Agency principals often say they’re considering our new business services because they a) don’t have time to follow a consistent process or b) once they’re in the pitch, they’re in good shape, but it’s getting there that confounds them (and they don’t have time as well).

CMO tenure, and the revolving door nature of the position, also tends to be a contributing reason to new business frustration.

Because of that revolving door, agencies can’t count on the new business process to work consistently when they have to start over frequently, not to mention that the CMO experience level and understanding of current goals tends to vary wildly as well.

new business-2

But that’s changing:

The average length of time chief marketers remained in their positions last year was 48 months.. . .CMO tenure jumped from 45 months in 2013 to 48 months last year. That’s double the CMO tenure from 2004.

                                –CMO Tenure Hits 48 Months, And Chief Marketers’ Moves Reflect Rising Influence

This is good news for ad agency new business, in theory at least.

It means more consistency and a potentially savvier CMO.

It also means, more than ever, you’ve got to speak the marketer’s language when you’re prospecting-regardless of the method (inbound, outbound, etc.)

Now is the time to review your case studies, your site and the language you’re using in new business emails, outreach and content.

I still see and hear agencies default to “agency speak”, those buzzwords the industry loves so well.

new business

Or to the agency culture or process.

These are important, but not up front. You’ve got to let the marketer know you “get it.”

So for example-if you’re going after retail, you’d better talk store traffic or in-store sales.

Or, depending on your sector, terminology like decreased costs, improved operational efficiency or improved customer retention levels.

Granted, they need to be tied to work you’ve done or can do, or else they’re hollow terms.

But this is not difficult to do-you’re solving challenges like these for your clients right now.

Translate that to your prospecting efforts.

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.