How a Chief Experience Officer can make your ad agency new business more efficient

Hello there, fan of new business development for your ad agency. Yours truly read a story in Ad Age the other day about how some big agencies are creating a new position: Chief Transition Officer. Someone who leads the on-boarding process as your new client transitions from the incumbent. A fine idea. And not just for big agencies. So, what’s the small agency version of this?!

How about a Chief Experience Officer?


I love this idea. It captures the soft side of a client / agency relationship. The human side. The people involved in delivering and receiving our Professional Service. It’s one thing to create and manage ideas that make money for a client. But when we talk about “experience,” we’re talking about the bits your agency can control to help ensure happiness. This, in turn, leads to a longer, more profitable relationship, new business referrals and more revenue for your agency.

This role was recently created at HY Connect, a terrific mid-sized, independent agency with offices in Milwaukee and Chicago. To learn more about their take on the position, I recently connected with Kellie Bliss, the professional in the role. We covered two basic questions.

What is the role of the Chief Experience Officer at your agency?
Kellie suggests this senior-level professional is responsible for ensuring success. HY Connect sums this up best: it is focused on improving and accelerating HY Connect’s ability to adapt to every client’s needs and exceed their expectations.

And just as important? The agency’s staff.

You will see this in some of the functions of the position:

  • Defining & improving use / sharing of best practices across specialties and departments
  • Streamline and enhance priority customer touch-points. This includes new client on-boarding, developing client retreats, and leading the development of agency thought leadership and value-added intellectual property.
  • Improved training:  developing an energized & competent staff that delivers an energizing (or inspiring) experience

How is this different than the Account Service leadership function?
The Chief Experience Officer at HY Connect does not drive client business strategy, manage day-to-day responsibilities for client management or get work out the door. Rather, the position is a resource available to account management to help cross-sell and up-sell agency services and ensure Account Service has what they need.

I’ve known this agency for years and have come to admire them. They understand the values of culture, relationship and partnership. It has served them well – for nearly 80 years.

Should your agency also hold these tenets close to your heart, consider how the role of Chief Experience Officer could work at your agency.

Should you wish to contact Kellie Bliss, feel free to do so here.

And if you’d like to know more about an agency experience audit, check this out. Or, maybe you’d like to read about reversing a slump

Thanks. Hope this gets you thinking! Oh, and should you have any thoughts on improving your experience on this website and blog, feel free to lemme know at your convenience.