Finding the Ogilvy, Burnett or Wells in your ad agency new business efforts

Welcome! So, your agency doesn’t have an Ogilvy, Burnett or Wells in it. Yet you’re interested in how a personality can be used in your new agency’s business efforts. Have you considered using an existing personality? Here’s a cool example.

When you think of the word “positioning,” do you think about Al Ries and Jack Trout? I do. Wikipedia does. So does Ohio-based agency Innis Maggiore. They suggest they are “the nation’s leading agency in the practice of positioning.” From the agency’s website:

“In the mid-90s, Innis Maggiore began to build its reputation as the nation’s leading positioning agency, working directly with author Jack Trout, who coined the term. Since the late 90s, the agency has more than tripled in size.”

In 2009, in fact, Jack Trout dedicated one of his latest books to principal Dick Maggiore.

You gotta love that!

A couple of things about this agency and the approach appealed to… this new business development practitioner:

  • Agency has carved out an identity and backed it up with existing, widely perceived expertise.
  • “Positioning” can be applied to many categories. Much like an agency specializing in a demographic target (rather than a specific category: like retail, etc.)
  • The agency found a seemingly evergreen client marketing issue. Series of books have been written about it. Hundreds of whitepapers…dozens of white papers…
  • The agency seems to stick to their specialty. Their blog, for instance, comes back to the theme time and time again.

Sure, there were a few tweaks that someone like yours truly might adjust a bit. But you have to admire and respect what’s been done.

What does this mean for you, agency new biz fan? Assuming this is an interesting and valuable direction for you, here are a few thought starters:

  • Identify the top 10 business books over the last three years.
  • Explore these personalities and the themes. Surf their sites, find ’em on Twitter, youtube, etc. Get a sense for how they have marketed themselves. And their impact. And how your target might perceive them.
  • Apply win-win partnership mentality to how a business relationship might work. Your prospective partner is a brand. Think through it like you would a celebrity – brand relationship.
  • Find a test. So, don’t invest too much or lock down anything long-term until both parties have a chance to see how it might work. This could be something as simple as exposing a current client to your new-found resource.
  • Plan and invest. It ain’t just gonna happen.

What other considerations might there be? Your comments, as always, more than welcome!