Like cold water to the face, agencies need new business reminders every now and then.

After 2008, agencies (and everyone else) got an unfortunate wake up call, and in terms of new business, realized there was no better time to get a lot better at it.

Fast forward to today and clients are spending. That means new business becomes an afterthought.

And you’re busy so you don’t think about things like positioning and how a prospect might perceive you, or not even bother to, and use terms that don’t really mean anything-the dreaded “Agency Speak.”

The type of messaging, like the famous ‘We’re Creative,” that may in fact be absolutely true, but will instantly make your prospects lose interest.

So in that spirit, I’ve culled several real-world examples of agency positioning-taken directly from agency sites today.

To protect the innocent, names are withheld ( I know, no fun).

Keep in mind this is not a shaming exercise, and I hope you’ll get a chuckle from them actually-but in all seriousness,

If you use terms or phrases like these to describe your agency, especially if it’s a stand-alone message with nothing else to support it, fix it-or remove it.


Agencies, Please, Stop Using These Terms To Describe Yourselves


We are strategic thinkers

We know how to listen and understand

The strength in our agency lies in our commitment to partnership

Why work with us? Simple. Ideas.

We find hidden truths

Smart Marketing

Untangle Complexity

Strategic and nimble

We look at things differently

We use bold methods

We’re disruptors

Also, if you’re going to throw out a profound statement, this is not it:

Marketing is challenging

Marketers are not big on the made-up agency words like:


 And finally, if you decide to call out your process and lay it out on your site, perhaps a rethink is in order if it looks like this:

 Insights, Strategy, Ideas

 Never forget new business for the agency.

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.