Ad Agency New Business: The Cardinal Rules of Hiring an Outsourcing Partner
So you decided to hire an outsource firm to conduct new business for your agency. Ensure success by thoroughly examining the following key elements of your new relationship.Lead Generation
Where does your new partner get its leads? Most likely, they come from a combination of industry specific lists, previous pursuit activity and key contributor insight. Your agency's target audience should be a nuanced universe, crafted from a variety of sources and honed by very select criteria. What you don’t want is a pre-purchased generic list that is being resold and recycled to other firms.
Custom list building is crucial to creating a successful program. Carefully selecting each and every organization on which your firm will spend its time and resources is an imperative function of your outsourcing agent. More is never better - it’s just unfocused and reflects a lack of in-depth knowledge.
Once you have decided what organizations are your agency’s best targets, ensure that your firm has complete ownership of all the data associated with every contact made on your behalf. Some outsource firms resell lists that lie on their servers within their CRM and Marketing Automation programs, forcing you to tie all future pursuit activities to them.
If you are sold this operating practice as an easy-to-implement value-add - proceed with caution. Having worked with agencies that bought into such an arrangement (previously), we were astonished by the lack of information provided once the relationship ended. Many times, they were left with nothing more than a list including thousands of organizations ordered by SIC code. No contact detail including: email addresses, direct dials, personal observations or outreach history was contained.
Get what you pay for and insist on anytime access and the rights to all of your data.
Niche Industry Knowledge
While limitations of physical location can be overcome, your Business Development Director’s knowledge of your target industries cannot. Having worked in the northeast at a variety of both B2B- and B2C-focused firms, we have interacted with a wide gamut of agency audiences. From the financial services, healthcare, medical technology, high-tech, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors to the travel and tourism, food and beverage, retail and real estate industries, we have been fortunate to work closely with them all.
Your agency’s business development plan hinges on communicating a unique specialty that is often industry specific. As such, your Business Development Director must be comfortable discussing (and writing about) the complexities of these industries. Be sure to gauge this ability before committing your firm to a representative who will be the conduit to getting the business you want.
Long story short, understand the methods, own your data and get to know the person on your agency's frontline before tying your future to a third party.