Lets go back and revisit one of our old clients and see how they revamped their entire ad agency new business program:

tranforming ad agency

Squeeze the most out of your change efforts.

A 25-year-old design studio with 7 full-time employees located in the Midwest came to realize that, while they had successfully transitioned from tactical, project-based work to more strategic branding based services, they needed to reposition themselves in their market and accelerate their new business efforts.

Over the past 3 years, the firm had developed a solid “black box” process and had been using it successfully with all current clients. About 90% of new business came from referrals resulting in an average of 1 warm new business lead a month.

The agency’s leadership team participated in a two-day session where Sanders Consulting delivered a modified version of our new business training programs – Benefit Testing and High Ground. High Ground focused on helping the agency organize, present and deliver consultative based services, while Benefit Testing covered techniques that enable the agency to fast close and pitch new business opportunities. The team quickly determined that it needed to examine its brand, how it was being expressed in the market and how its services were being interpreted by its prospects. They also decided to transition its positioning from design studio to that of a full-service Marketing-Communications firm in 12 to 24 months.

With this goal established, the agency set to work on growing its core business to support the transition.

The Results

The agency refined its outreach, prospect management and prospect interviewing skills using the Sanders Consulting Spark and Torch new business system. The new agency incorporated Benefits Testing and its strategic development process into its new business approach. Consistent with the goal of transitioning into a full-service agency, the agency focused all new business efforts on building its current base of clients and job types. New marketing materials were produced to better communicate the agency brand, positioning and value proposition.

Within 90 days of initiating this effort, the agency was generating 10-12 warm new business leads a month, resulting in first visits with potential clients. Two existing clients were identified for Benefits Testing. One of these has been shown Benefits Testing and has expressed interest in expanding its research. The new marketing tools are being utilized and have been well received. Current plans include the redesign of the agency’s website and a more robust social media program. The most notable result has been an invitation to pitch a $250,000+ Phase I opportunity for a notable brand in its market. The agency is up against one other firm (a 1,200 person multi-national advertising agency).

Update: They won. Did a great job, and are now in the process of setting up a cross-town merger to enhance their overall capabilities.  


Photo by BlackCocktail