My friend Mike Klezeras forwarded me an email today from the AAAA, the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Its contents MADE MY YEAR. It’s on-point with what I’ve known all along. …but it still feels fantastic to be proven you’re right, especially by the AAAA!!!
Here’s what the email had to offer:
Agency 2.5: How Agencies Are Transforming for the Future
The 4A’s will host a hands-on professional development seminar on June 18 in Kansas City, Mo., that will explore what agency professionals must do to deliver the solutions and services that clients need to compete in the new digitally enabled, economically challenged marketing environment.Among the challenges and new realities to be discussed at the event:
- There’s less demand for what agencies traditionally have to sell.
- Clients need more help in online marketing, particularly social media, but agencies aren’t set up to provide it.
- Agencies are spending their energies above-the-line while clients are spending their budgets below-the-line.
- Agencies are stuck in a structure that churns out advertising ideas instead of business-building ideas.
- Clients are hammering agencies on price and speed for work they perceive as a commodity.
- There’s a strong movement toward accountability that agencies aren’t prepared to address.
This topical and highly relevant event is for mid- to senior-level agency professionals in account management, account planning, creative, media, digital, public relations and other client-facing agency disciplines. Learn more and register online at the 4A’s Web site.
To each point, I have this to offer:
There’s less demand for what agencies traditionally have to sell.
Which is why we don’t have a traditional offering. We have a specifically NONtraditional offering that moves with the market and its increasingly diverse options and opportunities. I haven’t sold a block of advertising in months. Intentionally.
Clients need more help in online marketing, particularly social media, but agencies aren’t set up to provide it.
They absolutely do, and this agency IS set up to provide it. Who has been talking about social media and free resources for months now?? Vision Advertising has. We’re small, flexible and intentionally offering help to companies large and small with the online world, and all that it has to offer, INCLUDING the free options, like Facebook.
Agencies are spending their energies above-the-line while clients are spending their budgets below-the-line.
Loose translation: most agencies still have their heads stuck in the clouds thinking that they are going to get their clients to spend thousands on traditional marketing and advertising solutions, meanwhile clients are wanting to spend less (hi, the economy is horrible – anyone get the memo?) on things that will reap the same or better returns. We’ve always known that.
Here’s something else. Most ad agency owners are OVER 50 YEARS OLD. I’m under 30, and STILL have 10 years experience. Chew on that.
Agencies are stuck in a structure that churns out advertising ideas instead of business-building ideas.
I specifically coach my clients on buisiness building structures and ideas, and always have!! A true marketing expert will be versed in more than just marketing. They’ll know sales, relationship building, and how to master the free tools like social media and PR to not only build awareness and lead generation, but LOYALTY, RETENTION, and CONTROLLED GROWTH.
Clients are hammering agencies on price and speed for work they perceive as a commodity.
Well, this is nothing new. Many clients don’t initially understand that quality is worth paying for, and so is doing it right the first time. However, when you set the right expectations UP FRONT by telling your client (like we do) that good work is neither cheap nor fast, but it’ll WORK, and be DONE RIGHT… there is true understanding and true buy-in from the client. When you don’t educate your clients on how you work, and how to buy from you, you get THIS crap! That never happens with us. Our clients are 100% in the loop and fully informed about what we’re up to and why we’re doing it and when.
There’s a strong movement toward accountability that agencies aren’t prepared to address.
Of course there is – when a marketing campaign doesn’t work, and the client just spent thousands of dollars on a traditional campaign in a non-traditional economy – they want SOMEONE’s head to roll for it. However, in being flexible and adaptable as an agency and offering non-traditional solutions that may actually cost less, and provide clear expectations UP FRONT as well as education – this all can be managed and dealt with.
This is by far the most joyous email I’ve recieved all year (other than that one from Zimbabwe about how I’m going to get that $8.6 million transfered into my bank account – haha)… you may not think so unless you’re in the industry like I am, but it is still GREAT NEWS for all my clients and all the people they refer to us.
I will tell you something… I like being young. I like being flexible. I like having a SMALL company. I like making a difference in my client’s business BECAUSE of those three factors.
How do I do it? I am a young marketing rock star that knows this business inside and out, traditional and non-traditional. I’m not stodgy or stuck in my ways, and I tell it like it is. I embrace change and am all about learning about new tools to help my clients.
You want to make money this year? You know where to find me.