Advertising clients walk in the front door.
Inevitably, some will walk out the back.
The goal, allow me to state the obvious, is to have more coming in than are slipping out. That said, having clients find your agency’s front door has never been all that easy. New business research with clients has shown that the most trusted method for finding an agency is via referrals. However, for obvious reasons, there is a point where finding the right agency using the referral system quickly reaches its limit.
When I look at the search process from the client side I realize that beyond referrals from friends and colleagues, it is a very difficult, inefficient and stressful process. Of course, clients with a large budget can go to search consultants. Those with smaller budgets generally have a DIY approach.
Over a series of posts I will review different methods that prospective clients now have to locate agencies. I’ll start with one of the newest digital solutions from Agency Spotter.
Agency Spotter – www.agencyspotter.com
A user of my admittedly low-tech Pinterest ad agency directory recently pointed me to a new company that is perfecting a digital marketplace approach to help clients of all sizes find the right agency.
Agency Spotter, an Atlanta based company, was founded by Brian Regienczuk and Joseph Raccuglia in 2012 with the express purpose of bringing the agency search process into the 21st century. They have created an online marketplace where agencies showcase their work and clients search across the Agency Spotter database to find agencies. Prospective clients search on four key criteria: agency type, size, location and budget.
Here is an interview I conducted with Agency Spotter’s Brian Regienczuk, Co-Founder / CEO.
Q: Why did you think the advertising marketplace could use a new solution? What isn't working for clients searching for agencies?
A: Marketers are spending a ton of time trying to find agencies and there was no one place to go to help you find all the relevant agencies. Personally, as a design leader at both Philips and then Coca-Cola, I had people ask me what agencies they should use. But, even as an expert in the field, it was often hard for me to find them a good fit for what they needed. As we explored this pain point more, we realized that the typical hunting and gathering approach is frustrating and full of uncertainties for marketers. This problem, paired with a number of trends made us realize that now was the perfect time to solve agency search across the full spectrum of marketing, advertising and design related services.
Q: What is Agency Spotter?
A: Agency Spotter is the first digital marketplace where marketers from brands big and small come to search, compare and connect with agencies. We are the first platform really helping both brands and agencies to connect with one another across this space.
Q: You are employing a technology solution. How does it work?
A: We are creating a smarter way to search for agencies using technology, data and design. As the platform evolves, you will see a lot more intelligence in how we recommend agencies while keeping the interface very easy to use.
Q: What is the benefit for clients?
A: Marketers now have one place to organize all the agencies they come in contact with by adding them to lists, sharing them with their colleagues and rating agencies they have worked with.
It is easier to stay organized when you do an agency search too. We are bringing more information, organized in an easy to use fashion, and including ratings and reviews from your network of peers.
We make it easy for marketers to see how they're connected to an agency and get the inside scoop using LinkedIn.
Q: For agencies?
A: Agencies have a new chance to be discovered. With one central marketplace, it is so much easier for brands to find agencies they've never heard of before that may be a great fit.
In many ways, we are leveling the playing field. It's not about the agency that spends the most. It is about what your agency is great at, what you want to be remembered for.
To sum up, agencies get a permanent promotional presence and ways to follow up with targeted leads. Agency Spotter is designed to save everyone, marketers and agencies, time and money.
Q: What are the costs?
A: On the clients/business side, it's free. You just sign up to search and get started. If you sign up using LinkedIn, you can see how your network is connected to agencies you view.
Agencies can join at a basic level for free and premium plans start at $136/month. Typically, agencies that upgrade see 25 times more engagement, plus they have access to targeted leads.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: We are using technology to enable personal connections while saving everyone time and money. Agency Spotter gets you to a shortlist of agencies much faster, gives you more information about those agencies and how you're connected to them, and makes it easy to contact them so you can have a real conversation and find the right fit.
My final thought…
I like the higher-tech approach that Agency Spotter is employing. It is time that the agency search market has access to the type of search tools and algorithms that we have become accustomed to using every day.
As Agency Spotter says, they are “Taking the agency search process from months to minutes.”
For a more personal perspective, visit the video blog OnBranding to see Brian and Joseph deliver the Agency Spotter story and pitch.