Your Agency in 30 Seconds: Four Questions That Define Agency Positioning

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Can you describe your agency in a memorable, differentiating way in 30 seconds. Here are the four questions that define a successful positioning strategy for advertising agencies and other professionals services firms.

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Your Agency in 30 Seconds: Four Questions That Define Agency Positioning

  1. Your agency in 30 seconds Presented by Tim Williams ignition consulting group www.ignitiongroup.com The four questions that define agency positioning strategy
  2. We’re full service! We’re integrated! We have a wide range of experience! We’re creative! We’re strategic! We’re nimble! We’re media neutral! We’re dedicated! We’re your marketing partner! We assign only senior people! We get results! We’re fun! What makes us different? The “red ocean” of agency claims
  3. CONFIRMATION BIAS “Our offering is highly differentiated.” Percent of company executives who agree: 80% Percent of customers who agree: 8%
  4. “I wish that the agencies would stick to what they are good at. They try to do everything, and they would be better served to narrow their focus. You can’t do everything, and if you try to do everything, you do nothing. It drives me crazy when the agency is trying to pitch you every single service available.” WHAT CLIENTS THINK
  5. “The common failing among agencies seeking new business is their inability or unwillingness to name what they stand for.” Bob Lundin WHAT CONSULTANTS THINK
  6. WHAT THE PRESS THINKS “Telling an effective agency brand story should be easy for companies that are in the business of telling brand stories, right? I can tell you, after perusing many an agency website, that fewer than you’d think have figured it out. Very few take stands. All this has made the agency landscape feel too flat and featureless, and that is exacerbating the commoditization of the business.” Matt Creamer Advertising Age
  7. How would a prospect find your agency in a Google search? “full service advertising agency”
  8. Focus Diversification Complexity THE COMPLEXITY TAX PRODUCT CODES (SKUs)60 15,000
  9. “I’m more proud of what we haven’t done than what we have done.” Steve Jobs Apple
  10. THE DIVERSIFICATION DISCOUNT
  11. ①  There’s really no such thing as “full service” ②  Clients don’t hire you for “everything” but for something. ③  “Full service” simply doesn’t scale Full service doesn’t scale
  12. Focus does scale ①  People, competencies, and systems constantly improve. ②  Time and money are directed toward a coherent strategy. ③  Expertise can be deployed across a large client base. ④  Alignment between your strategy and day-to-day decisions.
  13. ①  Clear criteria for identifying the types of clients who want you for what you do best. ②  A stronger win ratio in new business, because you’re playing to your strengths. ③  Clear hiring standards for the kind of people you need to deliver on your strategy. ④  A self-promotion program based on a meaningful, unifying theme. ⑤  More pricing leverage because you’re offering more differentiated services. ⑥  A clearer direction for how you should spend your limited time and resources. Fear of focusBenefits of focus
  14. You can be good at something, but you can’t be good at everything
  15. Positioning = Michael Porter Harvard Business School “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Deciding what not to do
  16. Positioning = Deciding what not to do Source: Jan Rivkin, Harvard Business School
  17. Positioning = Trade-offs
  18. Positioning = Trade-offs
  19. “What makes a great museum is the stuff that’s not on the walls.” Seth Godin Positioning = Curating
  20. Positioning = Curating
  21. Positioning = Letting your clients outgrow you “Companies need to be true to a type of customer more than a specific individual customer with changing needs.” Jason Fried 37 Signals
  22. Positioning = Letting your clients outgrow you
  23. Positioning = A reliable way to repeat success
  24. Positioning = A reliable way to repeat success
  25. Positioning = Letting clients outgrow you “Companies need to be true to a type of customer more than a specific individual customer with changing needs.” Jason Fried 37 Signals
  26. “A business strategy is about deciding where to play, and how to win.” A.G. Lafley CEO, Procter & Gamble
  27. Three Main Models Today’s clients use to work with agencies
  28. Client 1. Best-of-Breed Model YOUR FIRM IN 30 SECONDS
  29. Source: Millward Brown Study on Agency New Business ①  Desire to focus on best-in-class specialists ②  Lagging business results ③  Creative failed to perform as expected ④  Agency’s failure to update capabilities ⑤  Creative differences ⑥  Lack of team chemistry ⑦  Poor service ⑧  Agency’s poor project management ⑨  Agency’s lack of cost efficiency ⑩  Agency’s lack of desire to facilitate integration Top reasons clients search for a new agency
  30. Clayton Christensen Harvard Business School Author and leading thinker on disruptive innovation “We are seeing a shift in the competitive dynamic from the primacy of integrated solution shops, which are designed to conduct all aspects of the client engagement, to modular providers, which specialize in supplying one specific link in the value chain.”
  31. “Marketing organizations traditionally have been populated by generalists, but particularly with the rise of social and digital marketing, a profusion of new specialist roles are emerging.” Keith Weed, CMO, Unilever Marc de Swaan Arons and Frank van den Driest, Effective Brands
  32. AORAgency of Record AOCAgency of Collaboration
  33. Agency 2. Single Source Model Client
  34. Lead Agency 3. Service Integrator Model Client
  35. 3. Service Integrator Model Brand Agency Leader
  36. CLIENT SIZE AGENCY FOCUS Best-of-Breed Firms Larger national clients “Generalist” Firms Smaller regional clients
  37. +  Has higher fees +  Has broader market area +  Has fewer competitors Power is with the specialist.
  38. NARROWis not the same as small
  39. The four questions that define positioning strategy What we do How we do itWho we do it for Why we do it
  40. Your positioning strategy in 30 seconds For (Who) ___________________________ We (What) ___________________________ By (How) ___________________________ Because (Why) _______________________
  41. What are our core competencies? In which areas are we truly best in class? ¡  Services we offer ¡  Skills we possess ¡  Communications channels we know ¡  Customer points of contact we know ¡  Strategic assets we own ¡  Value chains we know ¡  How and where customers buy our client’s brands ¡  Outcomes are clients are seeking ¡  Client benefits we deliver What Areas of exploration
  42. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  43. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  44. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  45. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  46. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  47. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  48. Examples of positionings based on What we do
  49. Who is our best customer? What markets or audiences do we know best? ¡  Categories we know ¡  Distribution and delivery channels we know ¡  Internal and external stakeholders we know ¡  Audiences and market segments we know ¡  Types of brands we know Areas of exploration
  50. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  51. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  52. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Who Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  53. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Who Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  54. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  55. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  56. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  57. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Who Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  58. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  59. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  60. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  61. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  62. TYPE OF AUDIENCE TYPE OF BRAND Examples of positionings based on Who we do it for TYPE OF CATEGORY
  63. How are we different in the way we think? Do we have distinguishing approaches or philosophies? ¡  Philosophies or beliefs we have ¡  Methods and approaches we use ¡  Our firsts and milestones ¡  Access to specialized resources ¡  Beliefs about organization, structure, work environment Areas of exploration
  64. Examples of positionings based on How we do it
  65. Examples of positionings based on How we do it
  66. Examples of positionings based on How we do it
  67. Examples of positionings based on How we do it
  68. Examples of positionings based on How we do it
  69. ¡  Beyond making money, what is the purpose of our organization? ¡  What are the things we will always do? What are the things we will never do? ¡  What do we preach? What are we crusading against? What do we fight for? ¡  If our people were volunteers instead of employees, what would they be volunteering for? ¡  What would we want to achieve if we knew we could not fail? Areas of exploration Why are we in business? Do we have a purpose that transcends making money?
  70. Why we do it
  71. Why we do it
  72. “Profit is not the purpose of a company, but rather a test of its validity.” Peter Drucker
  73. Overdeveloped Services Overserved Markets Satisfied Client Needs Underdeveloped Services Underserved Markets Unsatisfied Client Needs Low margin Many providers Positioning = An opportunity to find a more valuable spot on the client value chain High margin Few providers
  74. Overdeveloped Services Overserved Markets Satisfied Client Needs Underdeveloped Services Underserved Markets Unsatisfied Client Needs A new positioning strategy is an opportunity to be not just authentic, but aspirational
  75. “Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum strong enough, and I can move the world.” Archimedes
  76. Bringing your positioning strategy to life
  77. Reputational capital, by itself, doesn’t make your firm a differentiated brand.
  78. “If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. “If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you, and nobody for you.” Bill Bernbach
  79. “It’s not good enough to be the best at what you do; you need to be the only one who does it.” Jean-Marie Dru TBWA/Chiat/Day
  80. www.IgnitionGroup.com @TimWilliamsICG www.linkedin.com/in/TimWilliamsICG LinkedIn Influencer “Positioning for Professionals” by Tim Williams Propulsion Blog www.IgnitionPropulsion.com

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