I surveyed marketers, your future clients about their preferences for agency business development. When asked if it is important to be made aware of new agency resources, 51% said it is “very” or “somewhat” important while 26% said yes when they are in the market for a new agency. Only 10% said “not really” or “not at all.” Over 75% of your prospects want to know you. The challenge is determining how they want to learn about you, what they want to know, and when.
Since marketers want to know about you, it is simply a matter of finding the best time and the best way to let them know, right? Not so fast. The real insight behind this is to know “what” specifically. If we catch our prospect at the right time through the right method, it has to be information they are interested in, otherwise, why would they care. Nailing the logistics and providing the right content is the one-two punch. But, are you a boxer or a brawler?
From the survey, marketers are pretty clear about what they are interested in. The number one thing is expertise in their industry and expertise with their audience. They also want to know about new technologies or techniques that can impact their success. And they want to hear about client successes relevant to their business and fresh creative ideas that apply to their category. If you can capture their interest, they will want to learn more. If they are a bank brand, and you serve up your fast food success, they will likely move on.
Trying to increase the success rate requires doing your homework to be sure your message is personally relevant, adds value and solves a problem. Read a few more thoughts about doing your homework here. If you take the time to understand the person you want to connect with, you can provide personally relevant information about your agency that they will appreciate. You may hear back something like, “Thanks. That was interesting work, but I’ve got an agency right now and am happy with their work.” And that does not mean NO! It is the beginning of the journey for you to help them learn about your agency, understand the value you offer and put you in contention when the time comes to change resources. Remember, the average tenure for agencies today is 2.8 years.
Don’t get discouraged. Get focused. Only 3% are ready to buy now. The rest will give you a chance when the time is right and if your agency is right for the need. Once you find out when that time is, you can start to nurture the relationship according to their timeline and in the way they want to engage. Remember, it’s the new way to BD. And who knows, along that journey, something might come up, a new product, a new promotion, or a new competitive threat and they will already know you and what your agency can do to solve their needs. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and experience. 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.
About this survey
Over 150 marketers representing companies small to large were asked about their preferences for unsolicited contact by advertising agencies. Brands in this study include Hallmark, Disney, Lenovo, Macy’s, Brinker, Hilton, Sony, and more. My sincere thanks to all the marketers who kindly shared their thoughts about the practice agency new business.
You will find some informative data about the logistics of prospect outreach. You will also read unedited responses from marketers. These suggestions come from the people you want to win over and the brands you want to work with. If we let the customer guide us, the odds of success can only improve. Download your own copy of this survey.
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