A Brave New Agency New Business World


I sent the email below to a client after hearing they attained an initial project and thought I’d share my response to the news, as it has implications for all agencies, regardless of size/type:

That’s great to hear!

While I know it’s a small initial project, (and I know you know this…) here’s the deal with prospects like these and agencies that are given opportunities like this…it’s all about the project that leads to bigger opportunities.

It’s happening more and more.  In our most recent survey (to be released next week) 40% of marketers state that 51%+ of the work they push out is project-based.

We have a good number of clients that started small…proved themselves out…and landed big.  It obviously needs to be the right client – with the potential for bigger opportunities or more of them later on.

That is something that you ultimately need to decide – if the prospect meets that profile…and it is something that we need to collectively be thinking about as we build future lists.

There was an article in Adweek today about this very subject.

It’s where the world is going and agencies are going to have to make adjustments to deal with it…or it will be a struggle.  And because of this, it’s getting more competitive, so the big fish opportunities are going to get harder and harder to come by.

Just want to make sure that as we move your new business program forward, we think about these things and make the necessary adjustments to work through them.

Most of what we open up for our clients as their outsourced sales & marketing firm is project work. We do occasionally find the AOR or RFP opportunity.

What I tell clients and prospects is that in today’s world, you have to examine these opportunities like you’d examine a financial investment.

If you think the company has the potential to generate more revenue because it has more brands or more divisions or more needs on that specific brand, then it might be worth taking on that single project.  If you don’t see the potential, then it’s probably not worth the effort – unless it gets you into a category you’d like to expand into.

The challenge and problem is that given there is a lot of profit pressure on big agencies in large networks, they are going to start looking at things they’ve never looked at before…so competition is only going to get tougher for you.

As you move your way into 2018, make sure you have a solid new business plan/program in place.  If you don’t and don’t know where to start, happy to help out.

Author: Mark Sneider

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.