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What did they
    saw two      look like?
    agencies,
one struggling
and one
doing well.
At the struggling
  agency, everyone
  was very busy,
 running around,
 multi-tasking,
 fighting fires,
fixing mistakes,
t...
It resembled a hamster
wheel… run, run, run…
but there was no
forward progress…
just lots of activities.
This agency was
creating more heat
than light.
The creative de
                     pa
   extra busy - - in rtment was
                      te
   that were really rpret...
Drama was high. Go
                                                                 ssip was
                             ...
Business development
was haphazard at best.
 There was no concerted
outbound/outreach efforts
or reputation development.
T...
This agency did not live
 up to its promise.
 Clients cut budgets and
shifted work.
Employees drifted off,
fed up with the...
Then, there
was an agency
rocking along…
It had:
    Satisfied clients, who gladly
     served as references for the        The phone ringing with
     agency to...
Satisfied clients
  Energized employees
  Phone ringing

How did these
three things occur?
First, this age
  clearly articu ncy had
  strategies, a plated goals,
  and a promis ositioning,
                  e.
 Ev...
Second, only the be
                        st
   people were hired.
                        No
   laggards, no slacke
   ...
Third, these people
                         wo
 within a very discip rked
                         lined
 structure, with...
Fourth, the great pe
                         o
   helpful ‘system’ be ple and
                        g
   work, and clie...
performing
In fact, they went
through the typical
maturity curve:       norming


                                 stormin...
But, interestingly
                       , they went up th
   curve deliberately                    e
                   ...
    Developed very sharp tools to use
                                          in development and in pitching
          ...
So, the successful agency had a meaningful
 promise, strong performers, happy clients,
and above average profits and bonus...
he end
  The moral of the
                      story:
 It’s easy to strug
                     gle,
 to be common, t
    ...
jim.ho
      lbrook
            @ema
                k.com
A tale of two agencies
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A tale of two agencies

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a little fairy tale about two marketing agencies

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A tale of two agencies

  1. 1. What did they saw two look like? agencies, one struggling and one doing well.
  2. 2. At the struggling agency, everyone was very busy, running around, multi-tasking, fighting fires, fixing mistakes, trying to help…
  3. 3. It resembled a hamster wheel… run, run, run… but there was no forward progress… just lots of activities.
  4. 4. This agency was creating more heat than light.
  5. 5. The creative de pa extra busy - - in rtment was te that were really rpreting briefs drive-thru orde rs. The work reflec ted no insight. The decks were lo there was no fo ng, because cus. The work was a ll because there w over the place as no guidance. And the ideas w er yesterday’s new e s, because they ke pt to ‘make shit u having p’.
  6. 6. Drama was high. Go ssip was rampant. Everyone w as distracted. People were confused about The group was disorg the direction, their ro anized. les, their performance, and the There were no profits ir future. . The leaders were too There were write-offs busy and servicing clients and mistakes and stuff sli fighting pped fires to instill any sta through the cracks. bilit discipline, structure o y, r strategy. Outside vendors had to b because the work flow e used, was unpredictable. There was a lot of co mplaining about clients, work lo ad, budgets, each other etc etc.
  7. 7. Business development was haphazard at best. There was no concerted outbound/outreach efforts or reputation development. There was no elephant hunting, because there were no tools, promises, cases, or contacts. Most clients were small, and demanding.
  8. 8. This agency did not live up to its promise. Clients cut budgets and shifted work. Employees drifted off, fed up with the reality. The leaders blamed each other and others. It was a nice idea, but never really took root. It became like so many other small agencies. Small and common.
  9. 9. Then, there was an agency rocking along…
  10. 10. It had:   Satisfied clients, who gladly served as references for the   The phone ringing with agency to other clients inbound calls from potential clients and   Energized employees, who employees… its’ reputation brought in other highly was strong and magnetic talented friends. And when an employee left, it was to a much bigger job.
  11. 11. Satisfied clients Energized employees Phone ringing How did these three things occur?
  12. 12. First, this age clearly articu ncy had strategies, a plated goals, and a promis ositioning, e. Everyone kn heart, could r ew these by believed in th ecite them, lived by them em, and . Nothing pho ny baloney.
  13. 13. Second, only the be st people were hired. No laggards, no slacke rs, no complainers. Only pe who knew how to p ople erf how to deliver, how orm, to improve things eve ry day.   Contrib utors   Catalys ts   Innovato rs   Promote rs
  14. 14. Third, these people wo within a very discip rked lined structure, with clea r processes, sharp to ols, defined hierarchy, w it ambiguity or confu h no sion. They could rely on the ‘system’ to make th em efficient, so that the y could worry about being effective.
  15. 15. Fourth, the great pe o helpful ‘system’ be ple and g work, and clients w at fabulous e well-pleased. It wa re s effortless to get the almost w because the agency ork done, e problem-solving ta mbodied le Insightful, focused nt. ,m innovative, inspired ethodical, . It wasn’t easy for th e to get to this point. m
  16. 16. performing In fact, they went through the typical maturity curve: norming storming forming
  17. 17. But, interestingly , they went up th curve deliberately e and quickly. Wh most groups get s ile tuck along the wa settle for a lower y, or stage, this group it a clear goal to b made e high-performin and they were rele g, ntless in getting th They were ambit ere. ious about runnin the agency like a g swiss watch. (the struggling ag ency couldn’t get past the ‘stormin g’ step, mainly be there were too m cause any agendas, too hubris, and no re much al leadership)
  18. 18.   Developed very sharp tools to use in development and in pitching   Made sure everyone and everything supported the agency promise and the biz dev efforts Fifth, the true sign of success at Just by looking at their new this agency was their business business efforts, you could tell development approach. that they were highly successful. They:   Invested in biz dev   Had a systematic approach that was ongoing   Ran outbound direct and mass messages   Trained everyone to ‘perform’
  19. 19. So, the successful agency had a meaningful promise, strong performers, happy clients, and above average profits and bonuses. It was an agency that resonated in the marketplace, that made a difference to client’s brands, that was known for being innovative and a great place to work, and that was highly disciplined so as to enable better work. Employees were confident and proud, deservedly so. And they were really happy to work hard, because they knew that their work would be a real contribution and that they would be well recognized.
  20. 20. he end The moral of the story: It’s easy to strug gle, to be common, t o be victims And it’s hard to be special, to ris e above, to really be high-performing .
  21. 21. jim.ho lbrook @ema k.com

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