Eavesdropping as an Ad Agency New Business Strategy

Use search and social media to reveal insights and initiate conversations with prospective clients
by Todd Knutson

Medical Marketing and Media magazine published a story called "The Science of Eavesdropping" in the May 2009 issue. While the authors, from Wunderman NY, are writing it from a client research perspective, I found that it offers some interesting ideas for agency new business pros.

Extrapolating from what the authors report, I've come up with the following:

Research industries and companies you're targeting

  • Read your prospects' blogs and those of their consumers
  • Listen to what those consumers are saying
  • Identify broad themes, topics and sub-topics that they are talking about
  • Identify perceptions about your target's brands, as well as their competitors
  • Determine insights that you can use to develop marketing messages

Use your research to start conversations

Insights become your 'door-openers' - the reason you're calling; the reason to meet; the reason to have a second meeting.

  • Plan your voicemail series to incorporate the insights you have gained and get your prospect's attention
  • Structure first meetings to ask questions around your insights to determine if you're on target and learn more
  • Suggest second meetings to reveal your insights and plant seeds for how you might help capitalize on them

I know certain large and sophisticated agencies are employing research methodologies and strategies like those the authors discuss to gain insights into their prospects' consumers and markets. What tools do you use and how do you utilize them for new business? How are you using insights to open doors with your top prospects?


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