Agency New Business Positioning

Agency New Business Positioning is one of the most difficult early challenges for agencies when creating a new business strategy.

It’s one of the first steps in our process as a new business development firm and understandably, it can be daunting for many agencies.


A few reasons: too close to it all, too many individuals involved (the fabled analysis paralysis) hesitancy to embrace who they are for fear of being too broad, or conversely too niche.

So maybe I can help, however briefly, by pointing out language that is rampantly prevalent (still), specifically on agency sites and Twitter descriptions and that you should avoid at all costs.

(This is not a comprehensive listing and no specific ranking order here, although I did leave the worst/best for last.)


Agency New Business Positioning

1)      We’re not an advertising agency

Sigh, yes you are.

You’re an ad agency-that’s okay.  Hey, your prospects are looking for an ad agency, so why not embrace it?

Sure, there are those firms that use this language, because although outwardly they may have some traits of an agency, they truly aren’t-fair enough.

But there are still many, you know who you are, trying to make some kind of grand statement or avoid some kind of stigma, imagined or otherwise.


Agency New Business Positioning

2)      We’re problem solvers

Oh my.

This is everywhere.

Undoubtedly, you are problem solvers, but every other agency out there is using that same language.

Google “ad agency problem solvers” for a few examples.

Make it more specific if you must use this language, for example: We solve problems for Fortune 500 in companies in X sector.


Agency New Business Positioning

3)      Language regarding the changing landscape, no longer business as usual, etc.

Marketers are well aware that generally, advertising has changed/is changing.

It’s not that you can’t mention the changing landscape within the context of your agency story, but big headlines like “It’s no longer business as usual” or “the landscape has changed, are you ready” are tired.

Avoid them.


Agency New Business Positioning

4)      We’ve  turned the agency model inside out

But have you?

Unless you can back that up with something specific and meaningful, skip that kind of language.


Agency New Business Positioning

5)      “Strategic” & “Creative”

The worst offenders.

The majority of agencies we talk to have one of those two words included in the 2-3 sentence description of their agency.

“We’re a creative digital agency, we’re deep strategic thinkers, we’re strategically led, etc.”

Again, all these things may be true, they probably are true, but every agency out there is saying the same thing.

Challenge yourself to describe your agency without those two words in the first few sentences.


I leave you with a few examples of some straightforward, effective one-sentence agency descriptions:


-A marketing, advertising and public relations agency that specializes in connecting building product manufacturers to the AEC community.

-A full-service marketing communications company specializing in integrated attendance and exhibit sales campaigns for tradeshows and events.

-X Advertising is an integrated communications agency with 25 years of experience in consumer packaged goods and food industries.

Related to 5 Agency New Business Positioning Examples You Need To Avoid:

A Formula for Fueling Ad Agency New Business: A Different Approach to Create a New Business Program

Agency Positioning: The Root of New Business Success

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.