How do marketing executives find new agencies? They start on the web. Does anyone not know that? Then why are there any advertising agency websites that are outdated, confusing, difficult to navigate, and lack a clear focus? Why would an agency owner want their future client to get such a bad first impression?
I asked over 150 marketing executives representing companies small to large and brands in both B2B and B2C industries a few questions about what they do when they have a new agency need. One of the questions was where they start their agency search. 90% start on the web. That means that 90% of an agency’s potential new client, new revenue, growth, and success start with a click to your website. Don’t make your future client “clicked-off.”
A few marketer comments:
- When I look, I want to know quickly if an agency is worth my time. I came, I saw, I’m not impressed, good-bye.
- I just went through this process. I was amazed at how many agencies I pass on because I could get a quick clear idea of what they do or what they offer. I must have looked at a hundred to get five candidates
- If the loading icon spins more than three seconds, I’m gone
- When I go to a website I want to know what they do, what work is relevant and why they are worth the time. If I’m satisfied I’ll dig deeper otherwise I’m on to the next
Considering that the website is by far the first impression of an agency it is curious why any agency would neglect theirs. Sure the excuses are real; no time, no resources, no budget. Or worse, my current clients tell me how much they like it. Why change?
Why indeed. The website is the easiest thing to control in the entire business development process. Marketers start their search on your website. They select 5 to 10 agencies based initially on your website. They want to know three key things to make their decision. They are time-stressed and want to get through the process quickly.
Putting this data into action.
- The first step is to make it easy. Almost every marketer will visit your website before you know they have any interest. If the website isn’t up to date and the experience isn’t quick, easy and satisfies their primary interest, you will never know what you missed.
- Make sure you are communicating the right things. So many times the things agencies want to say are not the things marketers want to learn. Industry experience, agency capabilities, and leadership top their list. Does it top yours?
- There will likely be 5 or more people who decide or influence whether you get hired or not. They will all go to your website. Remember, the decision is more often made before the pitch. This is the first impression the decision-makers will have. If it’s not good, you’ve lost.
I don’t know what the drop off rate is when marketers start searching, but I would hate to be one of those that got left behind because of my website experience. Just saying… The more we share and collaborate, the smarter and more successful we will all be. After all, new business is the future of your agency. #LetsGrow!
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Hi John: great post. It astounds us how many agency web sites reflect poorly on their brand as not "walking the walk". One of the primary purposes of the agency web site is to demonstrate the agency's uniqueness, specialization, intellectual capital, successes (for their clients) and leaders. If this information is not quickly found, the marketer is gone.
When we work with agencies to help them develop and activate their new business strategy - one of the first steps is to analyze and improve the web site before we create Content Marketing and an Inbound strategy to draw them to the site.
This should be blocking and tackling for an agency, as they do it for their clients - but not themselves.
Posted by: Janet Vinci | February 26, 2016 at 12:14 PM