Flash Reports

Your Telephone, the Failing New Business Development 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 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 much 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 prospect 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 that are dog lovers. 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 it’s possible some 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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Flash Report – Special Edition

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

FYI – Our message to advertisers: I thought you’d like to see what we posted at LinkedIn and Facebook Monday. Clients/Advertisers were the target but as you review your agency’s business development efforts, it helps to be aware of options clients have at their command to find you. I’m certainly prejudiced since we’ve been managing agency searches longer than most. I see some sites as just an exercise in keywords and link building. Those techniques do work however, and clients are drawn like flies to some of these services but then the burden of doing the research and work is on the client. Feel free to share your thoughts and to do so drop me an email. chuck@agencyfnder.com Here’s what we posted:

AGENCY SEARCH: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO IDENTIFY THE BEST MARKETING OR AD AGENCY PARTNER.

From agency search consultants, marketing match-makers, agency directories and aggregators, finding the best resource for selecting an ad agency or marketing firm isn’t always what you would expect. Once upon a time clients used to find a new agency by asking colleagues for recommendations, asking media reps, or going to their files for a folder labeled “Ad Agencies.” Back then many agencies practiced the fine art of mailings and calling on potential clients. Advertisers relied on national and regional publications such as Adweek and AdAge to identify the hottest agencies. Agencies used clever direct mail tactics and even took out ads to reach clients and identify their agency as a potential resource for future connections. But now …

We posted at:  http://www.agencyfinder.com/category/blog-posts/

Special Note: You’re getting this newsletter even though you have yet to finish and set your profile active. In order to participate in any of our client searches, you need to finish up. Can we help? You first created your profile on DATE and last updated on DATE2. Login with your User Name and Password (both are case-sensitive).

P.S. – KNOW ANY PROFICIENT PERL PROGRAMMERS

We’re looking to connect with proficient and capable Perl programmers. Some of our website and database is running in Perl and we’re looking to make new contacts. If you know of someone available for a 1099 opportunity, please let me know or have them reach out to me directly. chuck@agencyfinder.com

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Fresh Faces & Features

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. Fresh Faces & Features
  2. What Can We Do For You?
  3. New Login Option
  4. Has the Weather Affected Your Business?
  5. Database Cleansing – Some Surprises
  6. Know Any Proficient Perl Programmers?

FRESH FACES & FEATURES

I hope you’ve noticed but if not, we’ve got some new fresh faces on our home page. A bit more diversity; a bit more variety. We also repositioned the two call-to-actions; that for Search and Enroll. Over the years we’ve vacillated between our first “I Need an Agency; I am An Agency” to this new version “Find an Agency; Enroll My Agency.” Any thoughts to contribute?

WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?

Every year’s there’s a new crop, a new batch of enthusiastic agency business folks. Some come to that table with previous experience; others are brand-spanking new, when you’ve been at it as long as we have, you sometimes forget what newbies want and need. So – regardless of your status, if there’s something you need with regard to agency business development and you don’t find it here, let me know.

NEW LOGIN OPTION

No big deal, but it occurred to us that a “can’t- miss” login location should be on the home page adjacent to where you started in the first place. We did the same for searching clients.

HAS THE WEATHER AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?

Here in Virginia they’ve gotten pretty good at clearing the roads after a storm, but the side streets and rural roads take 2- 4 days before they are passable and safe. That means many people are either faced with a dangerous commute or they stay/work from home. Your location will certainly affect what happens at your place – any unusual or interesting “weather stories” you can share that we can share? I also want to express our condolences to any of you impacted by fire, land or mudslides, floods or blizzard conditions. Mother Nature is a formidable foe!

DATABASE CLEANSING – SOME SURPRISES

It was more than a little bit overdue, but with the respite recently during the “snow” issue, we rolled in to conduct a database clean-up. BTW, let me explain something you may have missed. In your profile you have five (5) places to enter someone’s name and contact info. If any of our emails get sent to any of those five, any one of those can elect to OPT-OUT. When that happens (if we don’t check to confirm), that action will take your profile OFF-LINE. You can’t be found in a search nor can you be invited. It’s rather common that the alternate new business contact moves on, and when they do, may still get forwarded email. They mean well when they OPT-OUT, but without knowing it, they can do you damage.

As an aside, I was surprised by the attrition we saw. It didn’t discriminate by size either; most small to medium, but some big guys as well. Some of that was the result of mergers – it’s a job in itself to stay current with agency health. Hope you are healthy!

KNOW ANY PROFICIENT PERL PROGRAMMERS

Finally, we’re looking to connect with proficient and capable Perl programmers. Some of our website and database is running in Perl and we’re looking to make new contacts. If you know of someone available for a 1099 opportunity, please let me know or have them reach out to me directly. chuck@agencyfinder.com

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Prospecting in Your Junk Folder

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:   

  1. Prospecting in Your Junk Folder
  2. Will Yours Be the Last Digital Agency?
  3. They’ve Re-invented the Light Bulb
  4. What Did You Call Your Firm When You Enrolled (It Matters)
  5. New Business is For Active Profiles; Is Yours?
  6. Invitation and Fee-Paid Go Hand-In-Hand
  7. Watch for Our Shiny New Faces

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PROSPECTING IN YOUR JUNK FOLDER

I don’t know about your agency, but here at AgencyFinder we want to see each and every new business inquiry that comes our way. We’re on the lookout for prospective client (advertiser) registrations and inquiries (the pre-cursor of an agency search) and the registration of each and every agency looking for new clients. For that reason, we keep a sharp lookout for scams and viruses – exposure is the price we pay to be certain we miss nothing!

Some of our and even YOUR best new business opportunities may be found in your junk folder. Even with our open and generous protocols, from time to time we find something precious trapped in there that didn’t make it to our Inbox. So each and every day at end-of-day, we carefully navigate from top to bottom, looking for gold. If you aren’t already in the habit of doing that, I suggest you start.

WILL YOURS BE THE LAST DIGITAL AGENCY?

Almost every one of our recent agency registrant claims to be a “digital agency.” If they literally mean they do nothing but digital media, to the exclusion of print (newspaper, magazine, etc.), out-of-home, radio, television, direct mail and then some, then what’s the established ad agency, integrated marketing communications firm, sales promotion firm to call itself even when they too have extensive capabilities in “digital?” I recall the subtle shift from calling oneself a marketing communications firm to the shortened “mar com.” Earlier than that, we saw the evolution from ad agency to integrated marketing communications firm. So what’s in a name? Before a sea change to something new, will yours be the last “digital agency?”

 THEY’VE RE-INVENTED THE LIGHT BULB

We’re pleasantly polite when we say we were the first on-line and off-line Internet consulting service to match advertisers searching for a marketing or advertising agency with an advertising agency seeking new clients, or our shorter version, we “invented” the Internet agency/client match-making service. ADWEEK made note of that in their August 4th, 1997 piece entitled “Online Agency Search Tool Launched.” Our run-up to launch took most of a year and I recall my concern that someone would beat us to the punch. Since then, I’m flattered that we’ve seen our share of copycat “lights” but I’m annoyed and you should be too by Johnny-come-lately launches making statements like “We researched the marketplace and found nothing that gave clients a tool to find candidate marketers. Hence our cute new baby!” Say what?

We’re working on an AI-version of AgencyFinder, but until we launch, and even then, unless an “agency search service” incorporates human involvement by those with agency business development or client CMO experience, algorithms alone don’t cut it!

Update: Monday January 8th this appeared in the 4A’s SmartBrief: Commentary: The danger of tech giants’ algorithms – Wavemaker’s Dan Plant writes about his experience this Christmas of being an online consumer and how algorithms used by Amazon, Google and Facebook may deliver relevant product recommendations, but also completely erase any sense of brand identity or quality. “The algorithm is essentially commoditizing every single product out there, ensuring that the only differentiator becomes price. Once that happens to your category, it becomes a race to the bottom,” he writes.

WHAT DID YOU CALL YOUR FIRM WHEN YOU ENROLLED? (WORTH REPEATING)

When you enrolled, you had to decide how to classify your firm, and we gave you these choices:

* Advertising Agency (SIC 7311)

* Direct Marketing Firm (SIC 7331)

* Integrated Marketing Communications Firm (Not yet classified)

* Media Buying Firm (SIC 7319-9902)

* Digital and Interactive Media Firm (Not yet classified)

* Public Relations Firm (SIC 8743)

* Sales Promotion Firm (SIC 8743-9904)

* and Minority owned and operated

Over the years and related to my “”Last Digital” piece above, we’ve learned something we can share. Truth is, when a client enrolls and builds their profile, they seldom come with any predisposition as to “type.” They don’t tend to linger; just a quick swipe at ad agency or “integrated.” If you selected anything else, come back and change your Primary business to one of those, then be more precise with your Secondary choice. It WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE in your traffic volume. Note: During our human management of the process, we look in all the Classification buckets to be sure you won’t be overlooked.

To capture those in pursuit of all things digital, in the Services Offered section, check off both Digital production & Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.),

NEW BUSINESS IS FOR ACTIVE PROFILES; IS YOURS?

Some agencies quit our registration process prematurely and don’t realize they did so. When you begin, you are walked through 2 or 3 pages. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A complete profile lets you describe your firm using more than 500 data fields; then 7 short essays you write, same for case histories and confidential client list. When that’s finished, you click at Item #13 – Set Your Record Active. When you log back in you’re greeted with “Welcome Back “Agency Name.” If you didn’t get that far and you still need to finish, you’re greeted with just “Welcome to AgencyFinder.com.” We assume you enrolled to get new clients. Please finish things up so we can do that for you!

INVITATIONS AND FEE-PAID GO HAND- IN-HAND

AgencyFinder is an annual membership opportunity. Pay in advance and you’re fee-paid for 12-months.  That means all the client invitations you can handle for no additional charge. In a way it’s the e-Harmony or Match.com of the advertising industry, at least from the standpoint that our fees, like theirs, pay for “opportunity introductions.” Our affordable $500 Manager Plan entitles you to be found in a review, invited and introduced to a client, then hold your “due-diligence” phone interview. All that for just $500! (Contender Fees extra)

Or select the EVP Annual Business Plan @ $2,995 and save $2,505 over the Director Plan and you’re fee-paid for 12-months. Upgrade or Enroll Now.

WATCH FOR OUR SHINY NEW FACES

Later this week we’re introducing our new faces. Please be on the lookout!

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The Agency Tour is Your New Business Secret Weapon

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS: 

  1. The Agency Tour is Your New Business Secret Weapon
  2. Sit In the New Business Hot Seat? You Should Sit at the Team Tab
  3. Invitation and Fee-Paid Go Hand-In-Hand
  4. What Did You Call Your Firm When You Enrolled (It Matters)
  5. See Which Clients Have Already Checked You Out
  6. New Business is for Active Profiles; Is Yours?

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THE AGENCY TOUR IS YOUR NEW BUSINESS SECRET WEAPON

When offered, would you rather meet the prospect for the first time at their business or your agency? Anyone who has tried both will tell you the agency visit coupled with an agency tour is the killer. For that reason, each and every client using our service is repeatedly encouraged to embrace the virtues of conducting agency site visits and tours as part of the process to identify their finalists. Don’t be bashful about making the pitch yourself. On a recent food service win, the winning agency fought hard to convince the client to visit their shop. To hear it told, apparently the client was expecting a more traditional agency layout, only to be pleasantly surprised and a bit overwhelmed to discover this agency had audio, video and print production facilities above and beyond the norm. Although not needed for initial steps in the relationship, the presence of those facilities bode well going forward and influencing the award decision.

Here are some tour tips. Your tour is best orchestrated to move from station to station as much as possible like a job moves through your agency. Many of our agency students have built a tour outline that suggests a route that follows the production of a magazine ad. Begin your tour where the ideas begin; then move forward to whatever constitutes the next step. It’s only natural to introduce the players at each station and a perfect environment in which to discuss that technology or agency strength. If you’re actually using a mock ad and having it unfold as you progress, you have a perfect opportunity to seek input from your visitors. What they say and how they answer will reveal decision-makers among the visitors and preferences you can use to your advantage later when you really start pitching!

Save your conference room for last; let that serve to field last-minute questions, re-affirmations, and your chance to ask closing questions. Make sure to learn what the client sees as next steps. And be certain YOUR AGENCY is involved in those next steps!

SIT IN THE NEW BUSINESS HOT SEAT? YOU SHOULD SIT AT THE TEAM TAB

Most agency websites, in recognition of the fact that chemistry is a critical element in agency selection, see the wisdom in an agency “Team” tab.  There you’ll find the smiling faces (photo or illustration) of the key players – at least that’s how they are presented. For a first-time visitor, they may care about your management, but if they want to reach out to hire an agency, they want to identify the new business contact. If that’s you and you aren’t posted yet, show this to your boss and ask it be done. It needs your photo and a pleasing bio!

INVITATIONS AND FEE-PAID GO HAND-IN-HAND

AgencyFinder is an annual membership opportunity. Pay up-front and you’re fee-paid for 12-months.  That means all the client invitations you can handle for no additional charge. In a way it’s the e-Harmony or Match.com of the advertising industry, at least from the standpoint that our fees, like theirs, pay for “opportunity introductions.” Our affordable Manager Plan $500 Registration entitles you to be found in a review, invited and introduced to a client, then hold your “due-diligence” phone interview. All that for just $500! Contender Fees extra.

Special Attention: For the remainder of September and all October, and for less than what many agencies are paying monthly just for phone calls, the EVP Annual Business Plan @ $2,995 saves you $2,505 over the Director Plan and you’re fee-paid for 12-months. Upgrade or Enroll Now.

WHAT DID YOU CALL YOUR FIRM WHEN YOU ENROLLED? (IT MATTERS)

Each of you had to decide how to classify your firm, and we gave you these choices:

* Advertising Agency (SIC 7311)

* Direct Marketing Firm (SIC 7331)

* Integrated Marketing Communications Firm (Not yet classified)

* Media Buying Firm (SIC 7319-9902)

* Digital and Interactive Media Firm (Not yet classified)

* Public Relations Firm (SIC 8743)

* Sales Promotion Firm (SIC 8743-9904)

* and Minority owned and operated

Over the years we’ve learned something we want to share with you. Truth is, when a client enrolls and builds their profile, they seldom come with any predisposition as to “type.” They don’t tend to linger; just a quick swipe at ad agency or “integrated.” If you selected anything else, come back and change your Primary business to one of those, then be more precise with your Secondary choice. It WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE in your traffic volume.

SEE WHICH CLIENTS HAVE ALREADY CHECKED YOU OUT

It’s happening right under your nose! It doesn’t sound a ringer or blow a horn, but our system does note and document when any client search brought your firm to the surface. I can’t offer a clickable link, but it’s easy to get there. Login to your account as you would always do. You land on Registered Agency – Record Maintenance. Click at #15 – Agency Search Activity Detail and there you are. That report shows date, budget, Fields served, and client location. That’s the traffic your profile is generating.

NEW BUSINESS IS FOR ACTIVE PROFILES; IS YOURS?

Some agencies quit our registration process prematurely and don’t realize they did so. When you begin, you are walked through 2 or 3 pages. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A complete profile lets you describe your firm using more than 500 data fields; then 7 short essays you write, same for case histories and confidential client list. When that’s finished, you click at Item #13 – Set Your Record Active. When you log back in you’re greeted with “Welcome Back “Agency Name.” If you didn’t get that far and you still need to finish, you’re greeted with just “Welcome to AgencyFinder.com.” We assume you enrolled to get new clients. Please finish things up so we can do that for you!

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Invitation Deliverability

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. Invitation Deliverability
  2. Leads, Leads, Leads, What’s a Lead?
  3. You Don’t Have to be a Pit Bull
  4. Virginia International University Search
  5. L’Oréal Search
  6. Widex Search
  7. Lonza Search
  8. Your Unfinished Profile
  9. What’s New? Check Out PitchCast

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INVITATION DELIVERABILITY

Client wants to interview your agency. What’s Step One?  Getting you the invitation. Sounds simple enough but in today’s world of over populated media alternatives (we consider phone, fax, email, FedEx, USPS as media) it ain’t so simple anymore. We’ve tried everything but our most successful has been 1. Email notification of pending invite 2. Fax or email invitation 3. Telephone follow-up to confirm & explain. This works when 1. Your profile is current 2. The right folks are at Primary and alternate NB contacts 3. We have correct emails 4. You have white-listed us as the sender. chuck@agencyfinder.com bpi@agencyfinder.com  Any suggestions to the contrary?

LEADS, LEADS, LEADS, WHAT’S A LEAD?

What’s that up in the sky? Are those birds? Is that Superman? No those are lead vendors and they are everywhere! We got this email recently: “I ran across agencyfinder.com this afternoon in my search for lead generation options for our agency. Employing an outside lead generation option is a new concept for us so I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.”

We responded: “We don’t deliver leads, rather invitations from clients who are serious about finding and hiring a new marketing partner and doing so now. They’ve also used our service to generate a Request for Dialogue that in most cases allows for the elimination of the infamous RFP. A veteran “new business kinda guy” once described a “lead” this way …  Imagine you are sitting at a 2-top in McDonalds adjacent to a noisy group of four, discussing dissatisfaction with their current agency – and a commitment to find someone new. You note the name of the agency and after lunch, rush to call your friend who owns an agency. You share the story and agency identification. That’s a “lead.” Make sense?”

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PIT BULL

Most agency people are artists of some sort or degree; they aren’t natural-born sales-dogs. So it’s a mistake to expect or try to train your New Business Pro to bite and snap like a Pit Bull (as a pit bull owner I hate that often-used analogy). Pity the poor prospect receptionist that’s bombarded by pit bulls demanding to speak with the CMO or equivalent. In your back pocket place the following key to the front door – “I need some assistance; could you help please?

WIDEX SEARCH

Location: Hauppauge NJ & Denmark Budget:  $2.5MM – $5.0MM public relations & public affairs Client-Category: Medical Ads & Devices Awarded to: Advance, Denmark Contenders: MarketSmith, NY, gyro, NY

LONZA SEARCH

Location: Alpharetta, GA Budget: $100K – $250K (fees & production) Client-Category: Chemicals, Cleaning agents, Waste & Water Treatment Awarded to: Scout, Atlanta Contender: Point b, Atlanta, GA

VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL SEARCH

Location: Fairfax, VA Budget: $100,001 – $250,000 (fees, production & media) Client-Category: Education, Schools, colleges & universities Awarded to: Sparkroom, Paramus, NJ Contenders: ndp, Richmond, VA, Charles Ryan Associates, Richmond, VA.

L’OREAL SEARCH

Location: Montreal, Canada Budget: $100K – $250K (fees & production) Client-Category: Cosmetics, toiletries, feminine hygiene products Awarded to in-house marketing department. Contenders: The Mars Agency, Toronto, CA, Shikatani Lacroix, Toronto, CN

YOUR UNFINISHED PROFILE

Check to see if your profile is Active & Ready for Client Invitations. Maybe you didn’t realize we give you over 500 data fields to select from. Login with the information above. On the landing page, click #13 – View Your Report (Confidential Version). You should see Iridium, Director’s Club or RefNet | Approved | Paid or Unpaid.  If you see Iridium | Not Yet Approved | then finish up. Iridium is the initial no-fee level; But unless you are Approved you can’t be found or invited.

WHAT’S NEW? CHECK OUT PITCHCAST

Buncha good stuff going on – check it out. Let us know if you see a fit.

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Global (International) Hearing Aid Agency Review

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. Global Hearing Aid Review
  2. The Old Cooks & Broth Story
  3. Alec Bradley Search
  4. Sunsof Search
  5. GuidedChoice Search
  6. Famous Smoke Shop Search
  7. Pheasants Forever Search
  8. In Memoriam

GLOBAL (INTERNATIONAL) HEARING AID AGENCY REVIEW

When first posted at our PitchCast it read: 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).

We don’t normally “pre-announce” but this agency review is unusual and global. The client has narrowed it down to their finalists, and now they will be transported to the client’s European headquarters (at the client’s expense). I’d love to tell you all about these folks and how they do business and have been doing business, but that’s not our place to do so. I am however wishing success to all competitors! Results to come.

THE OLDE TOO MANY COOKS & BROTH STORY

You’ve heard that too many cooks spoil the broth, right? Well, on that topic many of you have asked my opinion on the ever-growing universe of “new business” provocateurs. Here’s where I come from … To function as a match-maker (other than list broker) I contend you must have walked in the shoes of an agency business development person or a marketing director on the client side. When I visit About Us on those recent interlopers, I see people with IT experience, but a distinct lack of the later. Assuming you’ve participated in at least one client’s review in your business life, you KNOW it’s much more than writing code or “connect-the-dots.”

Back some time ago there was a proliferation of “List” websites. Agencies spent valuable employee time and for some it was great summer intern project building profiles that were worthless from day one. For a short time folks even tried to keep those profiles updated but when reality set in, they stopped. If you’re looking at a new “Agency New Business” vendor website, study their people and their credentials before you spend your time – or your money.

HOW ABOUT SOME RECENT SEARCH RESULTS …

ALEC BRADLEY SEARCH Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL Budget: $250,001 – $500,000 (fees, production & media) Client-Category: Tobacco products, Beer, wine, liquors, Luxury items Awarded to: PriceWeber, Location: Louisville, KY Contenders: One Eighteen, Los Angeles, CA, Current360, Louisville, KY,

SUNSOF SEARCH (Laura’s Empanadas) Location: Miami, FL Budget:  $100,001 – $350,000 (fees, production & media) Client-Category: Food, Food Service   Awarded to: evok advertising, Heathrow, FL  Contenders: LatinBrand, San Antonio, TX Stokes, McNutt & Partners, Auburn, AL

GUIDEDCHOICE SEARCH Location: San Diego, CA Budget: $100,001 – $250,000 (fees & production – no media) Client-Category: Financial Services  Awarded to:  Sagon-Sagon, Los Angeles, CA Contenders: Trone Brand Energy, High Point, NC Johnson Gray Advertising, Laguna Beach, CA One Eighteen, Los Angeles, CA

FAMOUS SMOKE SHOP SEARCH Location: Easton, PA Budget: TBA PR Fees  Category: Tobacco Products  Multiple Awards to: Amplify Relations, Reno Nevada; Barker, New York; PriceWeber, Louisville, KY;  SBC Advertising, Columbus, OH The assignment was expanded and subsequently awarded to more than one. Search timeline also extended to accommodate new FDA requirements, as would be the case at all tobacco-products companies.

PHEASANTS FOREVER SEARCH (on behalf of Honey Bee & Monarch Butterfly Partnership (HB&MBP)  Location: Elba, NE & others   Budget:  $100,001 – $250,000  fees, production & media  Category: Charities, Environmental (as in Green),  Fundraising, Non-profit  Awarded to: McDaniels Marketing Location: Pekin, IL Contenders: Crosby-Volmer, Washington DC,  Sagon-Phior, Los Angeles, The Monogram Group, Chicago

IN MEMORIAM

Michael Todd Roden

Manager, Information Technology

AgencyFinder.com

1959 – 2017

I regret to announce the recent passing of Michael “Mike” Todd Roden, our WebMaster here at AgencyFinder.com since our earliest days in 1999. Mike was the genius behind the complex algorithms that searchers used to find, examine, invite and meet some of the finest marketing firms in the world. Many of you had occasion to speak with him to resolve technical issues. Mike died unexpectedly while on a business trip. He will be missed and most difficult to replace. We extend our condolences to his family and many friends.

During the transition you may have noticed our website was down. It’s now back up operating as designed.

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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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Breaking News! Clients Are Taking Longer to Select an Agency

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

1. Breaking News! Clients Are Taking Longer to Select an Agency
2. What’s the Prospect’s Experience When They Call Your Agency?
3. Thank Goodness, Everyone Has New Business Advice to Sell
4. The Client’s Search Steps Are More Involved – Here’s Why
5. No One Uses Fax Machines Anymore – Really?
6. Hard to Believe You Don’t Offer Social Media

BREAKING NEWS! CLIENTS ARE TAKING LONGER TO SELECT AN AGENCY

We’ve been massaging multiple client searches since early summer. They are wrapping up now, with a number of reasons for the extended timelines. It’s not because we haven’t encouraged dispatch. Our search procedure outline for the client mentions this for Search Duration: As a result of cost reductions and time saved by the AgencyFinder process, BPI clients have frequently conducted and concluded rigorous agency searches and reviews in 60 days or less once the agency invitations have been issued. If you anticipate a delay that would extend your search decision and notification beyond 60-days of invitation, please explain the circumstances and advise us in writing so we can arrange for an authorized extension.

These aren’t Fortune 500 clients and in some cases, significant corporate changes were occurring at the same time. We were accustomed to seeing those 60-day turnarounds and got spoiled. We’re starting to address some client issues up-front that hadn’t been topics for discussion before.

WHAT’S THE PROSPPECT’S EXPERIENCE WHEN THEY CALL YOUR AGENCY?

In the days of yore, agencies had operators who answered the phone and directed calls. Generally a kind, helpful individual. But today that’s only a memory. Now we have automated platforms. The caller (let’s assume someone looking to hire your firm) is expected to know your extension, though they don’t even know your name yet. The automated options are of little value other than potentially irritating the caller. The recorded announcement loops and loops if you keep trying. When that happens, some callers have learned to dial “O.” That invites real annoyance – a voice announces, “Hi this is NAME,” I can’t get to the phone right now, please leave a message.” Some callers even learned to start punching in random extensions, only to find no one is picking up their phones. Gives the impression that it’s a virtual agency! Black mark for new business.

Suggestion – Call your agency from afar to see what you (and potential clients) experience.

THANK GOODNESS. EVERYONE HAS NEW BUSINESS ADVICE TO SELL

Oh, do I feel for anyone at your agency charged with business development. Same might apply for the agency Owner.  Everyone (particularly those in India) has a lead development program guaranteed to connect you with “qualified prospects.” Or they’ve studied your agency website and took the liberty to share the weaknesses they spotted. They offer to provide SEO for you and its incredibly cheap – says the author who wrote you (as they did me) something like this – “Dear Team, I got to stumble your website “”. You have created a nice website which holds the vigor to drive lot of sales/leads. But are you getting enough sales? No???? Let’s help you out.” They promise their lists are “Opt In”, and to what and whom you should ask. With the complexities of email these days, I’d suggest getting some quality data from a reputable firm like www.Redbooks.com. Not for e-mails though, but for good old fashioned USPS addresses. And rather than address the person, address the title; your mail will get there. Some old-fashioned methods still deliver!

THE CLIENT’S SEARCH STEPS ARE MORE INVOLVED – HERE’S WHY

We have little to contribute other than to suggest your read Lindsey Slaby’s fine report/article “A tough time for ad agency positioning.”

http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tough-time-ad-agency-positioning-lindsey-slaby

NO ONE USES FAX MACHINES ANYMORE – REALLY?

For years we’ve been sending our registered agencies client invitations in three (3) ways:

1. First an email advisory to Primary and Alternate NB to let them know they have been selected; including a thumbnail to identify the client.
2. A multi-page (5-7) fax with the RFD, instructions and invoice (if appropriate) (to Primary only)
3. An actual phone call to confirm receipt & answer questions (to Primary or Alternate)

Some agencies tell us no one uses faxes anymore (they themselves don’t have one) – Really? Visit websites of the “Greats” and then some – at Contact Us you will see their fax number along with primary phone, NB contact and email.

We did learn recently that financial information (as in Banks, Brokerage Firms, etc.) can’t be sent by email. For them fax is mandatory. So if your agency is large enough (as in Gross Receipts) your CFO may confirm this or at least be aware. And here’s our bottom line – we want you to receive, read and respond to the client’s invitation. And since you registered here for new business, you should too.

You can purchase a current state-of-the-art combo fax/printer/scanner for less than $200. You don’t need a separate line; you can camp on an existing. You can also install one of the e-fax options. If you’re full-service, include fax service!

HARD TO BELIEVE YOU DON’T OFFER SOCIAL MEDIA

First glance at many agency profiles, there’s no “tic” at social media. As in: Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) How can that be? Because the agency hasn’t been in to update in some time, that’s why. Same for Digital production & Experiential. If you don’t have them checked (if you can), please do so. You could see an invitation soon.

How to Take a Summer Vacation from Agency New Business

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

1. How to Take a Summer Vacation from Agency New Business
2. Your Confidential Client List – It Can Get You Invited or Get You Tossed
3. The New Business Provocateurs – Your Head Must be Spinning
4.  Are You Being Deluged with E-mails from Uninvited Senders?

HOW TO TAKE A SUMMER VACATION FROM AGENCY NEW BUSINESS

Is it enough to say you’re earned it? The constant, continuing pressure to connect, to tell the agency story, to request an initial meeting and then-some. It’s a never-relenting series of organizations, prospect lists, calling, talking, cajoling, fake and real smiling and being sincere that sometimes leads to a face-to-face meeting. Some of you (making the calls) may be following the original “Spark/Torch” procedure where the Spark (caller) and Torch (Sr. AE) were meant to go together on that first meeting. Too often, the agency bastardized that model and only the Torch made the meeting. So the client’s first question was – “Where’s Sharon (Spark)? Torch says – She’s back at the agency – Prospect says – what is this, bait & switch? The lesson here – don’t play tricky games.

So how about enough already … Stop the grind and let me get off! If you’re a commission-only employee (I hope not) then vacation pay isn’t part of the deal. If you get it, thank God. But regardless, the grind will get the best of you down. It’s summer and clients too are looking for a break. Since there is no really good time, check with your family and plan a vacation. Try 2 weeks but one week at a time. That way you won’t likely miss anything. If you bring your cellphone, emergencies only and don’t check e-mail. Your office should be instructed to call if something is critical.

Have fun and write me – when you get back!

YOUR CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT LIST – IT CAN GET YOU INVITED OR GET YOU TOSSED

Have you given any thought to how we or clients use your confidential client list? For starters, clients never see it; it’s strictly for our use. Stay with me and you’ll learn why it’s not optional that you keep that list complete and up-to-date.

Clients make the first pass on a Search. After they register and select their desired agency attributes, we see their results and call to interview them by phone. We’ll make adjustments to what they did based on what they tell us. That generally surfaces additional candidates with some better matches. We take control of their search and continue to fine-tune until we narrow to a manageable collection of 30 or so. In most cases, that still is too many. To cut that group to something we can invite, we now check to confirm you and the other agencies have worked with clients in the vertical markets you’ve claimed in the upper section (Fields Served). By exaggerated example, let’s say you checked Industrial Equipment – light. Now we spend time on your website. We’ll check your client list there and may find nothing but fashion accounts. But before that turns the tide, we look to your confidential client list with us. If that too is nothing but fashion, we drop your firm from consideration and contention. End of story!

Moral of the story – keep your client list current, complete and up-to-date.

THE NEW BUSINESS PROVOCATEURS – YOUR HEAD MUST BE SPINNING

In the good old days (not sure when that was) there weren’t many “new business services” agencies could use to help them at new business prospecting or business development. Just now I Googled “tools for agency business development” and found more than a few:

11 Must Have Ad Agency Business Development Tools 
Top 5 Free Marketing Tools for Growing Agency New Business
2016 trends for advertising agency business development
The Guide to New Business Tools for Agencies
New Research Reveals the Top New Business Development Tools
Study: 12 Tools That Most Ad Agencies Use for New Business 
Top 50 Tools to Run and Scale Your Ad Agency
5 Prospecting Tools Your Ad Agency Needs Now
Business Development Best Practice 
Agency New Business Tools Archives
Agency Business Development Websites

In many respects, it could take months to decipher the offerings, then to examine, test, try, install and debug your choice. I’m forever grateful we’re now on the end of delivering high-quality, pre-qualified prospects to some of our perfect-fit agencies. Be sure to get your share.

ARE YOU BEING DELUGED WITH E-MAILS FROM UNINVITED SENDERS?

Are you experiencing what we are?  An onslaught of new uninvited e-mail “senders” – businesses who apparently think we would be interested in new services and new products far from our realm of interest. I particularly hate the chatty first-person intros – “Hi Chuck, since you are doing this and we are selling that, let’s get together!” I’ve taken to devoting Friday afternoon to conducting a “remove” campaign on all those – hoping that at least some will never return.

P.S. – How about a little entertainment?  Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AgencyFinder

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