From my observations and in talking to a number of ad agency CEOs, it appears that organic growth takes a back seat to the functions of normal account servicing and new business.
In the old days, organic growth was about showing a ‘menu of services’ to your clients and telling them the over 100 things you do as an agency. However, it’s now much more sophisticated than that.
If organic growth has stalled at your agency, here are 5 ways to resurrect it and make it thrive through the years:
1. Change Your Mindset. Understand that you must be a business problem-solver and seek out opportunities that may enhance your clients’ revenues. Your client has blinders on and you’re the person that’s going to point out issues, insights and opportunities that are missing.
2. Organic Growth is the New Lifeblood of an Agency. Your agency team must make a conscious decision and be mentally re-trained to realize that organic growth is where the best new revenue generating opportunities are. Your client’s door is already open for you to investigate, explore and discover missed opportunities.
3. Point-Person. Someone in your agency should be designated as the ‘Organic Growth Point-Person.’ This ensures there is someone on your team who is responsible for at least keeping organic growth in the forefront of the agency’s mind, but also be responsible for bringing your team together at least every two weeks to collaborate and dissect each clients’ business and uncover possibilities. If you do not select someone to ‘quarterback’ this, then most likely your efforts will fail.
4. Be a Business Category Insider. While you’ll never know as much about a client’s business as they do, you can know a lot about what they don’t know. Being an insider means having a strong knowledge of the business category and discovering small insights that can make a meaningful shift in your client’s business. With just becoming short of an expert, insights to every business are available with a Google search, subscribing to newsletters, examining the competition, and attending trade shows. You’re not looking for the home runs, you’re seeking out singles and doubles – the small insights that can affect change.
5. KPIs: Your New Language. Each business category has its own KPI language. Become familiar with them and relate everything you do back to that category’s specific KPIs. Ask your clients for their most relevant KPIs and the issues they’re having with reaching their benchmarks.