Planets and pyramids


In physics perhaps, position is relative.

In the agency new business world, however, a “relative position” could place you off the chart.

Of the many intriguing insights exposed through our 2016 Thought Leader Survey, one is:

Although the six participating Thought Leader panelists posed questions across a range of topics, the importance of strong, differentiated agency positioning was a common theme throughout.

This is not a new matter.

Three years ago, RSW/US VP of Sales, Lee McKnight published this post:     5 Agency New Business Positioning Examples You Need to Avoid.

Fast forward to the 2016 Thought Leader Survey, Founder and Managing Director of Ignition Consulting Group, Tim Williams asked:  “Please provide your agency’s elevator pitch.”

Addendum II of the survey report lists verbatim all of the responses agency principals provided to this open-ended request.

Although the words may differ across the responses, the reality is many of them are quite generic, me-too statements.

To the extent that the elevator pitch is a reflection of an agency’s positioning, this points to positioning that needs more differentiation.

The “Positioning Examples to Avoid” listed in Lee’s November 2012 post seem to live on.

A July 2015 article in AdAge Small Agency Diary, The Perils of Agency Positioning discusses the challenges inherent with creating a strong, truly differentiated position.  One that CAN put you off the charts in a great way.

Hard as it may be, effective positioning is a core factor of success.


Please make the time to read what Thought Leaders have to say and how they are thinking about agency positioning.  Watch for interviews and related posts as we dive deeper with each of the Thought Leaders in the weeks ahead.

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.