Posts Taged client-service

Want to Win the Race to the Bottom? Don't Invest in Tech | Guest Columnists – Advertising Age

Agencies Must Raise Efficiency to Stay Alive and Free Themselves to Brainstorm Ideas

Is the advertising industry willing to look at itself and acknowledge that it has a big problem? Can anything reverse what seems like a race to the bottom and allow a rainbow to emerge?

The crisis mirrors what has happened in the newspaper business. Two decades ago, newspapers were profiting by big margins, with no incentive to invest for the future. As technology changed and profit margins shrank, these companies were left with no capacity to invest. So they laid off people. This led to diminished product quality, which contributed to even more lost revenue. Many newspaper companies got entangled in a race to the bottom.

In our industry, the digital revolution has triggered three dangerous trends that, combined, pose a similar life-threatening challenge:

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Building An Internal Content Strategy for the Long Haul

How to build a foundation for your agency’s content marketing future by strategically building a content hub for all agency social and content marketing efforts.

What I find both interesting and frustrating is that agencies know how to create and implement marketing and content strategies for their clients. However, when it comes to their own efforts, they forget the basics. Instead, their efforts are often haphazard, sporadic and tactical rather than strategic. So how can you build a foundation for your agency’s content marketing future?

Where to Start

Most agencies launch a blog, Facebook page or Twitter account with no forethought. These are accessible and seemingly easy to maintain, so agencies figure they should follow suit. As a result, their blogs and social networks languish from lack of attention, or worse, become brag books for their own accomplishments, awards and accounts won.

Before an agency can determine what kind of structure it needs internally, it must decide whether it should even be creating content, and if so, why? What business outcomes is the agency looking for? When done well, content marketing can drive qualified leads, shorten sales cycles, generate opportunities, reinforce a current client’s buying decision and create PR opportunities. Once the agency is clear about what it’s trying to accomplish, it needs to identify who it should be talking to in order to achieve its goals.How to build a foundation for your agency’s content marketing future by strategically building a content hub for all agency social and content marketing efforts.

Submitted by: 12/3/2012

4 broken promises agencies make to brands

Right Intel provides a solution for three of these areas where agencies find challenges – Communicating with the Marketing Team; Collaborating with other Agencies; and Watching Trends for the Client

First, my credentials: Over the last seven years, I have worked a lot of digital marketing agency jobs. I joined the industry doing entry-level research, and many years later I co-founded and helped build an agency of my own. I have worked as a freelance consultant on both the creative and technical sides. And I have directly experienced most aspects of the digital marketing agency world. I have both made and received broken promises.

4 broken promises agencies make to brands

The symbiotic relationship between brands and their agencies is a complex one, full of jargon and the constant rustle of asses being covered. Agencies make outlandish promises to their clients because the clients essentially ask to be lied-to. The agency doesn’t want to get fired, so they tell the client what the client wants to hear. The client often reports to a manager who sets impossible goals. So the client depends on the promises that the agency tells him, so that when accountability rolls-around, there is somebody else to blame.

So what are the most common lies?


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Agencies Make Strategic Play

More shops are eyeing business usually handled by management consultants

More shops are eyeing business usually handled by manage In a classic Mad Men scene, Don Draper pitches a new Lucky Strike commercial to a room full of the marketer’s most senior executives. Such meetings that used to be routine have become a rare thing of the past.

“With the CEO, CFO and COO, agencies in this country just don’t have that access anymore,” underscored Brian Wieser, senior analyst, Pivotal Research. “Back then if your numbers lit up, the CEO would be able to distinguish whether a TV commercial worked or not. As marketers got larger and more factors could impact sales, business became much more complicated and agencies didn’t evolve accordingly.”

Agencies are making up for that now by taking back strategic services from management consultants like McKinsey & Co. and Accenture. But rather than expand their capabilities via acquisition, agencies are creating new specialty units from within. Ogilvy, one notable example, launched strategic consultancy OgilvyRED in May 2011; it uses an open-source approach drawing on 21 Ogilvy units–from digital and health and entertainment to cross-cultural, green and Islamic branding–plus other resources at corporate parent WPP.ment consultants

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Ad Agencies: 6 Social Media Steps That Changed Client Perception

6 social media steps that can change client perception

It is hard for agencies to change the perceptions of their clients but social media can make it easier.

Stacy Carter is the creative director/partner for a small agency in downtown Charlotte, ABZ Design Group. Her agency’s primary focus is community hospitals. A couple of years ago, with the help of her staff, Stacy launched a blog called “CreativeTriage.” The site is generating an impressive amount of traffic for this very narrow niche.

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Top 10 Agencies for Startups

List of the Top 10 Agencies for Startups by The Agency Post

These agencies aren’t afraid of hard work; they live for long hours and risky new strategies. Most of all, they have an entrepreneurial spirit and an eagerness to take an unknown brand and make it a household name.

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How and why agencies got pushed down the value chain – and how they can work their way back up

Many agencies feel they have been pushed down the client value chain into the same category as printers, having lost their status as professional advisors.

Faster.  Cheaper.  Vendor.  Three words that characterize one of the leading issues agencies have with their clients right now.  Many agencies feel they have been pushed down the client value chain into the same category as printers, having lost their status as professional advisors.

In the numerous surveys Ignition has done inside agencies, this problem is a consistent – and growing – concern:

“I think the biggest issue we see with clients is that they don’t appreciate strategic, big picture thinking and the fact that it takes time to do things correctly. So often we feel like “yes people” rather than partners with our clients. Very few clients seem to look at us as a partner rather than a vendor or doer.”

“The key problem that we have with our clients is a general lack of respect and understanding for the work that we are capable of providing. It feels as if we are perceived as another vendor.”


Insight, Conviction, Wisdom and Courage

Mike Hughes of the Martin Agency once said, “The four things clients want the most are Insight, Conviction, Wisdom and Courage.” Hmmm – so not a clever ad? Not a whizbang analytics platform? Sure, they want those things too. But more than anything the client hires an agency for their perceived intellectual property. It’s your collective agency intelligence that will make them appear and feel more intelligent.

Clients want to work with agencies that not only think a lot about their business, but that are also able to consistently demonstrate it. Not just quarterly. Not monthly. Frequently as in weekly or daily. They want their team invested in living the news of the brand, the industry marketplace, the competition and most importantly, their consumer.

That’s a lot to keep up with. What’s your plan? Mine was Right Intel. As a leader of multiple agency teams overseeing a portfolio of clients, I used it to make sure I knew my clients business. More than that, I used it to demonstrate to my clients that we had a real time point of view for their business.

What's The Most Important Thing In Client Service?

About ten years ago I had the chance to interview with a digital agency that I very much wished to work for. IMC2 was seen at the time (and still is, under it’s new name MEplusYOU) as an innovative shop that had cultivated deep relationships with top brands.

As part of the interview, I was to prepare a presentation on a situation where I had been a hero to a client. It was a tough assignment for me. After all, there were just so many stories to choose from, right? In reality, I couldn’t think of much super hero work that I had really done to that point. I decided to go back to the roots of my first job in college and present something that was a bit nostalgic to me and demonstrated the type of client service person I had molded myself to be to paint a picture for the type of guy they’d be hiring. My delivery was so so, but the energy in the room told me I was definitely still in the mix for the job.

Following my presentation, the founder and CEO of IMC2, Doug Levy had an even tougher assignment in the form of one simple question – “What is the important thing in client service?” I froze. It seemed that I was so close to landing this job, yet now I did not know what he was looking for me to say. The one single, absolute, most important thing? What is it? I kept asking myself over an over internally. After a long pregnant pause, it didn’t matter what answer I delivered. It just mattered that my answer was the wrong one.

Know Your Client’s Business” was the answer. I didn’t know that answer and I didn’t get the job. Now I’m in the business of helping agencies to better know their clients’ business. All of my experience to date tells me Doug was dead right, it’s the most important thing in an agency and client relationship. Not focusing on knowing the business can cost you an account or in that case, a job opportunity.