More on the disconnect between PR/marketing agencies and their potential customers


Just stumbled across Rainmaker’s latest New Business Survey which reports
on how U.S. marketing communications agencies should best engage with
prospective clients for the purpose of winning new business.

They polled
opinion from 150 major US brand spenders, in respect of three areas
where accurate insights are critical for effective new business
activity. A series of questions were put to marketing decision-makers to
confirm: (1) what prompts them to search for a new agency, (2) the most
effective ways for agencies to engage with them, and (3) the reasons
they choose one agency over another.

Says Rainmaker: "The findings reveal sharp contrasts between what marketing agencies
tell us and what marketing decision-makers are telling us. These have
enabled us to make some straightforward recommendations for how
agencies might alter their approach to become more effective at new
business". (And even though this is a US based survey, I think you’d find a similar situation here in the UK):

In the main, clients don’t feel that size matters, but in the main agencies do. Agencies should not sell themselves so vigorously on size, neither should they worry so much about size being an issue.

The majority of clients (83%) don’t feel geographical location is an issue – many agencies think it is. Agencies should not overly worry that their physical location will prevent clients from buying a winning solution from them.

85% of clients don’t feel agencies prepare enough –
many agencies don’t invest much in this area or prefer to fire from the
hip – which looks cool, but you can often miss. Agencies must invest more in effective intelligence on their prospects.

Most clients (75%) are buying solutions to their
business problems – most agencies think the client is looking for
advertising, or PR, or design or whatever other silo fits their model. Agencies should present a solution, not a discipline.

Clients want agencies to be far more proactive – most agencies like to sit in the bunker. Agencies should proactively reach out to the brands they want to work with.

A major trend, and one which will undoubtedly impact
on all marketing communications agencies depending on how prepared they
already are, is the increase in demand from clients for better customer
insights. This tallies with our own experience – the improved new
business performance of agencies that embrace this point speaks for
itself. Agencies should develop keener customer insights and communicate these energetically to their prospect-base.

 

Download the full Survey results here.  

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