Small Agencies Need to Grow Up

Agencies are quite often stuck at a certain rung on the ladder because they don’t know how to grow. They think that just adding more workflow is the answer, and maybe it is for some. Those agencies that don’t want to keep fishing in the big pond with small bait need to add services and diversify. Devising a plan to make this happen is no easy task, and executing it effectively is even more difficult. Changing an agency’s repertoire of services may be the toughest challenge faced by the management of small agencies. Why? Because it costs time and money.

The old adage of “It takes money to make money” really rings true here. You can’t just say you offer media services or digital services, etc. You really have to be able to weave those tactics into your offerings and be able to talk to those points in pitch meetings. All too often, companies are in a room spouting off about the big agency services they offer, knowing quite well that when they leave the room they will have to contract with someone to deliver those services.

Overcoming the status quo is a difficult task to afford, and it often requires a shift in an agency’s fundamental approach. Though it may seem a daunting task, it is a necessary one. Running in circles with the same approach will not make a small agency more relevant nor give them the opportunity to successfully land that new client.

This shift in approach begins with taking an objective look at the entire agency and the services it currently offers. The guide for success is dictated by those offerings and defining what is needed to be a “full service” agency.

Knowing what to say is as important as knowing how to say it. Though consistently placed on the back burner, the utilization of a market-proven approach and sound methodology to acquire new business can quickly increase the potential for small agencies to acquire large clients. The experience and critical thinking of a new strategic addition to develop and execute a custom business program allows smaller agencies to focus on difference-making services and creative that will keep large clients happy (Full-Service Offering).

Equally important to uncovering an opportunity with a large prospect is how an agency approaches the pitch. The sound, detail-oriented approach that got your foot in the door and into the pitch must be carried throughout. By researching and understanding the prospects and their business, addressing current and potential needs, and providing prospects with the best solutions, you will make a strong and credible argument for any size agency every time.

Small agencies must also keep the following in mind when they are in the pitch or providing insights for the RFP

Be Bold

Don’t be afraid to lay out what you really think. With so much competition, many agency pitches start sounding alike. A growing number of large companies are looking for smaller, nimbler agencies to offer innovative solutions to their communication needs.

Be Truthful

Offering valuable strategic insights can go a long way. If a prospect’s strategic direction is off, agencies need to let them know instead of telling them what they believe the prospect wants to hear.

Be Compelling

Agencies must believe what they are selling. Buying into the message internally, believing it, and communicating it with sound strategic insights will keep small agencies competitive regardless of category, geography, or expertise.

In any scenario, the ability to harness, streamline and direct efforts toward a common goal is a benefit. Additionally, new blood that has the skill set and expertise to accurately evaluate the agency and create a custom business development plan based on a proven methodology are invaluable.

With trends in the industry pointing to so many cases where smaller agencies are landing the big fish, the opportunity is ripe for small agencies to get more serious about business development.  A solid plan, the correct personnel additions, and the ability to execute it will position any small agency to transform their business and catch their Moby Dick. In the end it is the nimble agencies that can quickly adapt to the needs of clients large or small that will be successful.

About Streng Agency

Streng Agency is a full service integrated advertising agency that excels in all aspects of brand marketing, from traditional media to digital media to website design to marketing events and more. Our full attention is on delivering the best results for your business and your brand. Streng is where business meets creative. Business and brand results drive our efforts to create consumer awareness across all media tactics.

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