By Category: New Business Tools/Resources

Procurement Snapshot for Ad Agency New Business »

What procurement does and why it exists - from the client's perspective
Published on April 19, 2012

david stirlingMany a new business person's blood pressure increases when you start talking about procurement. Frustration is natural when attempts to "persuade the unpersuadable" are unsuccessful - as in trying to communicate creative or subjective value to a person who's really only interested in getting the cheapest price.

Like it or not, procurement is here to stay.

Think about this: at a recent ANA event procurement reps outnumbered VPs of marketing! You might take that as a bad sign, or you might conclude that it's good news: representatives of procurement departments are trying to educate themselves about marketing and advertising. If this is even partially true, it should make every ad agency new business person who works with procurement want to better understand the function.

David Wilson, President of Stirling Consulting, provided an in-depth look at procurement during the recent 2010 New Business Conference. Here's a summary of my notes from the session.

Procurement is often looking for new suppliers to introduce to their internal client (the marketing team). Dont' be afraid to get to know them and develop a relationship. They're not the enemy.

Why does procurement exist?  It's driven by the needs of the organization, which is usually to reduce expenses and increase working capital (the latter is usually accomplished by collecting amounts owed faster and paying vendors slower).

What is procurement's internal reputation? In a 2009 survey, 78% of Chief Financial Officers viewed procurement positively. Why? They're achieving 5%-20% annual cost savings and helping companies better manage risk. So, the trend to use procurement will continue.

Definition of a good procurement process: "An ongoing process of decreasing overall costs and managing supplier risk, while improving internal and external processes."

Principals of a good procurement process:

  • Rigorous
  • Ethical
  • Cross functional
  • Focused on total cost (not just price), quality and service
  • Have clear objectives
  • Make objective decisions
  • Be grounded in strategy

It's important to note that within "the big corporation", procurement departments are at varying stages of their own evolution and maturity:

  • Competent (e.g. are very knowledgeable about marketing, savvy about developing innovative partnerships)
  • Emerging
  • Lagging (e.g. "siloed" from the rest of the company, just focused on reducing costs, short-term oriented, ignorant about marketing)

As an agency new business person, you need to be prepared to deal with all three types.

What's procurement's decision criteria? For a "competent" department, they will consider quality, technology, strategic value, service, innovation and cost. When considering agency selection, "cost is significantly down the food chain".

Important things to recognize about procurement:

  • Agencies must understand client decision making
  • Harness the client's self-interest [as discussed in numerous posts, your proposal needs to be all about them, not you]
  • Identify the additional value your agency brings to the table
  • Recognize the cards that you hold - you're likely smarter about your subject area than anyone inside the prospective client

Hope this helps you crack the procurement nut!


Ads Worth Watching for Ad Agency New Business »

TED brings them together
Published on April 04, 2011

TEDOne of the most satisfying aspects of working in the ad industry is knowing some of the people and companies that create ads that move you. Sometimes, those ads appear together. The folks at TED did this with the ten winners of their recent "Ads Worth Spreading" competition.

These ads "run longer than the TV-standard 30 seconds. And that's the key! In 2-3 minutes, there's enough time to really tell a story, share an idea, make an authentic human connection, become unforgettable."

This is really good stuff if you're an ad agency new business person -- you know how the phone rings when it's your agency that creates work like this.

So, sit back, relax, and click here to view ten inspiring ads. And, another fourteen honorable mentions, if you're so inclined. + Jigsaw = Recipe for IP Violation, Bad for Ad Agency New Business »

Be careful...
Published on March 23, 2011


salesforce logo

jigsaw logo

With's acquisition of Jigsaw, you can now easily export contacts from to Jigsaw. (For more on crowd-sourced data sources like Jigsaw, click here.)

However, ad agencies, as well as any other user, must now recognize the significant intellectual property issues presented by this merger. Most importantly:

  • Whose contacts are in your current account, or your internal database?
  • Do you have the right to export these contacts to a third party? If so, under what circumstances?
  • May that third party sell them?

This is important as your agency may be opening itself up to potential legal liability. Consider:

  • If you export contacts, purchased from a third party, into Jigsaw, what is your potential liability for violating the third party's license agreement?
  • If you import contacts from Jigsaw that belong to a third party, what is your legal liability for doing so?

Here are extracts from the license agreements of popular providers of new business prospecting information to ad agencies:

The List:

You are specifically prohibited from: (a) using or permitting the use of Information to prepare an original database or a comparison of the Software to other databases that are sold, rented, published, or furnished in any manner by or to a third party; (b) using or permitting the use of Information for the purpose of compiling, enhancing, verifying, supplementing, adding to, or deleting from any mailing list, business directory, or other compilation of information that is sold, rented, published or furnished in any manner to a third party.


Access Confidential:

The Content on this Web site is for use by the Subscriber and its Users only and not for commercial exploitation. A User may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, rent, lease, loan, sell, sublicense, or create derivative works from either this Web site or its Content. A User may not use any network monitoring or discovery software to determine the site architecture or extract information about usage, individual entities or users. A User may not use any robot, spider, other automatic software and/or devices or manual processes to monitor or copy this Web site or its Content without the Provider’s written consent. A User may not copy, modify, reproduce, republish, distribute, display, or transmit to third parties outside the User’s agency network for commercial, non-profit or public purposes any or all portions of this Web site without the Provider’s written consent. A User may not use or otherwise export, or re-export, this Web site or its Content pursuant to the export control laws and regulations of the United States of America. Any unauthorized use of this Web site or its Content is expressly prohibited.

Redbooks (Lexis Nexis):

The Content on the Site is provided solely for your personal use and not for commercial exploitation.  You may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, rent, lease, loan, sell, sublicense, or create derivative works from the Site or the Content.  Nor may you use any network monitoring or discovery software to determine the site architecture, or extract information about usage, individual identities or users.  You may not use any robot, spider, other automatic software or device, or manual process to monitor or copy our Site or the Content without our prior written permission.  You may not copy, modify, reproduce, republish, distribute, display, or transmit for commercial, non-profit or public purposes all or any portion of the Site, except to the extent permitted above.  You may not use or otherwise export or re-export the Site or any portion thereof, the Content or any software available on or through the Site in violation of the export control laws and regulations of the United States of America.  Any unauthorized use of the Site or its Content is expressly prohibited.

Hoovers (D&B):

The Services are licensed for Customer's internal use only and subject to any restrictions set forth in the Order. Customer will not provide Information, or other Services to others, whether directly in any media or indirectly through incorporation in a database, marketing list, report or otherwise, or use or permit the use of Information to generate any statistical or other information that is or will be provided to third parties (including as the basis for providing recommendations to others); use or permit the use of Information to prepare any comparison to other information databases that is or will be provided to third parties.

As you can see, if you've purchased information from one of these third parties, and have exported or plan to export it to Jigsaw, you are clearly violating their license agreement(s). For these third parties, the natural next step is legal proceedings. It remains to be seen if it's against, their clients, or both.

My recommendation is to go back and re-read the applicable license agreements - your legal obligations - if you've purchased data from a third party anytime in the last few years.  And then, be very careful to document what you export to Jigsaw, if anything.

Better yet, just don't do it.



Are Crowdsourced Contacts Good for Ad Agency New Business? »

The Lure of Free
Published on March 17, 2011

netprospex logo

jigsaw logo

What a great sales pitch: take your in-house prospecting list, upload it to a crowdsourced-based website like Jigsaw or NetProspex, and then download an equal number of "clean" contacts - for free.

I can hear you thinking about it..."I can have twice as many contacts with just a couple of clicks of my mouse." It sounds too good to be true!

Before you take the plunge, however, I suggest you think through a few important questions:

  • What will you upload? Will you upload:

- Current clients?

- Networking contacts?

- Friends of the firm?

- Contacts you've painstakingly found on your own?

- Lists you've acquired from 3rd party vendors?

  • Has your management team thought through the consequences of sharing this information with the world? Once you upload it, it's gone and can't be retrieved or taken back later. Do you really want your valuable contacts in the hands of your competitors?
  • If you want to upload a list you've acquired, are you legally allowed to do so? Have you reviewed "the fine print" - license agreement - from the list provider? Most, if not all, restrict you from sharing data with anyone outside your firm. Other providers allow you "single-use"; if you share you are clearly violating their agreement.
  • What will you get in return? We've heard many stories about people uploading their old, out-of-date information, with the hope of exchanging it for new, clean information. Think about this for a minute: if you (and a few hundred or thousand people) upload their garbage, what are you going to get in return?

We at The List have heard so many stories about inaccurate information that we recently decided to do a test on 2,500 contacts that we purchased from one of the two providers whose logos appear above. We called every contact we received, and tabulated every duplicate contact, contacts no longer with the company, incorrect titles, incorrect gender, and contacts listed as being in the U.S. but actually located in another country.

In all, we found that 71% of the information was in some way incorrect.

The flip side is that 29% of the contacts were correct (725 contacts). But, that means if we'd exchanged 2,500 contacts one-for-one, we'd have only recieved 725 in return!

So, my recommendation is to consider a data-exchange with eyes wide open. If you're okay receiving some good titles and many wrong ones; if you're okay giving away your clients, friends of the firm, etc.; if you're okay risking legal liability, then this type of service is perfect for you.


New Promotions Technology Builds 1:1 Relationships, Increases Revenue, Organic Growth »

Sparkfly personalizes offers to influence shopper behavior and drive maximum margins
Published on July 14, 2010

sparkflyOne of the "if only we could" wishes of B2C Chief Marketing Offers is delivering highly personalized, one-to-one offers to customers - offers that result in increased brand loyalty and higher profit margins. I've come across a company that now delivers on that wish.

This is a way for your advertising agency to bring new technology and significant value to your current clients.

Here are some of the technological innovations now taking place in the sales promotion industry:

  • Personalization is now possible in real-time - while customers are present in-store.
  • Retailers are focused on customer loyalty and retention more than ever before.
  • Personalization tools and processes are being integrated at the Point of Sale (POS).
  • Post-promotion analysis can now be done in hours, not months.

Technologies that integrate real-time promotions into the POS deliver:

  • Much better customer targeting
  • Much higher redemption
  • Tighter segmentation
  • Greater market share
  • Reduced traditional media spend
  • Revenue gains

According to a white paper published by Retail TouchPoints,

The new paradigm makes possible a 1:1 relationship between seller and buyer that was inconceivable a few short years ago.

Besides new technology, what makes all this possible is that "the consumer is absolutely willing to sign up for personalized loyalty and rewards programs on the Web", says Sahir Anand of Aberdeen Group.

According to Retail TouchPoints, Sparkfly has "emerged as a leader in the transformation of existing POS systems, smarter CRM data integration, and a vastly improved consumer experience."

Sparkfly CEO Catherine Tabor adds this tantalizing summary of her company's solution:

Imagine a world where you know exactly which of your products an individual consumer is purchasing; when and where they're purchasing; and based on that behavioral purchase history, you can then communicate a very tailored and personalized offer to the individual consumer that will drive them back into the store, the restaurant, or to your product, at no incremental cost.

Without mentioning the Fortune 100 companies that Sparkly is now working with, after visiting the company's offices and seeing their clients' results, this may be a technology you want your clients to implement. It can and will benefit them, their customers, and further solidify your relationship.


Recent Entries

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published on July 07, 2010

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We get asked about

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Aviod the pitfalls
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Set it up right to begin with
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Predicted to be a game-changer
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How hard are you willing to work, and for how long?
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Wonderfactory prototype is an exciting development
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Revealed on December 2nd, this innovation

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New Digital TV Service Can Help Generate New Business »

Introducing Leap Media
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A Hint of New Business Team Conflict = No Win »

Good chemistry means learning how to have difficult conversations to maintain harmony
published on November 04, 2009

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Don't manage your career, Exceed Expectations
published on October 14, 2009

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This game of musical chairs creates turmoil within

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Signs of a turnaround
published on October 01, 2009

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Your Favorite New Business Questions »

published on September 04, 2009

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We all have our favorites, so why not combine our knowledge and put together a list of the best? Below is a form to enter your

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You are judged on first impressions
published on August 27, 2009


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Skillful Listening Critical to Ad Agency New Business »

Listening = Winning
published on August 20, 2009

active listening

We've all heard the expression, "People love to hear themselves talk." When it comes to new business, your success is often determined by how well you get your prospects to do the talking.


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One of the old rules may need to be rewritten
published on August 19, 2009

cell phone with lock

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published on August 07, 2009
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image's research

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published on August 05, 2009


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published on August 03, 2009


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Role practice will dramatically improve your results
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Use a CRM system for new business advantage
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Agencies can be good at new business without being an expert at every part of the process
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Social sites - like LinkedIn or Facebook

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