• Bringing Value to Your Client as a 2019 Agency

    Don’t Be a Job Shop Factory

    Don’t turn your idea company into job shop factory

    One of the biggest obstacles for all medium and small agencies to avoid is to devolve from an idea company to a job shop. A job shop just executes the work with no plan or strategy.

    Financial pressure has been so great for agencies to “just satisfy the client” that innovative ideas become rare the longer the client and agency relationship lasts. The thinking goes as follows: Why take a chance in upsetting the clients (who tend to be conservative in their marketing approach) with an innovative new idea? Revisit your client relations in 2019 and see whether you can apply the same strategy that landed you the client in the first place.

    Strategy for Media Buying

    Don’t be complacent. Reevaluate the media you’re buying, both traditional and digital. Many media companies have been bought and sold over the last eighteen months. Ratings, impressions, and rates have changed. Contact all your media reps and ask them whether they have new metrics or rates to share with you in 2019. The value you received in 2018 from a media company might be better spent with another media company in 2019.

    That goes for digital, too. AdWords is still a valuable marketing platform for most businesses. However, its cost has increased exponentially over the last ten years. Contextual Facebook ads, including Instagram Story ads, are still undervalued (in our opinion). There is a huge opportunity in using these platforms that should continue through 2019.

    LinkedIn ads are still pretty pricey, but organic reach is still very effective, especially if you’re a business-to-business (B2B) company. Continue to use the platform to post engaging content this year.

    Strategy for Creative

    Because creative is so subjective, the tendency for agencies is to play it safe and not be a disrupter. It is so difficult to cut through the clutter of ads these days that it requires you, as the agency, to persuade your clients to embrace the emotional card of creative, either through humor or authenticity. Yeah, it’s scary to walk into a client’s boardroom with your team and present a brand new idea, but isn’t that your job? Your years of experience in the communications and ad world, following case studies of successful national campaigns, should give you the ability to articulate your argument for presenting new cutting-edge creative.

    And while we’re mentioning “ads,” be careful of the hard sell. Unless you want to compete entirely on price, you need to include some value to your client’s product or service beyond just price. The trend has been moving away from “ads” and toward documentary storytelling about your client’s business and his or her brand. Anybody under forty will tell you they don’t want to be sold.

    Quality and Quantity Content Developer

    Now that each company can become its own publisher and media company, a huge amount of digital content must be created on a weekly basis for every business. This means creating blogs, photos, and videos for websites and social pages.

    Almost every company will be falling far short on the amount of digital content needed to sustain its brand in 2019.

    This year, have the conversation with your clients to help them ramp up the amount of content they need to stay competitive and provide for them high-quality content, especially video, that you, as an agency, should be capable of producing. Make it easy for your clients’ customers and prospects to have multiple touch points to their brand each week by building lots of quality content.

    Less Advertising and More Documentary Storytelling

    Unless you want your company to be known as just a commodity, you will have to include some storytelling, authenticity, and transparency in how their business works. How many times have you visited a company’s “About” page on its website and found just a trite sales pitch with no story about the company, no photographs of the management staff, and no explanation of why the company exists? Clients tend to take the “who, what, where, and how” of their brand for granted because they live it every day. They assume their customers live it, too.

    Include a Philanthropic Component

    It seems obvious, but if your clients’ businesses have been established with some success, they will want to give back. If they have a business-to-consumer (B2C) company, it’s even more important. There are a multitude of ways to do this.

    If your clients feature charity events, volunteer your time (for no fee) to document the day through blogs, photos and videos, and social media platforms such as Facebook Live. You will feel just as rewarded as they do after the event.

    Get excited! Your 2019 agency will have lots of new opportunity, particularly if you keep you and your team looking forward.

    Cerami Creative is a full-service digital and traditional marketing company founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1995. Cerami Creative has worked with national, regional, and local companies like Yuengling Beer, Penn Medicine, and Rita’s Water Ice. For a free evaluation of your company’s marketing strategy, contact Cerami Creative at or call 215-893-3004.