Blog Posts

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

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog Posts

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

Agency New Business Secrets Every Rainmaker Should Know (or share) …

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

Every agency has them; every agency new business consultant has them; virtually anyone who’s taken a crack at agency new business development will claim to have some. There aren’t many real secrets, but there are some simple tips worth noting and worth doing.

In the “outreach” category, you need a computer, telephone with headset, and contact management software (ACT, SalesForce, etc.) That platform will give you a place to create prospect and client databases, plus it allows you to “auto-dial” anyone in the database and record your discussion notes “on-the-fly.” It’s absolutely THE most efficient way to manage business relationships. Anything less is cheating yourself and your agency.

In the prospect “first meeting” category, if you were never in the audience for our presentation, you need to experience “The Agency Tour as a New Business Tool.” That presentation by our sister-company Sales Marketing Institute, Ltd. was being made to select agency gatherings back when AgencyFinder was born and still is. Telephone me and I’ll walk you through it.

In all your dealings with a prospect – know your agency, know your people, know what your agency has done and for whom, know what your agency can do and how, be punctual, be honest, be forthright, be sincerely enthusiastic, be inspirational. Don’t be “all that”, don’t be a bore, don’t hog the floor, don’t steal thunder from others.

Ask until you understand; then ask again. Restate what the prospect said, and look for confirmation. Don’t offer solutions until you’ve heard the problem. Don’t speculate (in their business category), but do speculate using fictitious examples to demonstrate how you think and how your agency does do things.

Be careful what you say about anyone to anyone. Assume that any two people of the opposite sex that work together are much closer than it appears. Deal or no deal!

Marketing, advertising and public relations are passionate processes. Find and pick passionate marketing partners; then have fun!

Finding London PR Needle-in-a-Haystack from San Francisco & Richmond, VA

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts

We’re always a bit more than ordinarily motivated when we can manage an International search. The good folks at Baidu came to us in late May this year looking for help – not in the US but in the UK. Baidu is China’s 1 search engine, answering more than 5 billion queries each day. Baidu’s international products are already in use by more than 120 million people outside of China, but brand recognition is relatively low. They came to AgencyFinder looking for a PR firm in London that could help to both establish their brand and drive downloads of their free products. Speaking of International, Baidu’s Director of International Marketing is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California on their Silicon Valley campus. Read about their plans here.

Baidu has developed a number of mobile (Android) and desktop (PC) applications available to the wide world. These consist predominantly of utility applications that have broad audiences. Currently, these products include: DU Battery Saver (Android) DU Speed Booster (Android) Baidu Browser (Android) Baidu PC Faster (PC) Baidu Antivirus (PC) Baidu Spark Browser (PC)

AgencyFinder had established “boots on the ground” in England beginning in 2008 using an in-place agent to represent our services. They aggressively enrolled some of England’s finest advertising and public relations firms for whom we’ve been able to secure new clients.

We started the Baidu search from Richmond, Virginia with 15 candidates but quickly narrowed that to 7. Because of distance and time zones, Baidu conducted initial telephone interviews and examined agency decks. They identified their semi-finalists and planned site visits – to tour agency offices and meet the staff. They identified four – eclat Marketing, Lightwater; Waggener Edstrom Communications, London, Sagon-Phior/Turnkey, Los Angeles/London; and Touchdown, London. Site visits began on a Wednesday and concluded Thursday. While still in London, the client made their decision and announced that same Friday. In a most efficient manner, the business was awarded to a lucky and pleased Waggener Edstrom.

The New NRA TV Spots – Impactful!

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts

My wife and I sat quietly as the first of these new spots unfolded on our large-screen HDTV. First the talent against a black background; talking quietly at first in a way that drew us in. What was the subject? What was this about? Then great live images of diverse scenes and finally, the fact that this talent was speaking about and for the 5 Million members of the National Rifle Association. Very impressive.

We’ve seen a few spots so far; not sure how many have been produced. I looked into our database to find the agency of record but wasn’t successful. Anyone know who is doing these? Agree or disagree?

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 ANNIVERSARY

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts

As I did on September 11, 2001, this morning I sat on our living room couch in Richmond, Virginia and watched the news. What I saw today was a replay of inappropriately labeled “highlights” from the attack on the Twin Towers in New York back then. My emotions of that day returned; I was sickened seeing those that chose jumping to fire. I teared for people running from death. I struggled to understand – who, why, for what?

Back in 2001 I was scheduled to fly to Cleveland for an industry conference. As the tragedy began to unfold on the screen before me, under the circumstances I thought of the foolishness to travel by air today. But I had committed to the trip. Staying seated for as long as I could without jeopardizing my travel plans, I finally rose and kissed my wife goodbye.

I’d been carrying around an unsigned and unwitnessed “last will and testament” in my car and decided now was the time and occasion to do something about it. On the way to the airport, I pulled off to get to one of our bank branches. Quickly in, sign and witness and I was on my way. On the Interstate and heading to the airport, the radio news was interrupted by the announcement that the Government had mandated ALL aircraft to land and none were to take flight. Thank God, my problem was solved …

And it seems today, September 11, 2014 passed without incident.

Five Simple Truths for Improving Advertising Agency & PR Firm New Business

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

Yesterday Adweek posted an article discussing the most dangerous job at an ad agency and “new business” won! I added my two-cents and exhanges were brisk. I did some research and found I wrote this back in March 2013. In agency new business, the old is always new again …

Folks are creative by nature, but not universally comfortable with prospecting for new business by reaching out to strangers”, explains AgencyFinder’s CEO Chuck Meyst.   

Battling a challenging economy and an ever-changing media landscape, advertising agencies and public relations firms still face an uphill battle for new business in 2013.

But that’s no reason to despair.

Looking back, there have always been two distinct philosophies and approaches to agency and PR firm business development; pro-active outreach (chase) and inbound marketing (be found).

In pro-active outreach, someone at the agency or an outside contractor has to initiate contact with a prospect by mail, e-mail or phone – often called cold calling.  Meyst remarks “With tongue-in-cheek, some suggest that, without permission, this is tantamount to stalking and that’s against the law!”

The opposite approach (i.e. inbound marketing), requires inquiries triggered by social media, speaking engagements, referrals, website traffic and industry “finder” services.

Meyst summarizes: “Agencies use more new business programs than you can count, but the successful ones follow some fundamental rules that make them effective:”

1. Make someone responsible. New business is NOT everybody’s business at the agency. Hire someone or pick someone and make their employment dependent on some form of measurable success. In most cases, that will be meaningful, face-to-face meetings with pre-qualified prospects. But not “landed” business – too many others at the agency can affect that, one way or other.

2. New business is NOT a natural talent.  See to it that your new business pro gets professional sales training from professionals. A webinar here or there does not qualify. Like CLE credits, new business training should continue.

3. Relax your spam filters! Any IT Director can keep e-mails out. The whole idea is to let prospects (including Certified Search Consultants) find you and make their inquiry.

4. Let your website tell your story.  Prospects want to know what you’ve done (show them category experience), services you offer, where located, who and how many work there and who runs the place (pics and bios). Until they “friend you” they won’t care much about your blog. And please – don’t make that your home page!

5. Chase or Be Found. For those who chase, consider the universe. In categories where they advertise, you’ll find more than 11 million companies. But screen for annual sales over $1M and that count drops to 700,000. If these are your prospects, you need to know what kind of clients and type of business you handle best. Know where you can find them and how your approach will resonate.

As important as selection criterion is for any business you’re chasing, it’s even more important for those clients who are actively seeking a new advertising agency or PR firm to define what they seek.

Hoover’s database identifies 48,500 marketing service agencies (SIC 7311 & SIC 8743) in the USA today. Break it down to those firms with 6 or more employees and the count drops to 8,600. At 25 employees, the count drops to 2000!  A surprisingly small and suspect universe.

 

Real Bad News for Agency New Business Pros

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

Today’s Adweek broke a story by Maureen O’Leary that portends bad new for agency new business pros. Various recent industry surveys revealed the half-life of someone working at agency new business is measured in months, not years. The article prompted me to check Who’s Who at Campbell-Ewald in Detroit; just when I was getting to know Barbara Yolles, she’s gone! Many of our contacts there have retired or moved on. Maureen makes the point that “new business” is a risky business. So I countered with my position based on our experience here at AgencyFinder coupled with my new business consulting at Sales Marketing Institute and Sanders Consulting. I said …

Face it, new business is not a job for an agency person. Let’s stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Most agency people are not fit for a new business because they’re creatives by nature and creatives flinch when their work is criticized. Imagine the internalizations when a prospect tells them to “get lost!” At VCU’s Ad Center here in Richmond, Virginia, unless things have changed, there isn’t a single course or a single semester that even introduces the critical topic “How an agency gets new business.” As in, how do we pay our bills and pay our employees. New business doesn’t “fit” an agency-trained individual and never will.

New business is a “sales job” and I’ve yet to visit an agency to see a door or department banner proclaiming “Sales Department; Sales Manager.” They prefer “Manager of Organic Growth!” Matter of fact, most agency folks cringe at the word sales yet the majority of what an agency produces is funneled into and out into the world through a sales rep (media rep) for the media of choice.

Agencies need to hire “sales people” with the assistance of qualified headhunters like Paul Gumbinner. They must bring “process” to the agency (most don’t have one to offer). The agency needs to hire a new business consultant (ask me, I can make some recommendations) to teach proactive outreach. And the agency needs to invest in what they’re told. Like the need for a developed prospect database, a computerized Contact Management software package along with an assortments of flat and dimensional mailers and conversation pieces. Finally they need an incoming opportunity source, lead generator or agency-side search consultant (as in – us) to vector in real time-sensitive opportunities.

Maybe then they will see the results they seek … I’ve volunteered it before – anyone want to join me in building a Sales university?

Thoughts from Chuck Meyst, Chairman & CEO at AgencyFinder

In a reply to a subsequent post by “Lucy” I wrote:

Lucy,

The entirety of agency new business needs more than a forum and I wasn’t suggesting “agency new business” shouldn’t include and embrace other non-sales-types at the agency. Nor do I see the first-line new business person as a “closer” or someone who does it all alone. Once the prospect’s door has been opened, then a pair (new business person + senior account person “well-versed in all there is to know about the agency and how to interview”) visit the prospect for a face-to-face sit-down.

Not enough space here to address all that is covered then, but a suggested next-step is a client visit to the agency. The “agency-tour-as-new-business-tool” was one of my lectures prior to AgencyFinder and is now an integral element in our agency search process. Walk the floor together, interview department heads where they work, let them “show & tell” and let the prospect see things lying around you wouldn’t have thought to show them. Many times those visuals helped close the business.

I could go on, but as many have already said, certainly it’s a team effort and everyone on the team needs to be trained, rehearsed and ready to integrate with the whole. If it was easy, every agency would be doing it!

 

 

 

Whassup! You claim experience in health food, yet you don’t respond to your invitation.

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

The AgencyFinder database is deeper and wider than any other in the industry.  More than 500 data fields get your agency found. After you’re vetted by us and the client, you get your invitation. In some instances, we even make trial outreaches by sending an e-mail to ask if the opportunity (we define it) is a good fit for your firm. To save time for everyone, we suggest that no answer means no. But as a courtesy we’d like to hear.

Why? After years of doing this, we know that’s because you said to yourself – “we don’t have that experience!” But you see, you’ve claimed it.  As in, Garbage in; Garbage out. If you claim it (experience, services, markets, etc.) you’ll have to prove it to the client.  If you need to update because your claims are no longer valid, you’re doing all of us (you, us & the client) a disservice. Make a point to keep your profile accurate and current! Fair?

We recently added and removed some “fields served” (vertical market experiences) and “services.”  Check and update your profile now …

 

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