Not just nagging here: doing the homework on your prospects is crucial.

Marketer feedback from the 2016 RSW/US New Year Outlook Survey brings up a recurring theme: marketers feeling like their agencies do not understand sufficiently their business, their industry or the challenges they face.

Certainly, marketers want their current agency partners to be vested, engaged and even ahead of the curve on developments in their organizations and industries.

Marketer responses to the survey tend to express the plusses and minuses of their current agency relationship.  This relationship succeeds when the agency possesses deep, intimate understanding of the client’s business.  It’s fundamental for a strong relationship.

It’s also foundational for building relationships with prospective clients.

In agency new business, attempting to break through to prospective clients without understanding the prospect’s business and the challenges they face is very likely to result in no response to your prospecting.

NYO cover for web

Reading the 2016 RSW/US New Year Outlook Survey Report and seeing marketers remarks again that their agencies don’t understand their business or industry brings several homework references to mind:

See RSW/US materials and resources for insight on preparing relevant, need-based outreach to prospects. Just a couple resources include:

  • The RSW/US eBook, Put on that Damn Sales Hat.  See Chapter 3: Your Prospect’s Homework isn’t Good Enough.


Also, see the recent Small Business Trends post, How to Get Into the Mind of Your Prospects. It also emphasizes the need to understand your prospect before you make contact and highlights questions to ask as you prepare to make contact.

So, you have your assignment as you prepare for your next call – and meeting – with a new prospect.

Make sure you are doing the homework for agency new business in advance.  It shows you truly care about the prospect and the challenges they face.

Showing your understanding of their world will lead to a more productive conversation – with better odds of continuing the conversation.

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.