) saw his desk phone as his connection to agency prospects. Following a regimen that consisted of preparing compelling print collateral meant to be mailed to a prospect list of 500 carefully chosen prospects, then mailing them on a consistent schedule and then, with courage and commitment, that young man would follow by phone and ask – “Did you get the rubber chicken I sent?” (Yes, in those days he actually got through) Didn’t matter if he mentioned Rubber Chicken or industry study, the whole idea was to strike up a conversation that could lead to a relationship. And “yes Virginia” (see Wikipedia), agency success does depend on relationships.

But within the industry, there’s been a change of heart. Not sure who or where it started, but the notion spread that proactive outreach and rubber chickens were no longer in vogue. The new mantra? Content. Yes content is now king. It’s the politically correct way to clap your hands, wave your arms, whistle, beat the conga drums and blow smoke in their direction. The idea is to make as much Internet social media noise as you legally can so you draw them magnetically to your agency website. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news – it drew them to your website.

Agency websites; let me digress – I could write a book. Admittedly they’re getting better, but by example, when their agency prepared the “walk-about” home page video, they apparently missed their agency’s young couple in deep embrace in the back corner. Maybe it’s rehearsal for a client video; I would have cut it! Let’s move on to About Us. Do Not, I shout, write no-interest paragraphs about starting in your basement or how your un-named team has vast experience covering 89 years. And don’t fail to identify at least one person who works there, and that leads me to The Team tab.

Chemistry Wins New Business; Not Creative!  That’s what the Guru of Growth taught for years and its truer now than ever. That’s why your Team tab can make or break your firm with the visitor. Here’s where you can let the prospect see the people behind the curtain. The smiling faces and interesting beards (men only please); the interesting location and hobby shots. If you’re all “suits” as they say and pictured in suit and tie, that sends a nice business impression; yet if the prospect company is led by millennials, that buttoned-up look may cost you. On the other hand, if you’re a young agency with Millennial management, that might off-put some dinosaurs. You can’t win them all but this level of openness and honesty may prompt that desired call regardless.

Staff Characteurs?  So your Director of Business Development is a Pit Bull? Cute sketch. Good inside joke but not appreciated by the prospects you chase. What about those multi-frame serious-to-goofy shots? Some are really funny and clever. But their value is offset when others fall flat. Has anyone thought of blank squares with titles for everyone? Group shots show your camaraderie but when you don’t or can’t identify them, it loses value. (I often enjoy trying to identify the CEO in a group shot; only to be surprised by who really is). On posted CV’s, use caution. Some folks have such intimidating credentials that I suspect prospects could be reluctant to engage!

Back to the telephone. One quick thought just came to mind. If you want to make a call to a new prospect (as in one that is not yet a great friend) DO NOT CALL FROM YOUR CELLPHONE! Cellphone quality is erratic, inconsistent and picks up ambient sounds. Do not expect a first-time prospect to be patient with all that. Call from a land-line in your quiet office.

Now, after all the research, content and key words you’ve invested, let’s talk about the horrors experienced by prospects calling your agency. Having called thousands of agencies, I speak as an authority and say agency new business telephone protocol is atrocious! Beginning with the universal agency announcement – “Thanks for calling Blander Agency; if you know the extension of the party you’re trying to reach, enter that now. For the agency name directory press 2. For the Operator press O.” What should the first-time prospect do that was guided in by your content or Contact Us page? What name do they enter? In most cases, that name is nowhere on your Contact Us page; matter of fact, neither is your agency location. Why not another option – “To speak with us about handing your account, Press 1.  Move frequent callers to 2 or 3.

Now let’s talk about the Operator option.  It’s a joke!  You might get an announcement that the call is being transferred to the Operator (please wait), the eventual answer says “Hi, this is Janice. I’m away from my phone at the moment; please leave your name and message and I will call your shortly!” What is that job other than answering the phone? Such incompetent BS! I’ve even had the “being transferred” message just repeat and repeat; never offering a chance to leave your message!

Finally there’s the “I don’t care” mentality. I’ve had situations where, no matter how I tried or what tricks I employed, I COULD NOT raise a living soul at the agency. One such time I was calling an agency with world-wide offices. I couldn’t raise anyone or the Operator in their New York office, so I called Chicago, thinking if it was a weather issue they would know. I failed to raise a soul in Chicago so I called San Fran. Finally found someone but that party had no idea what was happening in Chicago or New York, and didn’t seem to be concerned or looking to report that which might be broken. Talk about dinosaurs.

In Closing: Dear New Business Professional. Whomever made the decision to register your firm did the right thing. But if your profile is incomplete, out-of-date or still at the free Iridium level, you ain’t going nowhere. Pre-AgencyFinder we taught agency new business, so we’re familiar with what you do and what you spend. For starters many have tried outsourcing “dialing-for-dollars” at $3,000 – $5,000 Per Month! Please don’t suggest we’re expensive.

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Help This Client With Hearing Loss Products Help Me and Others … Can You Hear Me? Can You Repeat That?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

Top International powerhouse in the assisted hearing industry planning to find and hire an advertising partner. Headquartered in Europe but looking for a firm in Metro New York, the project will focus on delivering an impactful launch campaign for a new line of hearing aids. This global campaign must generate awareness with both end users and hearing aid professionals and traffic (leads) into hearing aid clinics. Client indicates a budget of $2,500,001 – $5,000,000 Covers: Advertising (fees, production & media).

Digital – To Be or Not To Be?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. Digital – to be or not to be?
  2. Carfinder.com
  3. RSVP Ann Landers
  4. Agency Quiz # 2

DIGITAL – TO BE OR NOT TO BE?

Without studying any actual analytics, I’d speculate almost every agency that registers these days claims to be a “digital” firm. Yet when we look under “Services” we don’t see they’ve checked Digital Production or Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). For the sake of the question and then the answer, someone or some organization ought to take on the challenge of the “definition.” What is a Digital Agency?

CARFINDER.COM

We found ourselves looking for a new car a while ago. It’s been some time, but I dialed in at Ford.com, and found AgencyFinder’s long-lost sister, carfinder.com. Not necessarily in appearance, but darned near a spitting image as far as the process goes.

You find the site, choose your model, build your car, get MSRP, find a dealer, check dealer inventory, and get some quotes. Hit SUBMIT and the dealers came pouring out of the trenches! I’d forgotten the similarities. Back in 1998, we went looking to buy a Dodge Durango and had a similar experience. The e-mails promised we’d hear from each dealer within 24-hours. Even gave us the name of the manager who’d be calling.

But the phone didn’t ring! I needed to buy a car so IO ended up calling them and sure enough, they did have the inquiries but were working on some “other” issues. “Do you PAY for this service” I asked. “YES”, they answered, “about $3,000 per month.” I suggested they pay closer attention to the business it was trying to bring them and that they were paying for. Interestingly the one that was most responsive told me he was working “on-line” only and was almost too busy to keep up.  His other “grip & grin” buddies were starving.

Not much has changed, with cars or agencies – but I’m delighted at how close our client/agency matchmaking service parallels that of the auto giants.

RFP – ANN LANDERS

Dear Ann, (questions posed by small retailer not using AgencyFinder.com)

Are we old fashioned? My Marketing VP and I went to great lengths to ask around, then Google search, then examine, select and invite what we thought were some really fine agencies to take a look at our business as potential candidates to handle our account. We gave them a nice clear invitation, with facts, figures and a reasonable RFP. Maybe we expected too much. Maybe they didn’t realize we already knew who they were. But we did know them – even the name of the person who was supposed to handle their new business process.

Enough did call that we were able to go forward with those and found, then hired a great firm. But we can’t figure those that didn’t call. They just didn’t call – not us; not our consultant. Not even a polite decline. We talk about them and our experience with our industry friends, and they too are puzzled. Are we old fashioned?

Signed – Small fashion retailer with $250,000 budget (PR fees)

AGENCY QUIZ #2For New Business Pros Only

Long before AgencyFinder was born, we (as in Meyst et al) were agency new business consultants. That’s why we share new business tips you might find useful. This quiz, and others we’ll drop in from time to time, are for that reason.

THE QUIZ: You’re excited about making this next call. You finally learned the name of the influential VP of Marketing after chasing many dead-ends. You’ve got a compelling and well- rehearsed pitch that’s bound to make your point.

You dial the phone, and his assistant answers.

With articulate lips, precise diction and a bright, full smile she asks – “Will Mr. Tetras know what this call is about?”

You answer: (Your Options)

1. How would I know, is he some kind of telepathic mind reader?

2. Of course he won’t; not until I tell him!

3. He and I haven’t had a chance to discuss this, so the topic will be new.

4. I’m our agency’s president, so I’ll let him know when he comes to the line I’m taking my time to call…

If you picked “1, 2 or 4”, I hope new business isn’t your full-time job! In this group, “3” might get you past this gate keeper; maybe not! What you’re really being asked is “Does Mr. Tetras know you, and will he take your call?” But we’re continually amazed when we hear it.  And Yes Virginia, they still ask that!!!

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North East University Offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certification, ESL, and Test Prep Programs Seeks to Diversify Student Body

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

Our educational institution located in the East enjoys a primarily international student population that have come to us on Student Visas. Now the objective is to generate an American market (new targets) due to our ability to offer Federal Financial Aid and Veteran’s Benefits for education. We believe what we need now is creating image awareness for domestic market students.  We can see the call for many services including media planning and buying. Budget in the $100,001 – $250,000 range.

How Do You Politely Tell Someone They Have a Dirty House? How Do You Politely Let Them Know You Can Make it Sparkly Clean?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

We’ve got lovely, expensive homes to our South and to our North; even here in our neighborhood in Historic Williamsburg, Virginia. We’re in the house cleaning, power-washing and concreate repair business. Power washers are a dime a dozen. I want to stand out from my competitors. Concrete repair is a lesser known business. I aspire to inform and educate what we can do for residential, commercial and industrial clients. I am more interested in the concrete work being the key point as it has less competition and is much, much more lucrative. At my age, I am social media challenged. I will need a team that understands age demographics for the services I offer, as younger people are way less likely to need or afford many of our services. Budget <$100,000

Help Stamp Out Insurance Fraud – Need Your PR to Help Us Call Attention to Those Who Violate

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Pitchcast, USA/North America

That’s what we do – monitor the industry for violations and those who violate. It’s not enough to monitor things; we like to call attention to the fraudulent activities and stop them and those like them, in their tracks. You might enjoy the mockery! Terribly small budget but those in the past say it’s loads of fun!  Eastern region. Budget < $5,000

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