Growing Your Company

5 Need-to-Know New Business Secrets for Advertising Agencies
By Hannah Pavalow

A recent practical and thought provoking AdClub presentation offered insights about how advertising agencies - and digital publishers - can successfully generate new business. Here Complete Pulse shares 5 insights presented by industry experts Kristen Cavallo, Chief Strategy Officer of Mullen, and Donna Wiederkehr, CMO of Aegis Media NA.

  1. Treat your agency as a brand: While you might be a content aggregator, or even a content platform, remember that you are also a brand. Advertisers aren't just buying your audience. They're buying your name and the association that comes with placing ads on your page. Brands are powerful, so build yours. And if you want to stay at the top, don't become complacent. Think like your runner up. What are they planning to do to take your place?
  2. Follow the Marketing Genius, not the Client: When building your inspiration bank, look for people, not products. You might love the new Slate redesign, but that doesn't mean you should keep looking at Slate to lead the way. Instead, find out who did the redesign (Hard Candy Shell), and follow them to see more forward thinking and inspirational work.
  3. Check that the Client Fits: Cavallo spoke about creating a spend threshold for clients that agencies take on. Not every brand that approaches her is a right fit for her agency. In the same way, not every advertiser is right for your site. You are known by the company that you keep. The same way advertisers are using your brand when they're on your site, users will associate their brand with your site. Be aware of the message you're sending.
  4. Make PR Your Best Friend: This is particularly important for content sites. People come to your site for the content you provide, not the ads they might see, so make sure you provide great content. Buzz about the success of your site will bring the advertisers to you.
  5. Refuse to be ignored: "The biggest threat to brands and business isn't negative feelings, its indifference." This is something to keep in mind no matter what your business is. When people interact with your content you want them to feel something. That connection will keep them coming back again and again.

Cavallo and Wiederkher's presentation showed how passion and ambition can help agencies achieve their goals. With the presenters' varied backgrounds and decades of industry experience, they really understand their businesses inside and out. That holistic understanding of what makes them different has helped them in every decision they have made, from choosing clients, to producing great work, to achieving desired results. None of us can be everything to everyone, but we can produce the best possible version of our own site. Remember, no-one ca be as good at being you as you are.

This article has been written by Hannah Pavalow of Compete, Millward Brown Digital. Compete Pulse provides consumer Insights for Digital Marketers.

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