The starting point for creating a successful new business plan, is the business plan – the vision and ambitions for your agency as articulated by its senior management. As I explored in my last blog, this is vital as it will shape your objectives and secure the commitment and on-going support of those at the top.
In order to fulfil these objectives, the skills needed are many and varied: commercial, organisational, intellectual, managerial, interpersonal and, let’s not forget, creative. Creative because you are charged with communicating the agency’s story, a compelling narrative which resonates, emotionally and rationally, amidst the competing agency noise. That’s quite a task.
You’ll have to ask yourself this question: what is it about our story that makes it fresh, engaging and unique? The clues may lie in your history, case studies, research, innovations, great clients and terrific people – all of these provide a rich and valuable source for content marketing, in many forms, across the multiple channels now available.
In pursuit of the holy grail of differentiation, there is an equally compelling element of your story that needs to be told – your personality, philosophy and culture. What do you value and believe in, what are your measures of commercial success, how do you foster creativity, collaboration and innovation and reward/nurture your talent? Your ultimate aim, of course, is to build your agency’s reputation and profile, attracting new clients and the best talent around. They want to know what it will be like working with you, whether there is a strong cultural fit, something attractive and/or intriguing that they can buy into.
Let’s assume that your content and messaging strategy includes showcasing the agency’s best (creative/effective/award winning) work, market leading talent, celebrating clients/their successes and delivering commercial advantage for clients. Add to this another dimension bringing your culture, in its various manifestations, to life, then you have a really powerful story. This is the kind of story which has PR value – above and beyond the conventional media confines.
There’s a further sought-after benefit in the drive to build your agency’s reputation. Many of the companies ranking most highly in thought leadership status, are known not only for the quality of their products or service, but for their vision, culture and innovative working practices – Google and John Lewis to name two. This is a strategy worth pursuing, but you must be true to your agency brand –what you actually do, not what you just say.
How do you deliver your story across multiple channels? Is it all about the new or do some of the old techniques still apply? How do you prioritise given there’s so much opportunity to be had?
For answers to these questions and to learn more about how to grow your agency’s revenue and reputation, join us on 23rd October for our New Business Skills Day.