Monthly Archives: May 2015

Ad Agency New Business: The Cardinal Rules of Hiring an Outsourcing Partner

So you decided to hire an outsource firm to conduct new business for your agency. Ensure success by thoroughly examining the following key elements of your new relationship.Outsource Key Showing Subcontracting And Freelance

Lead Generation

Where does your new partner get its leads? Most likely, they come from a combination of industry specific lists, previous pursuit activity and key contributor insight. Your agency’s target audience should be a nuanced universe, crafted from a variety of sources and honed by very select criteria. What you don’t want is a pre-purchased generic list that is being resold and recycled to other firms.

Custom list building is crucial to creating a successful program. Carefully selecting each and every organization on which your firm will spend its time and resources is an imperative function of your outsourcing agent. More is never better – it’s just unfocused and reflects a lack of in-depth knowledge.

Data Ownership

Once you have decided what organizations are your agency’s best targets, ensure that your firm has complete ownership of all the data associated with every contact made on your behalf. Some outsource firms resell lists that lie on their servers within their CRM and Marketing Automation programs, forcing you to tie all future pursuit activities to them.

If you are sold this operating practice as an easy-to-implement value-add – proceed with caution. Having worked with agencies that bought into such an arrangement (previously), we were astonished by the lack of information provided once the relationship ended. Many times, they were left with nothing more than a list including thousands of organizations ordered by SIC code.  No contact detail including: email addresses, direct dials, personal observations or outreach history was contained.

Get what you pay for and insist on anytime access and the rights to all of your data.

Niche Industry Knowledge

While limitations of physical location can be overcome, your Business Development Director’s knowledge of your target industries cannot. Having worked in the northeast at a variety of both B2B- and B2C-focused firms, we have interacted with a wide gamut of agency audiences. From the financial services, healthcare, medical technology, high-tech, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors to the travel and tourism, food and beverage, retail and real estate industries, we have been fortunate to work closely with them all.

Your agency’s business development plan hinges on communicating a unique specialty that is often industry specific. As such, your Business Development Director must be comfortable discussing (and writing about) the complexities of these industries. Be sure to gauge this ability before committing your firm to a representative who will be the conduit to getting the business you want.

Long story short, understand the methods, own your data and get to know the person on your agency’s frontline before tying your future to a third party.

Return to

Goodbye Mad Men

images“Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek nostalgia literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship; it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel; it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.” Don Draper – Mad Men: Season One, “The Wheel” (The Kodak Carousel Pitch)

And so goes the end of Mad Men tonight. It began for me with my mother saying that I should watch this show about the advertising business. I scoffed thinking, “what do you know?” Wow, was I ever wrong. It was awesome. I was hooked.

But what did a TV drama, set in the 1960s, have to do with today’s industry? Everything. All the things that I loved about my job were on full display – warts and all. Mad Men was in essence a tribute to the excesses and tragedies of the business.

My first job as a young account exec at a small high-tech shop exposed me to a career that immediately felt more like a calling. Everything was tremendously important and sometimes dire. Good times always led to bad. Bonuses became lay-offs. Account wins turned to losses. Our fate at times seemed predetermined – like a Greek tragedy.

My take away, I wouldn’t have missed any of it. It was exciting. It still is exciting. And, while we can be nostalgic for the “good ole days”, the best is certainly yet to come.

So, goodbye Don, Roger, Peggy, Pete, Joan and the rest – you reminded some of us why we love this work. Coincidentally, I actually have a father-in-law named Teddy who is Greek and occasionally waxes poetic…for real.

Return to