Flash Report @ AgencyFinder – July 11, 2006
This BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT information is for AgencyFinder Certified Agencies, Agency New Business Executives and agency subscribers. Please forward to others in your firm involved in business development. We communicate with registered member agencies using e-mail. The contents of this Flash Report is the opinion of the writer and is not meant to be an infallible source of fact.
1. Did You Get Your Postcard?
2. Agency Special Events for the Forward Thinking
3. Miller & Lawrence Butner – An Agency Alliance
4. Referrals – Viral at It’s Best or Hogwash?
5. Does Your Agency Have a Sticker?
6. First Notice – AF Power Index
7. Significant Website Upgrade
DID YOU GET YOUR POSTCARD?
Very seldom do we resort to good old fashioned mail, but we did so last week when each primary and alternate new business contact were sent a postcard announcing the need to check and update your agency contacts in your AgencyFinder datafile.
We’re about to make some substantial changes and upgrades ourselves, and it’s increasingly important that we be able to reach you to share prospect and agency search invitations at a moments notice.
Agency spam filters have become so aggressive that I’m not sure how many of you learn about anything new – other than what you’re chasing yourself. And that’s not good. Frankly, if you have an agency website and associated e-mail addresses, the primary purpose is to be found. If your IT people have successfully shielded you from anyone not “pre-screened”, they have done you a disservice. I’d rather plow through some spam to find the “gold”, than never to strike precious metal at all.
AGENCY SPECIAL EVENTS FOR THE FORWARD THINKING
I’m pleased to announce that we’ve struck a working partnership with Tim Williams and his folks at Ignition Consulting Group. You may already know Tim; we’re encouraging agencies to consider his special events and we’re a sponsor of the two that follow: September 22, Park City, Utah – Reinvention: Making Your Agency More Relevant and Valuable to Clients
Reinvention: Making Your Agency More Relevant and Valuable to Clients is a full-day seminar designed to help senior agency executives transform their business model to compete more effectively in the new multi-channel world. The new marketing paradigm is not about exposure, but engagement; not mass media as channels, but everything as channels; not just the brand perception, but the brand experience. This seminar shows how agencies can reorganize and retool their skill set and apply their considerable creativity not just to client business, but to their own business model as well.
Information and registration at: www.ignitiongroup.com/reinvention
November 2-3, Park City, Utah – Propulsion: Leading Edge Practices of Successful Agencies
Propulsion: Leading Edge Practices of Successful Agencies is a two-day seminar for agency leaders that explores how and why the best agencies attract the best people, win the most business, do the best work, and have the best financial track records.
Behind the success of these firms is a set of practices that guide the way they create their work, organize their firms, and price their services. This seminar explores how to learn from the experience of the world’s best-led agencies and put their leading edge practices to use in your own firm.
Information and registration at: www.ignitiongroup.com/propulsion
THE MILLER GROUP & LAWRENCE BUTNER ADVERTISING – AN AGENCY ALLIANCE
Whenever we can, we’re happy to introduce one of our registered agencies to another. That makes great sense when two agencies or even more, but far apart in distance or specialization, are looking to bring more substance to their credentials and sub- sequently increase their opportunities for “being found” in the AgencyFinder process. There are other advantages, but we leave that up to the agencies themselves.
A recent such “alliance” has been struck by the good folks at The Miller Group Advertising, Inc. in Los Angeles (Rene Miller – President/Creative Director), a 19- person shop founded in 1990 and Lawrence Butner Advertising, Inc, New York (Robin Butner – President) a 12 person shop, founded in 1979. The combination has already been able to parlay their new association into some “coastal” new business. Are you looking for a new partner? Give us a call. REFERRALS – VIRAL AT IT’S BEST OR HOGWASH?
We get the daily Soflow Adrants e-mails where folks in the network are busy “networking.” One came in recently from an ad agency in San Francisco asking a simple question – “Anyone know a great PR firm?” The question didn’t include any particular requirements; didn’t even specify whether the work was to appear in the US or elsewhere.
I found the suggestions interesting. First, not one posed the question of why an ad agency would want to hire or pay a pr firm. Not that one wouldn’t, but the “assignment” would have been nice to know. As they started rolling in, most mentions were for solo practitioners rather than firms with more than one employee. I was taken aback by the number of referrals to solo practitioners in Europe, which included such rave but unsupported recommendations as “she did great work for us!”
When we’re talking with an agency and they tell us most of their new business opportunities come from “referrals”, I’m inclined to smile and think of my well- intending Aunt Florence. When I was single, she frequently had some very special lady in mind that she insisted I meet. In most cases, I smiled and thanked her, but explained that at the moment, I was seeing “Vanessa.”
Referrals are well-intended suggested introductions for reasons that make sense to the referrer, but generally have little connection to the needs of the referred. What my aunt saw as a good match and what I sought at the time weren’t in the same ballpark. Not to say she wasn’t right!
DOES YOUR AGENCY HAVE A STICKER?
We warn our searching clients to mark all the agency samples they receive with the agency name that sent them. Unless they do so, and allowing for the fact that many agencies don’t mark their samples themselves (not their brochure, but relevant work they did for others), it doesn’t take much to lose track of who did what for whom.
Nothing particularly fancy is necessary, but be sure to mark each sample of work you send – otherwise your competition could receive all the credit in error.
FIRST NOTICE – AGENCYFINDER POWER INDEX
We’ve decided it’s time to get serious about instituting the AgencyFinder (AF) Power Index ranking feature. Taking our direction from a group of client-side advisors, we created an algorithm that scores each agency in the AgencyFinder database. This real- time score is called the Agencyfinder (AF) Power Index™ (API). It reflects a variety of elements, some factual (as exist in the datafile) and some experiential. These scores (0 – 100) will help searchers further evaluate agency candidates that select according to their search specifics.
You aren’t asked to do anything special to prepare for this scoring system, but you are asked and encouraged to recognize that missing data, incomplete or inaccurate essays, case histories and client lists will be factors in the scoring process.
We’ll give you more details as we prepare to announce (the September 2005 date has obviously come and gone!)
SIGNIFICANT WEBSITE UPGRADE
Later this month we’re going to introduce a complete site re-design. For all the right reasons – user friendly, easier navigation, relevant links, more and better in every way. That was the intent.
We’ll sneak it out on you – if you are either startled or bewildered, feel free to call. User response led us to the new design, but we’re always open to your suggestions. More when it’s “live!”
Thanks for taking time to read this; as we have since 1997, we look forward to getting you face-to-face with a great prospect. Then & Now – We Built it for You!
Charles G. Meyst, Chairman/CEO
Business Partnering International, Ltd.
Vantage Place, 4327 Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060