Small firm advantages in ad agency new business

Hello there! Today’s post offers up some points you can use next time you’re up against a bigger agency. They could show up in prospecting talkpoints, RFPs or credentials or finals presentations. And will help make your new business development efforts more effective.

Focus on client needs rather than shareholder needs. As a privately held company, our principals down the hall make the decisions on how to invest the agency’s resources to best serve our clients, not upper levels of worldwide and holding company management.

Size matters. POVs and work from larger agencies frequently takes more time. With fewer bureaucracy and reporting levels, smaller agencies are more nimble, can save client’s money and time.

For clients that need it, they can truly get best-in-class marcom services instead of first using holding company sisters.

Senior level attention. Most big agencies trot out their finest ponies for presentation purposes. And clients don’t see them once the business is won. Agency principals are active members of the team, and will participate in your business daily.

The above points are, of course, fairly generic and standard. You might already have a version of them. Or better yet, you may have built a few advantages based around what I call “the six Ps” of your agency. Just two more than the classic four:

  • Product (agency capabilities, structure, output)
  • Process (tools, project management, traffic)
  • People (your team, HR function)
  • Promotion (new business, identity)
  • Place (work environment)
  • Price (compensation matters)

Blatant, yet interesting commercial message: Thunderclap has worked with agencies in developing an elevator speech and then delivering ideas on how that thinking can be placed across the six Ps. It’s relevant here because it adds real meat to an agency skeleton. Real benefits as to why a client should work with you versus someone else. And it’s also a heck of a lot more intriguing than the generic points listed above.

The methodology works across agencies of different disciplines and sizes. The deliverable helps make new business efforts more efficient and more effective. Happy, of course, to chat about it with you sometime!

Meantime, happy pitching. And thanks for stopping by today.

Comments

  1. I’d like to add that smaller agencies can be flexible in other ways, as well. By finding and developing relationships with committed freelance writers and designers, their creative pool can be greatly expanded without investing in salaries and benefits.

    The trick is to hire only those creatives who have chosen to freelance — not those who are between full-time jobs. They will be available whenever needed, and can perform all of the functions of a staff team, including meeting with the client.

    Some of the best talent is available only on a freelance basis, and they are well worth exploring — especially for smaller agencies seeking to appear larger and capable of handling more prestigious clients.

  2. Steve Congdon says:

    Good point, Sara! Generally speaking, freelance talent can also give very small agencies the chance to pitch something they may not normally have the chance to pitch (so long as this is done in a transparent way.)

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