“Marketing budgets continue to contract”.
According to the latest IPA Bellwether Report
UK companies registered another drastic reduction in marketing budgets during the third quarter amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, according to the latest IPA Bellwether Report. The result followed a record reduction in available funds during the second quarter, when many businesses were either temporarily closed or operating at reduced capacity.
So what can agencies do in light of this latest Bellwether report?
We’re all in the same storm but we’re not in the same boat. How we trim our sales, how we align our business, how we impact our clients’ businesses, how we focus on the right priorities will help decide the agency-winners and agency-losers coming out of these challenging times.
Here’s 7 tips for you to consider.
1. Work on Mission Critical activity for clients.
Are you working on Mission Critical activity for clients? Is the work you are doing absolutely vital (from the client’s perspective, not yours)? Does the client’s CEO, CFO and senior decision makers see your work for them as irreplaceable? Or do they see the work as ‘nice to have’?
2. Ensure you’re connected and focused on senior client decision makers.
Working with a client over time it’s easy for an agency to slide down the ‘food-chain’ within their client’s company. We need to ensure we continue to engage with senior client decision makers.
Our workshops for agencies are now being delivered remotely online – view more here
3. Take time to really THINK about the client’s business.
Taking time to think strategically for clients is vital. It’s easy to get over-absorbed in the delivery side of agency work. Yes the ‘Doing’ and ‘Delivering’ is important but it’s easy to get stuck in that area and stay in our comfort zone. Stopping and thinking about how we can really impact our client’s business is where the real work is that we need to do.
4. Track the value and impact of your work.
Understanding what your client really values is so important, especially the most senior clients. It is common that what the senior decision makers value is not necessarily the same as the mid-level day to day clients.
5. Don’t play safe!
Seth Godin say that the riskiest thing is to play safe and that conversely the safest thing is to be risky. How can you help your client stand out in their market even more than ever. Help them take brave decisions.
6. Talk business.
Your conversations with the most senior client decision makers need to be focused on business not simply your agency discipline. Learn to speak the language of business so that a client CEO, MD and FD want to hear your point of view.
7. Be a trusted partner.
Be a collaborative trusted adviser to your senior clients. See yourself as having a peer to peer relationship rather than a transactional relationship. Become the person your client turns to first for advice. Is that easy? No but it’s definitely worthwhile!
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Best wishes for the future