How many hours a week do you spend thinking about your client's brand? You toss and turn at night, rolling over ideas for that next campaign, social media push, or direct mail promotion.
But how much time do you consider your agency's brand? Do you know what people think of when they hear your name or see your logo?
Advertising is a competitive industry. To build credibility and trust, win new clients, and attract the best talent, you need to create a memorable brand — one that reflects the marketing expertise of your agency.
We asked: Why is it important for agencies to invest time and resources to market their agency?
Here are eight reasons why you can no longer ignore your own brand:
1. Promote Growth
As advertising and marketing becomes more complex and the agency landscape more diverse, it is crucial for agencies to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Agencies must never forget that just as our clients are brands, we are brands, as well. Without a clear purpose and mission that can be projected to our clients, influencers and, most importantly, our employees, it is impossible to fuel overall agency growth.
There’s nothing that works harder to show your knowledge of branding than the way you brand your own agency. It should be a living case study that demonstrates to potential clients your deep understanding of how to live and breathe your company’s mission, while inspiring the best creative talent in the world to become a part of it. If you can do that, clients will be more willing to entrust you with the keys to their brands. Because there’s nothing more compelling to a client than an agency that truly walks the walk.
We are a marketing agency. So to us, it’s a no-brainer to dedicate time and resources to market our agency. We like to consider it practice for what we are getting paid by our clients to do for them. Unfortunately, too many agencies don’t market themselves right these days. How does that look to a client? We want current and prospective clients to trust us to successfully market their brand, so we have to practice what we preach, which means putting our skills to use.
The obvious answer is to grow business. But it’s not the only reason, because potential clients aren’t the only ones exposed to your marketing. Potential and existing employees are, too. They might even be the more important audience since your ability to beat other agencies in winning new clients (let alone to retain the clients you already have) rests entirely on your ability to attract and retain great talent. Seeing your agency’s leaders in the press, judging at Cannes, speaking at SXSW — these things can matter to our industry’s best and brightest just as much as benefits and beer busts.
- Rob Price | Founder, Creative Director of Eleven
5. Define Your Focus and Differentiate
For young agencies such as Geometry Global, determining what you are, and perhaps more importantly, what you aren't, is a critical exercise. Too many agencies are guilty of trying to be all things to all people. It's necessary to put time and hard work into determining what differentiates your brand to market it properly. Once you go through this exercise, it's just as important to invest the resources it takes to get that message to the appropriate decision-makers.
The only constant in our industry is that everything is always changing— so our marketing strategy is fluid and continually adapting. But our success as a company lies in staying true to who we are. Organic was founded on an enduring commitment to a core value and focus, which is to connect brands and consumers in meaningful and ongoing ways. And now, 21 years later, we remain true to that remit. We infuse our values and core messages into everything we do. To successfully communicate our offerings and innovations in a relevant manner, dedicated resources and time are a necessity, but marketing ourselves is an investment we make because if we’re not constantly communicating and working to promote our agency brand, we’re not practicing what we preach.
Agencies are great at marketing their clients products and services, but often neglect taking their own advice to market themselves. As a result, they rely heavily on word-of-mouth and inbound calls to grow their business. With more than 14,000 ad agencies in America alone, this is a risky strategy — there are too few clients getting pursued by too many agencies. Well-run agencies are applying their craft to their own marketing by employing PR, thought leadership, search, and digital direct response campaigns and social media programs to stay top-of-mind with key client decision makers. This isn't a cheap thing to do. It requires manpower and significant financial investment to be effective. But in today's super competitive marketplace, you have to invest if you want to win.
What’s the sharpest, visual and verbal articulation of a brand’s ideal? We call it a “cutwater,” and believe it’s so important that we named our agency for it. It’s essential that every brand (even agencies) has one and lives by it. Spending to market your cutwater helps with new business, talent, and morale. When your POV is visible, you’ll be on the right clients radar when pitches come up. Same for talent – great people want to join an exiting team. And press is a great way for clients and employees to see that your agency is successful, which gives people bragging rights and helps encourage advocacy.