I was in a recent kickoff with a new client in NYC and at one point during the meeting, the agency principal remarked that he used to be more concerned about the fact that his shop was no longer a hot, new shop.
He said he came to peace with that fact when one of his new clients was blown away after an initial pitch, not only with the actual pitch, but the previous work and skill sets the whole team brought to the table.
He said that’s when it really hit him that experience counts for something (as does a great team of course.)
So if you eye those currently hot new shops with disdain, envy or even fear, a few reasons to believe you shouldn’t:
–You have the experience
That counts for something with most prospects/marketers
–You typically have a better eye toward solving a business problem
Goes hand-in-hand with the experience part-hot and creative only takes you so far with a marketer if you can’t tie it to how you can actually increase revenue, for example.
–You know how to deal with clients when things get hairy
And somewhere down the line, they always do.
You’ve been through it before-many, many times-and you know when discretion is the better part of valor and more importantly-when enough is enough.
–You know what your team can realistically promise and you make that clear to the client
Those early days of saying “yes, we can do that” to everything don’t last long.
You know what you can do and you will kick ass.
So there’s just a few reasons you should forget those occasional concerns about the hot young shops, there will be always be a new, hot, young shop.
BUT. . .
While all the above reasons are valid,
. . . you also know they’re hot for a reason.
They’re most likely talented as hell and they’ve grown up with a whole slew of skill sets you and your team have had to learn after-the-fact.
So of course, never discount them or take the above reasons for granted.
Keep a few of these things in mind:
–Marketers ultimately have to be accountable, but they still get distracted by shiny new things.
Your positioning has to be disciplined and tight.
You’ve got to explain, succinctly and in the marketer’s language, why your firm is the best choice.
–You’re getting too comfortable.
Are you? Because those young shops are waiting in the wings for some of your most valued clients.
Of course you know that, it’s an ongoing concern, so don’t worry about what you can’t control, but make sure your team stays sharp-are you continually learning and thinking about ways to up your chops?
-Don’t take your team for granted.
If they’re doing a great job, make sure and tell them once in a while, take them out for drinks.
And conversely, if someone isn’t getting the job done, hard as it might be, cut the cord sooner than later.
–Those hot, young shops? They are that good.
One of them may very well ultimately take one of your clients, and while politics, budgets and other crap can influence the decision, this time they were better-this time.
Learn from it.