Building on the release of our 2019 RSW/US New Year Outlook Survey Report, Mark Sneider, Owner/President at RSW/US, covers the most notable highlights in this 2/14/19 webinar.

Mark talks the state of finding and winning agency new business, roster consolidation trends, client perceptions of agency ROI, and traditional ad spend expectations from agencies and marketers.


Our owner, Mark Sneider, held our 2017 RSW/US New Year Outlook Webinar on March 1st, 2017.  In it, he that showcased key findings and critical implications for agencies and PR firms from our 2017 New Year Outlook Report.

You can view it by clicking here: New Year Outlook Webinar
While many aspects of the industry will remain the same in ’17, there are multiple factors sure to force change in how you pursue new business, how you evaluate business opportunities, and how you manage your client relationships.

This is our 11th year releasing the New Year Outlook survey and as in previous years, there are several new and provocative findings Mark shares in our 2017 RSW/US New Year Outlook Webinar.

2016 marks the fourth year that Mirren and RSW/US have collaborated on the New Business Tools Survey and Report and below is a companion to our report, a webinar based on our findings, coupled with some more recent stats that put several of the most prominent tools into different perspective.

You’ll also hear:

-The most popular tools and how to use them most efficiently.
-The tools and technology that are increasing most rapidly in use.

The Advertising Age article, The Ad Agency of the Future Is Coming. Are You Ready?, is one that you may have seen.  If you haven’t, set aside some time to read it.

crystal-ball may 5 2016

As industry leaders from Procter & Gamble, Wunderman, PepsiCo, Omincom and others describe their views of the “Ad Agency of the Future”… how do you feel about the future they portray?

The ideas the article presents are exciting and intriguing, and foster a sense of urgency in being positioned for the future (which you are probably feeling already!).

Just some of them:

  • “The term ‘agency’ will…go away and be replaced by the term ‘partner’.” –  Brad Jakeman, President, Global Beverage Group, PepsiCo.
  • “There won’t be a lead agency but disciplines sitting as equal partners in a much more fluid structure.” – Mark Read, CEO, WPP Wunderman and WPP Digital.
  • “We know that tech spend with the CMO’s will be growing three to four times bigger and faster than with the CIO’s.” – Maurice Levy, CEO, Publicis Groupe.

The outlook that these and many other industry leaders quoted in the article echoes what we hear through our surveys and the reports we publish.  Of note:

  • The RSW/US Agency of the Future Webinar addresses many of the trends industry leaders in the AdAge article describe.
  • The 2016 RSW/US Thought Leader Survey Report enlisted six industry thought leaders to address major trends. A common thread across all thought leaders was the importance of strong agency differentiation and positioning.
  • The 2016 New Year Outlook Survey Report, amongst other insights, revealed the growing tendency of Marketers to assign project work versus traditional AOR assignments. It also exhibited the emphasis Marketers are putting on analytical ability.

It won’t be long before you start making plans for 2017.  As you do so, allow the strategic planning horizon expand to really chart a definitive future for the next several years.  If the future seems to be coming faster every day, it’s probably an accurate sensation!

You are welcome to utilize the resources we have available for you.  The “Resources” tab on our website provides videos, survey results, eBooks, webinars and more that can assist your planning.  And of course, we’re always happy to talk.  Just give us a call.

We are in an unusual position at RSW/US.

Not only do we glean great insights from the surveys we run among marketers and agencies, but we also pick up great perspective from marketers when we talk with them on the RSW/AgencySearch side of our business.

We learn about their pains, what they’re looking for in an agency and what they expect agencies of the future to look like.

And given we represent close to 50 marketing agencies, operating as their outsourced business development team, we are constantly talking with marketers, unearthing needs, and setting meetings for our agency clients to engage in.

Last year we set over 1,200 meetings among marketers and expect that number to grow in 2015.

All of these resources put us in an unusual position – a position unmatched in the industry – and a position that we believe well equips us to identify what we believe are the 8 traits an agency needs to possess in order to future proof itself long-term.

Today we presented a webinar on this topic, sharing with the 75+ agencies that attended, the characteristics their agency needed to embody in order to sustain and be relevant in the years to come.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything on the webinar or as it relates to agency new business, please feel free to email me at

Slide deck for the webinar is available here:



We’re into our third year of the Agency New Business Tools and Technology Survey that we field annually with Mirren.

With the history that’s developing, we can observe interesting emergence, evolution, and enhancement of the tools available to support agency new business programs.

This year’s survey returned rich information once again, and we have a collection of resources available to you on our findings.

Several blog posts will be forthcoming.  Also check our resources tab for the Webinar Lee McKnight from RSW/US gave yesterday to a group of about 100 agency executives.

Also, watch for our eBook on Agency New Business Tools and Technology as well; it will be published mid-June.

The 2015 New Business Tools and Technology survey asked respondents to rate tools and technologies in ten categories.

This is just a starting point with respondent feedback:

The top three categories of tools used for agency new business in 2015 ranked as follows:

  1. Social Media Platforms – #1 Category three years in a row, 2013 – 2015.
  2. Email Marketing Services – now ranked #2, this category has climbed in usage 3years in a row.
    • #4 most used category in 2013
    • #3 most used category in 2014
  3. SEO Tools –at #3, this category has been relatively flat in reported usage over the past three years.


Click on the chart below to see the ranking of all ten categories:


The funny thing with all this information though, is it prompts us to ask more questions.  We hope you have questions too, and that you’ll send them to us.

Assuming we have the answers, we’ll be happy to share them.

If not, we’ll put them on the list to include in the next survey!

We can be certain that developments will continue to drive the introduction of new and enhanced tools and technology for agency new business, and that we will always have something to study in this area.

Email questions or feedback to:

Mark Sneider:


Two recent posts have addressed the importance of managing the introductory meeting process with new prospective clients, from pre-meeting planning and strategy, to managing the meeting itself.

Following the meeting, the work is likely to continue.

In Our “Check the Boxes – Getting to Close” webinar  (or slides) for agency new business, we related that only 10% of Marketers rate Agencies as doing a “great job” in follow-up to initial meetings.


You are likely already doing many of the steps that follow in this final post in the series.  Still, be sure to cover all post-meeting bases with these steps:

  • Say Thank You – More than Once

    • Within 24 hours of the meeting, send a thank you email to:
      • All participants from the prospect’s team expressing your appreciation for their interest and the time they shared with you.
      • As applicable, include next steps.
    • Follow up with a written thank you note:

      • If you met with a team, directing the written note to the decision maker(s) may suffice, but:
      • Including all team members with written notes could set you apart from other contenders for the business.


  • Regroup with your team:

    • Review the meeting discussion. If you did a good job letting the prospect do most of the speaking, you’ll have a lot of notes to compare.
    • Identify the clear next steps and make the plan to initiate them.
    • Non-verbal communication, side comments between prospect team members and other “secondary” or “off-topic” remarks can provide insight to needs and intentions. Have your team consider what they observed that may lead to an insightful point-of-difference in your follow-up with the prospect.


  • Build on the foundation:

    • Within a week after the meeting/call, send a LinkedIn request to the prospect with a personalized note (not the LinkedIn default message).
    • Build familiarity with the prospect’s company:
      • Watch the company social pages for posts on current events and activities.
      • Participate with occasional, relevant comments. Make sure such engagement is about the prospect – rather than self-promotional.


  • Get your homework done:

    • If you wrapped up the meeting with clear next steps, get started on them, and deliver on action items – ideally before the promised date.
    • If the opportunity appears to be in the future, plan and strategize rational, added-value touch points at regular intervals:
      • Send agency work that supplements the conversation in the meeting/call.
      • Reinforce your agency’s thought leadership by periodically sending relevant white papers, blog posts, etc.
      • Watch for news in the prospect’s company, industry, or about their competitor(s). Send the article(s) with a well-thought out, insightful note.
      • Do you have agency promotional swag? A thumb drive or note cube with your logo on it can help keep your name in the daily field of awareness.
      • Is there an opportunity to invite the prospect to coffee or lunch? Is there an upcoming industry event?  Use informal opportunities to get together to further build the relationship.


It’s rare that agencies close business after the first meeting or conference call.

Agencies tell us that 48% of business closes within two-three months following the first meeting.   You’ll need to follow-up.

Be consistent.  Importantly, be relevant.

Strategic and proactive follow-up that adds value for the prospect will continue building the relationship toward that desired close.


netting rabbits

Our recent webinar, Frustration Breeds Opportunity – Tensions between Agencies and Marketers, describes dynamics that increase the challenges for new business development.

Just a couple among them are:

1. Marketers tend to be consolidating agencies

2. A majority of agencies express intent to be increasingly aggressive in new business activity.

2015 is almost a quarter old now, and your new business plan should be in place and operating at full throttle.

So, it’s a good time to assess how your plan is doing at this point, and update tactics for Second Quarter.

Look at what is working well and do MORE of that. Adjust and reinforce elements that could be delivering more.

We touched on accountability for your new business program in the webinar, and it might be one of those areas to review.

Accountability is critical to new business success. It’s not uncommon to hear from agencies that new business is “everyone’s responsibility”.

Or, “we have a team”, with the team meeting at set intervals to review new business opportunities.

And when these people have other responsibilities in the firm, especially client responsibilities, new business often takes a back seat.

If new business keeps getting moved to the to-do-list for “tomorrow”, no one really has accountability for it.

Forbes posted a column late last year on accountability skills for business success.

It is written more generally, coaching business leaders on nurturing accountability for the energy and success it drives. Yet, the skills this article identifies apply directly in agency new business.

Each of the skills is very important, but I wanted to call out Forbes’ #4 – “Clear Vision and Direction” – relating an old Chinese proverb: “The hunter that chases two rabbits catches neither one.”

How many rabbits are you and your people chasing?

See that the New Business Rabbit has a dedicated hunter.

It’s clear the industry will continue to become increasingly competitive.

Keep your firm in the hunt with the focus and accountability your future deserves.


In this February 25, 2015 agency new business webinar, Mark Sneider, Owner/President of RSW/US, shares findings from our 2015 New Year Outlook Survey, which was sent to both Marketers and Agencies. This was the first time we asked Marketers and Agencies to describe the MOST TROUBLING TREND they see about each other.

Frustration and tension came through clearly in the responses. Among the highlights of the webinar:

• Insights on what to expect through the balance of 2015
• Feedback from Marketers and Agencies
• Frustrations exhibited on both sides of the fence
• Opportunities that can be bred from this “tension”

Slide Deck available on the RSW/US SlideShare page here.

Our 7-17-14 Agency New Business Tools 2014 Webinar is available to view here now, with our accompanying deck on SlideShare here.

New Business Tools

In the “RSW/US-Mirren 2014 New Business Tools Webinar,” RSW/US Director of Business Development Lee McKnight Jr. digs into report results and provides comparisons, perspective and insight into nine new business tool categories agencies are using for new business.

Lee also delves deeper into the report’s findings, providing you a road map for the best and most effective tool choices available for agency new business. 

More specifically, the following questions are answered: 

• What tools are agencies using and why? 
• What changes have occurred in usage compared to last year’s survey? 
• What new tools are your peers using that may benefit your new business efforts? 
• If resources are limited (and they usually are) what are the top 3-5 tools we recommend.