Media Agency Marketing 101
Agencies, like other service companies, sell intangibles. Unlike tangible products, like soup, computer hardware or shampoo, clients cannot see, touch, and taste what they're getting until after the work has been done. So what are they buying? Promises. The promise that an agency will deliver an impactful campaign, fabulous creative, and insightful market research. In this world of intangibles, clients seek indicators that the agency will fulfill its promises. What are those indicators? I've listed the major ones in ranked order below:
PEOPLE: The personalities, experience, education, and even manner of dress of the agency's management and team.
CLIENT LIST & REFERENCES: A roster of well-known, respected companies.
PAST WORK: A great portfolio with terrific results.
THIRD PARTY RECOGNITION: Creative awards, business awards, and flattering published profiles.
PHYSICAL SPACE: Location (major city or satellite?), external architecture (skyscraper or warehouse?), internal space and vibe. Also, latest laptops, cell phones and PDAs.
PROCESS: The most obvious: phone calls are returned ASAP; presentations are error-free, gorgeous and concise.
Each of these things are the agency's PRODUCTS. People are products. Client roster is a product. And so on. The article's question was: Does marketing these products give clients a sense that we truly, intimately, personally face the same marketing issues they do?
I shout from the rooftops, "YES!" What can be more challenging than a creating dynamite, "gotta have it" product where there is none?