How service can differentiate your ad agency new business

Hola, agency new business development aficionado! Steve Congdon here. From time to time you see a post inspired by the very work we do as agency folks. And with any luck, the post will offer up some new business inspiration on how your agency can compete against the big alphabet soup shops. One of the areas in which you can compete is the service you deliver to clients.

This particular bit o’ inspiration, by the way, is the latest outdoor campaign for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. The headline: “Not  on every corner.” Me likey. In the agency marketing space, we can replace InterContinental with a small agency footprint. Replace the Hyatts of the world with any one of the global giants.

Small can mean lack of resources and capabilities. But it can also mean luxurious, intimate and highly customized service. It can be special and unique. Here are some thought-starters to get you going around how the notion might work in your agency:


  • Valet parking
  • Office space for clients
  • Concierge service
  • Reflective personal favorites in meeting snacks
  • Reflective interests and preferences during business travel


  • Junior client training (on marketing communication issues, process, etc.)
  • Immediate return phone calls
  • Project feedback loops

Some maybe not so great ideas:

  • Special PR emphasis on the clients behind the work
  • Help to clients’ children and professional network (the stories you could hear!)

Please note you are not reading about outrageous gifts or sackfuls of money. You’re not offering to hide bodies, pay for hookers or erase gambling debts! But if you look through the experience a client has when they do business with your agency, my guess is there may be a few ways you can differentiate yourself. As well as cement your relationship. And lead to more referrals. And…

Happy thinking!


Related posts:

Some other benefits of being small

A few thoughts on prospecting against the big guys

One agency’s take on the client experience