After the agency win; How to unleash your agencies full potential (Part 1)
By Allen Singer, Principal, Optimal State Operations
Since 2000, I have led several large agency operational teams that have contributed to countless new business wins. Starting the new account off on the right foot is critical. Throughout my agency and holding company experiences I have found some common challenges that are often overlooked and can be avoided with new business pre-planning.
I’ve put together this list with the aim of making new business account launches easier and more impactful.
1. Transitioning brand assets. Successfully transferring production files from the past agency to the new agency can be messy. Digital Asset Management (DAM or DAL) platforms are an efficient way to inventory the production assets quickly. It will also enable the agency to find assets to create new work much faster. In addition, it’s important for the agency to know what the usage rights are for all assets when producing future work. From what I observed in the recent 2019 Creative Operations conference, if your agency creates thousands of assets yearly and hasn’t invested in a DAM, your tech stack may be lagging behind your client’s in-house agencies and the consultancies that made the investment years ago. There are many DAM’s to choose from, make sure there is a thorough requirements gathering, these platforms require expertise and proper setup to generate value.
2. Setup the account quickly. Setting up the account billing is a very important initial step. Any delays in this will cause extra work transferring hours from one job to another and it can be challenging to track hours and costs back to the new billable job numbers. So many things are interdependent of a correct client setup so it should be a top priority.
3. Tailor the tech setups. If you have a project management and e-routing platform get to know any specific client requirements quickly and make any necessary customization.
4. Map tech across agencies. If you have identified multiple agencies in a pitch you need a unified way of working. Create a mapping table that identifies all the technology, personnel and processes across each agency and work with a central ops team to create the ways of working.
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5. Don’t rubber stamp process. If you are using multiple agencies it rarely ever works to take one agencies process and apply it to another agency. Take the time to map out a new cross-agency process before you pitch. The most basic communication tasks can become arduous if this isn’t addressed quickly.
6. Know the client’s guidelines. Often the client has document that outlines all of their business requirements. Have someone on the team be the keeper of this document and ensure the team fulfills each of the requirements. There may also be additional business requirements in the client contract. Work with your business manager to review them and communicate any important details to the team.
7. Be agile. Each agency has their own unique processes and technology they use to create, route, track, bill and manage the work. Cloud based collaboration tools can address the multitude of technical issues across agencies, improve file accessibility and communication too. When used effectively it can help agencies overcome technical obstacles like email setups, servers and networking across agencies. Have a framework you can follow and customize for each client.
The tips above hopefully will make your life an agencies life a little easier when launching a new account. This list continues in an upcoming part two article.
About the Author
Allen Singer, a former operations leader successfully working for world class agencies like VMLY&R for 24 years, partners with external and in-house agencies, media publishers and technology partners to improve their operational efficiency.