Typical Ad Agency Organizational Structure Alternatives

Changing the organizational chart does NOT equal operational excellence.

 

Structure can be the hidden productivity killer.

Structure can be the hidden productivity killer.

Structure is not the enemy, or the Holy Grail – it is only a tool that supports the brand. Structure provides the foundation for resource management and reconciliation – only! Agencies that are masters in the Art of Operations can work in any “structure.” Operations knowledge, information reporting, metrics and incentives are the key to understanding what structure will work best for your firm. Developing a comprehensive operations strategy is the first step.

 

Complexities and Issues Associated With Re-Structuring

 

Approaching a “blank-page” solution as an organizational exercise and should involve all levels of the firm. The business strategy, the work and the process should drive the structure – and it should be clear to staff how and why solutions were developed.

 

Most re-structuring efforts fail due to top-down solutions – not gaining the involvement and support of managers and staff. The agency leaders start with inflated expectations on the expected results and will attempt whole scale change by supremacy of their position. They didn’t approach the change as an evolutionary process where the solutions are developed organically. Most of the time the agency leadership fails to understand, or think-through, the myriad of new issues that are created – often resulting in creating a larger mess where the staff is confused, key talent ends up leaving and much of the agency energy is absorbed into non-value added activities.

 

The flipside to this top-down solution is what we call Analysis Paralysis. Leaders end up spending too much time thinking instead of testing/acting.

 

To create an effective Operating Strategy you need not just management commitment, but support from the staff as well. This ensures resources, decisions, momentum are maintained throughout the change process.

 

Leadership must have a clearly articulated vision for the firm, and the mission, goals and objectives have to be tangible and understood by all levels of the organization. The role of leaderships should be to motivate and energize the staff and the goals have to be achievable. Simply claiming that you will be the “Best Creative Agency in the World” is not enough.

 

By incorporating all operational components and organizational levels the staff will take ownership of the change. Leaders and change agents (proactive members of the staff at all levels) will be actively engaged.

 

When thinking about your operational strategy you need to closely examine:

  • Types of client(s) being serviced
  • What do you say you do …
  • What are you known for …
  • Relative role/power of functions in the agency (e.g. account service vs. creative)
  • Depth and breadth of resource pool
  • Systems for information availability
  • Proximity (staff, offices, clients)

 

Revisiting Your Operational Strategy Can Have Dramatic Results

Our clients have realized tangible results in profitability, productivity and employee morale. On a larger scale, we have successfully designed and implemented new organizational structures, created long-term systems strategies, streamlined work processes by 30% to 50% and created the forms and tools to support process improvements. More narrowly focused projects have included designing a production billing system, moving a creative production process from manual to electronic-based, and improving employee productivity.

 

Sanders Consulting Group has identified five primary types of organization structures in the marketing communications industry.

 

The 5 Ad Agency Organizational Structure Alternatives:

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DOs And DON’Ts On Visiting A New Business Prospect

A client will never hire an ad agency. A client will always hire someone, whom they trust, who happens to work at an ad agency.

 

Tough prospects are slow to trust people.

Tough prospects are slow to trust people.

The agency comes along with the person they want to work with. They hire someone they with whom they have a relationship, someone they like and trust. Becoming known is fairly easy. Being liked is not that difficult, for most agency types. Building trust is the hard part.

 

Most ad types try to “close the deal” before trust is established. Patience and follow though are required. Below are a few “DOs” and “DON’Ts” on proven ways to enhance the relationship and build trust with a hot prospect.

 

Visiting A New Business Prospect

 

DON’T: Make a pitch under any circumstance. This is not the time for pitches. Never show your capabilities presentation: it ends the conversation. (Besides, what could you possibly say about your agency that hasn’t already been said by countless other agencies, ad nauseam?)

 

DO: Be knowledgeable of two or three meaningful business issues that affect brands like this one, in this industry. Ask your prospect not only how the issue affects his company’s strategy, operations and finances, but how it affects him personally.

 

DON’T: Jump at the first opportunity to say some form of, “Oh, we can do that; we’re really good at that.” Take the first step – start by listening.

 

DO: Help your prospect think through the business challenge, look at things in a fresh way, and recognize nuances or other aspects of the issue.

 

DON’T: Act like you’re the expert in all aspects of marketing. If they express an interest in a new website don’t jump into a long word avalanche on all the great websites you’ve built. This stops the discussion, harms trust, and makes you look small.

 

DO: Make the meeting itself valuable. Knowing how good you are at what you do is only marginally valuable. Initiate a sustainable business conversation that highlights the issues and the pain in which they are dealing. There is no need for the prospect to hire a new agency if there is no pain. Make them feel the pain.

 

DON’T: Claim to be able to solve any problem, make it seem easy, or talk about how great the work will be (once they become a client and start writing checks, of course). This is called discounting, and you’ll only end up making the problem seem easy. Not worth all the trouble of hiring someone to solve it.

 

DO: Be the doctor. Help the prospect understand all the nuances that go into solving their problem. Probe for the desired outcome, and the perceived barriers to getting there. Doctors never heal right out of the gate. Like any good diagnostician, do explore the issue fully before recommending any next steps or test that may be needed.

 

DON’T: Ask for anything that could involve a “no,” Avoid: “Would you like to see some of our initial thinking on this?” ”Could I give you some suggestions on what we would recommend?” After you have found the needs and fever, timing and budget, depart. Many accounts have been lost by hanging around too long.

 

DO: Set up a reason to call back. The reason is your concern that the prospect’s timing is difficult and the money is limited. Based on these two problems you will go back to your agency, brainstorm these “difficult” problems if you can, and call the prospect back (“good news call”).

 

DON’T: Let any follow up after the meeting drag on and on. And never send a brochure or some other gratuitous fluff after a meeting. What is that supposed to accomplish? If you’ve done everything above, you already have a specific need under discussion, a future agenda, and some idea for next steps. Why trade down to a generalized “look how smart we are?

 

DO: Send a clear client “quick response” conference report. One that highlights the issues, and reinforces the pain. It must highlight that you were listening, and you understand the problem. And it really helps if you can adopt some of the prospects point of view.

 

DON’T: Let too much time pass after the meeting. Too many agencies will wait weeks before getting back to the prospect with an idea or an approach to helping them. Or worse, with a proposal. Proposals are for losers.

 

DO: Return within 48 hours with your ideas put down on process sheets (use 15 sheets at least). Build in the magic with word pictures.

 

80% of New Business Failure Revolves Around Trust

Your agency should focus its new business energy on setting up quiet visits (interviews) where prospects can discuss their business problems and opportunities openly and honestly. This is because your agency understands how to build trust and isn’t pushing to show credentials. This is not a new process but an old way of doing business. It’s what built the advertising industry.

 

It’s very important to use the quiet visit to close the account quickly and efficiently– even before your competition knows the account is loose. The fast-close process doesn’t work every time but it does work most of the time. And the process is a lot easier than producing a written proposal and having that sit on someone’s desk for several weeks. The fast-close process is compelling and encourages a prospect to take action. Clients appreciate initiative and they reward it by giving you the business.

 

 

Photo by alireza1

 

 

Going the Extra Mile: Support Your New Business Outreach

Reaching out to prospects should be the centerpiece of any ad agency’s new business activity.

 

New Business Outreach Support

Going the extra mile… wins.

New business outreach should drive the allocation of resources — not just budgets but the use of time and materials as well. All too often, agencies fail to properly support outreach. But what type of support is truly needed?

 

The goal of any outreach program is to build agency awareness and relationships with prospects. The success of the program should be measured by the number and quality of opportunities created. If you’re not tracking your leads, start now! If you’re not running a strong outreach program, start now!

 

New Business Outreach Support

List: Proper outreach support always starts with having an outstanding prospect list. Everyone knows to build their list around established criteria and category experience – that’s a given. But take the time to truly invest in creating a viable list of qualified prospects. There’s nothing worse than discovering after all the hard work of creating awareness and relationships that you really don’t want to work with this particular prospect.

 

Brand: You need to have a compelling competency story. First impressions are critical—it is the most significant time to get your point across. The challenge for any agency is communicating a lot of information within a short period of time in a cogent, logical and most importantly, compelling way.

 

Direct: An effective and often forgotten way to introduce your agency and to start the relationship building phase of outreach is to use direct mail, something that the prospect will notice and is relevant to their industry and needs. Create a simple mailer that generates awareness about your agency and gives you the chance to reach out and start the relationship process

 

Nudge: It’s also important to support the outreach effort with great content: articles, white papers, book reviews, infographics and the like that support the agency’s brand and positioning. Well-presented topical general information also helps. Another great mailer to organize is the invitation to an agency reception for prospects – never at your agency, but at some great local event where you can have a reception booth and invite prospects to stop by. In addition, you should plan on hosting an open house for the local vendors, media and trade reps and send out invitations.

 

Proof: It always shocks me at how so many agencies create great brochures for their clients, yet fail to have one for the agency. Every agency should have a basic “Send Me Something” brochure – something tangible, real, that they can touch. Many prospects will brush off your outreach efforts the first few times – they’ll ask if you could just “send me something?” It’s very handy to have a tangible item that you can send as follow up. Not a PDF, not a landing page, something they have to touch, see, and must handle. This helps in building relationships, trust, and proves you’re a real firm with the ability to produce something.

 

Personal: Never forget the all important personal touch. Follow up every contact with a personal call, a note, or a letter. The investment in creating a support program that delivers a personal touch enhances the creation of relationships with prospects. The person responsible for your outreach needs Monarch stationery, or a simple, dignified form of stationery, with his or her name on it. All the letters should be signed with a fountain pen. The use of a fountain pen creates a personal, almost intimate, relationship with their users. It shows that the agency is significant and that the person contacting the prospect is important. Prospects cannot see your facilities, you, your agency’s bank account, or your account list. So they judge your agency by small things such as your stationery. Plan to win this first impression with quality Monarch stationery and a powerful signature.

 

Kindness: Finally, the outreach effort needs some support items such as books, cards, gifts, and subscriptions to key publications. Part of building relationships is being the friend that sends that little something special. Be a good friend. If a prospect has a life changing event, respond. Some agencies establish a recommended budget of $200 – $300 per month to purchase gifts, flowers, and cards to send to prospects.

 

Final Thoughts

Some may argue all this – the brochures, gifts, mailers, etc all seems so… dated. I would argue we’ve lost some of that all important human touch that build relationships. And trust. And that is what wins new business. Not to mention, isn’t it a good idea to do something different to stand out from all the competition?

 

If you want, or need, a steady stream of new business leads for your agency, build and support a strong outreach program. Build awareness and business relationships with a select group of high-value prospects that you can work with for years to come. Create a new business system that will run for years, generating leads on your behalf on a consistent basis. You’ll be shocked at how easy new business becomes.

 

Proper support of your new business outreach efforts allows you to gain control over your agency’s growth quicker and easier than you ever thought possible. Successful outreach means not having to chase RFPs, which never seem to lead anywhere. It allows you to win more accounts without having to make formal presentations. You can approach accounts where there is less competition. Building a strong outreach program, and that includes proper support, means your agency will win. And grow.

 

The endless road photo by Bassonvz 

 

 

 

Win More New Business!

You CAN win more new business! The books all state that the president of the agency has to do new business. The AAAA’s state that you must have $10 million in billings before you can hire a new business professional. This can cause a rub if your agency falls below that level – or if you’re a president who can’t find any more time to do new business. What’s a leader supposed to do?

 

Tips To Win More New Business:

Tips To Win More New Business

Growing an agency is a puzzle to many.

1. Lead Right! Agency senior management often finds themselves working “in the agency” rather than “on the agency.” At most agencies, senior management is trapped into the role of being the number one skill player. That’s like a football coach trying to run with the ball. Get off the field and let your agency advance the play. Set expectations and train your staff.

 
2. Position Right! Agencies have been out positioned by the consultants and the brand specialists. Agencies are forced to deal with lower level functionaries on the client side in conference rooms while major decisions are made at the CEO level in the boardroom. Reposition your agency with a consulting side and an advertising side. Set your firm up for long-term growth. Run around client-side junior coordinators that don’t have the brains or the talent to give your creative staff solid direction.

 

3. Grow Right! New business must be focused on lead generation. New business is the lifeblood of the business and leads are the heartbeat. Your new business effort needs to be split into winning the opportunity and winning the account. Find and identify hundreds of clients who are unhappy and want to change their marketing communication company.

 
4. Prospect Right! Selecting your list of prospects is one of the most important decisions your firm makes. Work hard to discover the right prospects without spending all of your time searching and sorting. Locate the best prospects quickly and efficiently by “raking” the market – strong outreach that nudges a wide range of prospects on a regular basis. Ensure your team understands how to move from simple awareness with best prospects to a solid relationship, a critical transition in the new business cycle.

 
5. Close Right! The number one objective on any prospect first visit is to move them firmly towards selecting your agency. You need to close the account quickly, often within 48 hours, certainly within 7 days. This is a critical mindset your people need to adopt before representing your firm at an important first-meeting with a prospect. Never forget that the most important step in closing an account begins with the first visit you make on that account.

 

 

Want to get your agency growing? Order in a DayOne right away. It’ll bring clarity to your efforts, consensus to your management team, and peace of mind to you that you are getting serious about new business and taking positive first steps.

 

DayOne is a one-day new business assessment and planning session conducted by a senior consultant from Sanders Consulting Group at the agency. It’s one-third evaluation, one-third reporting, and one-third new business planning. It’s the most important new business day in an agency’s life.

 

To schedule a DayOne retreat at your agency, call Sanders Consulting Group at 412.897.9329 or email info@sandersconsulting.com. New business help is just a click away.

 

More Ideas For Growth:
How Any Agency Can Survive in This New Era
Agency Clients: You No Longer Care
Ad Agency Creative Approach To Leadership
Ad Agency Strategic Plan Development
7 Ways To Overhaul Your Account Management Team

 

 Great puzzle photo by AtypicallyStrange
 
 

How Any Agency Can Survive in This New Era

The marketing communications industry is experiencing change on a colossal scale.

 

High Performing Ad Agency

Tap into high performance!

Not since the introduction of television have so many profound currents converged to change the course of the ‘traditional’ agency. Whether it’s digital, the continuing wave of consolidation, the real prospect of integrated marketing communications, or the possibilities of social, agencies must look forward to make certain they don’t become merely a footnote in history. Standard measures of performance do little to help agencies prepare for this brave new world. Comfort in the status quo is a bygone luxury.

 

What Makes a High Performing Ad Agency?

In our work with thousands of agencies, we’ve discovered several common characteristics that separate the highest performers from those who are treading water. These high performing agencies are the ones that will survive, prosper, and redefine the industry for years to come.

 

Fortunately, bigness (or smallness), reputation, and strong income statements are not barometers of high performance or long term success. Any agency, in any market can set itself apart and emerge from the pack. What counts is doing the “right” things well. In fact, we have found that the traditional measures of financial health and creative awards, while a good barometer of recent success, can undermine an agency’s ability to flourish in the future.

 

High Performing Agency Context

  1. Vision: The best agencies in the business have a strong point-of-view of success and how to achieve it. Their people understand it, are motivated by it and work towards the same goals. Every asset in the agency is focused on the same definition of success. Decisions are made at every level and are judged in the context of achieving the agency’s definition of success.
  2. Culture: High performing agencies create an environment that fosters success. Staff and management find it easy to be creative and productive in this environment. There is an energy and sense of common purpose that creates a buzz throughout the organization. Outsiders sense it immediately and want to be a part of it.
  3. Operations: The agency thrives in a state of disciplined chaos. While creativity, spontaneity and irreverence may be the style, understand that the agency’s backbone is “business first” rules the day. Time reports are completed, purchase orders issued, technology is used effectively and excuses are not tolerated. The trains run on time – for everyone.
  4. Creative: Plain and simple, the work must be great. All is for naught if the ultimate product produced by the agency is second rate. The work consists of more than the creative product. It also includes the strategy, the thinking, and the ability of the agency to help its clients achieve their business goals – whatever they might be.
  5. Growth: Growth is critical to thrive. Growth is not an accident. The best agencies grow on purpose, in ways that make sense. They take advantage of all of their capabilities to grow organically first, and through new clients, second. Resources are not squandered in the name of growth; revenue is not left on the table for someone else to capture. High performing agencies know how to grow.

 

Take a Hard Look Inside

I recommend every agency owner take a day to really study each of these five metrics. Give yourself a score. Even better, break out each metric into small nuggets for more in-depth measurement. This will bring focus and clarity to the attributes that are most critical to your long term success. Clearly identify what you are doing well, and where you must improve. Concentrate your energy on the doing the right things better. This will set your agency on a course towards high performance.

 

What This Means to You

Success stems from doing the right things well, not necessarily by remaining small. We’ve helped firms evaluate how well they are doing against these critical measures, against past performance (to make sure that progress is being made) and looked at their agencies through the eyes of staff, clients, peers, and industry experts. With, or without, outside help, you need to do the same. What should emerge is a view that is unfettered that has clarity and purpose.

 

Being small does not mean you will be nimble or be able to stay close to your client. Being a self-aware agency that constantly strives to always do the right thing and do it well does translate into growth.  Don’t be scared to grow, only be scared to do nothing. Give us a call at 412.897.9329 or email us at info@sandersconsulting.com and see if we can’t help transform your agency.

 

Photo by piercey

 

Ad Agency Creative Approach To Leadership

Agencies must be prepared to implement creative new approaches to reach and communicate with clients and consumers.

 

Ad Agency Creative

Isn’t it time to be creative in your business approach?

This may take a new approach to develop best practices, new ideas, and growth. As many of you know our firm has specialized in teaching agencies how to grow and improve operations in the advertising industry for the past 30 years. We’ve worked with agencies of varying sizes on projects ranging from pitching a global brand to setting up a new business program to the redesign of a single agency process.

 

Avoid A Catastrophic Failure

Recently we were published in Digiday commenting on the failed Publicis-Omnicom merger and offered some recommendations on how marketing firms should prepare for the future.

 

Tips on how to prepare for the future:

  • Reduce costs. Cutting costs is an essential step to free up resources and invest in the future. Reduce or eliminate the lingering overhead from days long gone. If your agency isn’t generating close to 20 percent profit, look closely and start making some difficult decisions.
  • Increase existing client revenue. Adapt a client solutions market strategy versus an advertising or marketing strategy. Focus on selling strategic thinking, methodology and value-based ideas. Work hard to provide a more holistic solution to clients instead of piecemeal services.
  • Increase new client revenue. Understand that a new breed of client demands a new approach to agency growth. Clients today have come to believe that all agencies are equal. Check your brand, develop an effective outreach program, and change how you close with a focus on speed.
  • Restructure the agency. Restructuring goes far beyond the normal tactics of reducing payrolls, slashing overtime or stopping the drain on cash flow. Restructuring involves repositioning your agency to take the best advantage of the new market realities. Organize your agency with an eye on capturing the projected future market. The agency brand, culture, structure, processes and technology should all be revisited.
  • Improve efficiency. Get better at service and production. In today’s environment, efficiency climbs to new heights of importance because the cost of errors cannot and will not be passed on to clients. Errors, waste and spoilage all come out of the bottom line and must be reduced significantly or eliminated entirely. At the same time, the delivery of services has to speed up. No longer will clients be willing to wait weeks for a response.
  • Expand services. Meeting the more broad-based business needs of individual clients not only creates a strong bond with the client, but it also stimulates ideas for adoption across other clients. Develop a broad-based service offering based on a keen understanding of clients’ business and needs. This understanding can provide the basis for a total client-solutions market strategy. This is much more of a consultative model and is not in the traditional agency’s wheelhouse.

Read the whole thing.

 

The old line about “ad agencies don’t really have any clients, they only borrow them for a bit” is truer today than ever. You must always be building awareness and relationships with new prospects. And that takes setting up and running a consistent new business program — if you want to grow, that is.
Read more at http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/36508.asp?imcid=rc_articleMention#oXdWueQAFj5jbfP4.99

 

iMedia Connection published 8 ways agencies can garner new business. It’s a detailed outline of how successful agencies really generate growth.  The last thing you should worry about is working on new business. So follow these steps and get your program up and running, once and for all. There are eight steps to setting up an effective new business development program.

 

The top line points:

  1. Build brand congruence
  2. Identify your prospects
  3. Build an outreach system
  4. Track progress
  5. Handle leads the right way
  6. Do a chemistry litmus test
  7. Widen your circle
  8. Always be refining the process

 

Read the whole thing at iMedia

 

And there is this little article on how do you know if your marketing firm needs a new vision at LinkedIn:

 

Some managers may believe they have a sense of direction already. The feeling is sometimes we’ve gotten along fine up to this point, why do we need a new vision? Here are some warning signs we often see within agencies that indicate the need for leadership to get involved. Often these only show up when there is a lack of direction or uncertainty about the agency’s vision.

 

Read “Is Your Firm On The Wrong Path?” at LinkedIn

 

 

Final Thought:

Proactive agencies are aggressively attacking the need for best thinking, new information and growth ideas with the goal of positioning them for the future. Ad agency creative should be more than your product. As always, we’re standing by to help. Why not give us a call at 412.897.9329?

 

Photo by RawPoetry
 
 

Ad Agency Strategic Plan Development

These are tough times for the traditional advertising firm.

 

Ad Agency Strategic Plan Development

Take the Plunge: Leap into the Future!

The fundamentals of marketing are changing, traditional forms of advertising no longer get the same bang-for-the-buck, and digital is gaining more and more market share. Clients are more fickle than ever, jumping from one agency to another. In order to survive and prosper, you can’t afford to sit back hoping for the good old times to return. Be the leader and address your top strategic challenges now. It’s often been said that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. Perhaps now is the time to embrace change, rethink your agency’s strategic direction, and set a new course. Leap into the unknown.

 

What Drives Failure

In order to rethink the future of your agency, we have to examine a very real case of failure. Take a look at a brand like Blockbuster– once the world leader in delivering packaged creative entertainment to the masses. What’s to blame for their demise? Failing to recognize the impact of new competition like Netflix? Perhaps, but Netflix was around for over six years before Blockbuster even attempted to offer home delivery services. Was it a lack of online delivery? Blockbuster owned a full range of content and could have created a powerful solution.

 

Why couldn’t Blockbuster compete with Netflix? Was it something unseen, unknown that the leadership of Blockbuster failed to grasp? Perhaps it wasn’t just Netflix that doomed Blockbuster, but a wider shift in how people think, live and interact with brands?

 

The advent of instant-access, always-on, digital technology is transforming the world we live in, in obvious ways AND in some ways that are unseen and unknowable this early in the process (read our post on the Digital Kaboom). One possibility we must consider is that the ease of access is altering how customers think, how they relate to brands, and raising their service expectations. Perhaps it was as simple as the leaders of Blockbuster failed to understand how customers’ desires were changing.

 

Blockbuster, filled with smart business people who had hired some of the top consulting firms in the world, failed to identify fundamental shifts in their market right up to the point where they were no longer relevant to the consumer. They missed entirely the evolution of the new rules of consumer behavior.

 

Is the ad industry about to be Blockbusted? What is really happening to the advertising industry? And more importantly, what will be the impact on your agency, short-term and long-term? And what about the consumers… they keep on moving. Are clients starting to fundamentally change without us noticing?

 

Leadership Is About Change

Leadership is about trying new ideas, new directions, keeping the clients happy, helping them solve their problems, and most importantly addressing their needs and issues. This is where the difference between leadership and management, between strategic thinking and day-to-day operational thinking, becomes evident.

 

Smart leaders don’t wait for the often-too-late-marketplace to inform their decision making. And they never wait for the competition to pave the way. It’s the truly unique firm that is out there on the edge, working on the “next big thing.” Not just keeping their finger on the pulse of their industry, but always looking for inspiration for new ideas. Understanding the client’s needs and demands is basic agency management. Staying ahead of clients, anticipating their needs, requires a little bit of thinking. Creating something new before clients even know they need it is the real challenge.

 

Proactive agencies are willing to set a new course that is unique within the industry. They don’t just seize new opportunities, they create them. Is it a Blue Ocean Canvas, Porter’s Five Forces Model, SWOT or some other strategic tool that can create something new? Is it a tool that empowers you to move beyond your competition, or leadership? What are you doing to help create your agency’s future? Whatever you call it: a tool, a session, a role, it is created by thinking strategically about your business.

 

Most agencies operate with a day-to-day mindset, dealing with clients and staff issues as they arise. Few, if any, have the time to think about the marketplace, much less about what the future may look like. Fewer still have the courage to set a new course. So I have to ask, in a world where most marketing firms are being commoditized, where there is little to no difference between agencies, why wouldn’t you do a bit of strategic planning for your firm?

 

Ad Agency Strategic Plan Development

The consultants call our industry “fluid and dynamic” to describe the constant change, but it’s too soon to identify the new rules. Now is the time to develop a strategic mindset. As an agency leader, part of your responsibility needs to be strategic thinking. Your staff and clients are expecting you to be the visionary, the leader who can articulate what the future will hold, and who will have to confidence to see it through to the end.

 

6 Keys to Successful Strategic Planning:

  1. Eyes Wide Open: Make sure you have a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing your industry.
  2. Know Yourself: Dive deep into your organization. Identify your key strengths and weaknesses. No fluff.
  3. Cast a Wide Net: Don’t rely on your team’s narrow focus. Reach outside and involve a broad spectrum of great thinkers.
  4. Beg, Borrow, Steal Ideas: Learn from the best practices of other industries, study how others overcame challenges.
  5. Execute, Execute, Execute: Establish priorities and an implementation plan. Focus on accomplishing the short term now. Adapt as you roll out.
  6. Track Progress: Make sure you understand the levers of change. And watch closely to ensure progress is being made. Communicate the changes to entire staff.

 

Commit To Change

You can place all kinds of business strategies in place, but if you don’t know your clients, and listen to them, your clients will eventually leave. This is what happened to Blockbuster, plain and simple.

 

A structured, properly conducted strategic planning session forces you to evaluate the state of the industry. To go out and learn what’s working and what’s not. To identify new trends, new ideas, new technology. It enables you to view the industry with a fresh perspective and hopefully come up with some creative ideas on how to best prepare your agency for the future.

 

Perhaps it’s time to create a multi-disciplinary change team of staff members designated to envision a future where your agency can thrive. Their goal is to create a new environment that takes advantage of your strengths, addresses your weaknesses, improves teamwork, and plans for the future.

 

Strategic thinking is a mindset, difficult to maintain in face of the constant day-to-day pressures. It’s something we always challenge clients to do… so don’t we need to do the same for ourselves? Give us a call at 412.897.9329 or email info@sandersconsulting.com

 

Photo by JelloCloned-raee
 
 

 

Which Game of Thrones House is Your Agency Most Like?

Game of Thrones: Which House is Most Like Your Agency?

 

The only thing you really need to understand about the HBO series “Game of Thrones” is that everyone wants to be king. That one goal helps to simplify this incredibly complicated adaptation of an intricate book series. The question on everyone’s mind is what great house will end up winning the throne in the end?

 

The question I wanted to ask is which agency will end up ruling if they were one of the great houses? If you’re wondering the same thing take the quiz below and discover which of the “Game Of Thrones” Great Houses your agency is most alike. And keep watching the HBO series to see if you’ll survive, thrive, or have your head stuck on a pike in the end.

Check below to see the possible results:

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