It’s not your core competency.

It’s what it boils down to.

This, along with resources and methodology…which makes new business typically not one of the core competencies of an agency.

I’m not talking pitching or presenting.

I’m talking outreach and effectively managing inbound programs with appropriate follow-up and building well scrubbed, targeted lists.

And I’m talking about doing it daily, not every other week or every other month.

Daily…everyday…to everyone.

We recently completed a survey featured in this week’s Adweek that called out the fact that a New Business Director’s tenure in a marketing agency is now less than that of a CMO….less than 2 years!

You can download the survey here.

And the #1 reason they cite as causing this short “shelf  life” (as Adweek calls it) is that most new business people have no methodology or consistent process for managing their outreach programs.

Marketing Agencies

What we often see is New Business Directors starting strong, but fading fast.

They do a good job of reaching out to their contacts and some well-known prospects in their industry, but once someone wants to meet, or requests a proposal, the front-end falls apart.

A friend of mine once suggested to me that I stay true to our core competency.

I didn’t listen to him and we started a separate lead generation business that targeted non-marketing service companies.

I hated it because it wasn’t marketing services and they didn’t embrace the added value we brought to the table like we do on the agency new business side of our world.

I had lunch with this same friend a year into the business and he reminded me of our conversation and said, if you hate it, get out of it.

And I did.

This same friend recommended that I lease office space and not buy.

He said: “It’s not your core competency to be a landlord.  Stay focused on what you’re really good at.”

This time I listened…and glad that I did.

Same holds true for agencies.

Stay true to your strengths.

And if you’re going to bring a new business person in, keep them focused and leave the front end of agency new business to someone else.

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.