Don’t Lose Ad Agency New Business Opportunity in the Recession

Create an agency culture that believes in and thrives on opportunity
by Todd Knutson

Karen Albritton's comments in AdAge's Small Agency Diary were right on the mark and are key to agency growth in any market, and particularly today.

Karen identifies 4 ways to maintain opportunity in your agency:

  • First, I believe agencies have to match their resources with the work they have to do now. No one welcomes the pain of layoffs, but being overstaffed reduces opportunities for everyone. In time, under-utilized employees will leave, and you won't be able to choose who does. If you take the initiative, you can increase your chances of hanging onto people with great potential.
  • Give people the chance to cross-train. Earlier in my career, during a downturn, I made the transition from media planning to client services. That lateral move created more opportunity for me than any new client win or promotion ever could. With the growth of digital, there has never been a greater opportunity - or business imperative - for agency people to learn new skills.
  • Go all-out on new business. Heaven knows most of us can use some new work. Use this time to enroll more people in your new-business efforts, from prospecting to pitching. We recently did spec work when it wasn't required. We were able to get more people involved in the pitch, and everyone was able to enjoy the satisfaction of winning.
  • Take this opportunity to freshen up your agency marketing. If you have the time and resources, consider a brand refresh, a new reel or perhaps even a new website.

Every downturn presents opportunities if you see them. These are four good ways to maintain your margins, grow your people, drive new business, and enhance your marketing.

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