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We've Moved!

In an effort to consolidate all of our blog posts, the 4A's has started a new association blog called Straight A's. Business Development blog posts...

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1st Quarter 2013 Accounts in Review

Accounts in Review The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The first quarter 2013 Accounts in Review analysis includes: The account in review,...

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4th Quarter 2012 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The year end 2012 Accounts in Review analysis includes:• The account in review, winner (if known),...

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3rd Quarter 2012 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The 3rd Quarter 2012 Accounts in Review analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent...

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2nd Quarter 2012 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The 2nd Quarter 2012 Accounts in Review analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known),...

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Change: the New Agency Search Reality

Catherine Bension, Select Resources InternationalChange: The New Agency Search Reality"4A's New Business Committee Presentation Catherine Bension of Select Resources International (SRI) shared insights about agency search....

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1st Quarter 2012 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The 2012 Accounts in Review analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent &...

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2011 4A's Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The 2011 Accounts in Review analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent &...

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3rd Quarter 2011 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The "Accounts in Review" analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent and finalists The...

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Mr. Michael Farmer

The Myth of Overhead Benchmarks

Overhead rates are used by many advertisers in the calculation of agency fees. In many cases, the overhead rates of a client’s agencies are compared...

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2nd Quarter 2011 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The "Accounts in Review" analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent and finalists...

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1st Quarter 2011 Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The "Accounts in Review" analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent and finalists The...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

4A's Guidance: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True...Investigate Very Carefully

Dear 4A's Friend,   If you receive a solicitation that sounds to good to be true and "only" requires a small initial payment from your agency to...

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Mr. Brian Martin

Earning Respect

The recent Advertising Age story about search consultants raises a very important issue, although not the one that was most prominently featured. The debate about...

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4A's 2010 Final Full Year Accounts in Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The "Accounts in Review" analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent and finalists; The...

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Mr. Mark Sneider

Aggressive is Good...Consistent is Better

In 2002 I was running the domestic operation of a research consultancy. At the start of every year, we would come to the table with great...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

4A's Agency Compensation Position Paper: Why Now?

The 4A's just released a position paper on Agency Compensation. This guidance is being communicated at this time because the combination of a weak economy,...

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4A's Third Quarter Accounts in Review

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The "Accounts in Review" analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent and finalists; The...

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Is This the Year of Mobile?

Is this the Year of Mobile? It seems like this phrase has been thrown around our industry for nearly a decade, causing marketers to become...

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Mr. Mark Schnurman

Pitching and the "Goody Bag"

I was involved in a pitch recently where one agency was criticized for not giving the client a goody bag. Mind you, the client did...

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4A's First Half 2010 Accounts in Review

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The "Accounts in Review" analysis includes: The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent and finalists; The nature...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

Check Out 4A's Review Central: Agency Search Information Exchange

Review Central, the 4A's agency review community tool, is now up and running. Review Central is a Web platform geared to foster community discussion on...

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First Quarter 2010 Accounts in Review

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The First Quarter Report, covering January–March 2010 review activity, is available by clicking on the...

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Agencies Defend New Business Intellectual Property Rights

The 4A's New Business Committee requested that search consultants consider, as a matter of principle, advocating agency search agreements specifying that the rights to Intellectual...

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Ms. Lisa Colantuono

Cracking the Clutter?

Top 10 pieces of advice for cracking the clutter: Listen Be a partner-worry about the clients business Strategy and creative must connect Do your homework—know the business Don’t bait and...

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2009 Accounts in Review

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. The report covering Full Year 2009 activity is available by clicking on the link below.   The...

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Mr. Mark Schnurman

Does the Q and A Session Help You Win Your Pitches?

Having worked on a number of pitches over the last few months, with a number of different agencies, it is clear that there are different...

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Ms. Lorraine Stewart Rojek

Solutions to IP Pitfalls

Here are two actionable business practices to address the IP issue:   A better practice: Non-disclosure agreements are generally exchanged early in an agency review process to...

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Mr. Mark Schnurman

Is There a Light at the End of the New Business Tunnel?

I am not sure what everyone else is experiencing, but we are seeing a significant increase in pitch activity compared to the first and second...

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Ms. Lisa Colantuono

Cracking the Clutter! What Babies Can Teach Ad Agency New Business Executives About Prospecting

Many new business executives in the industry know that I’m in love with a two-and-a-half-foot, 26lb little guy…yes, my nephew. And if you want to see...

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Accounts in Review: 3rd Quarter 2009

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. An interim report covering activity through the Third Quarter 2009 is available by clicking on...

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Mr. Robert Moorman

Workin' for a Living

If you have not yet seen Rob Moorman's recent Adweek "Workin' for a Living" article, here is a link. Rob suggests action steps that agencies...

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Mr. Bruce Biegel

The Data-Driven Web: How Are Agencies Optimizing Targeting and Creative?

During the 4A's Webinar "The Data-Driven Web," Bruce Biegel, Senior Managing Director, Winterberry Group, commented that "Agencies may currently lack the experience necessary for effective...

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Mr. Mark Schnurman

Follow-Up Thoughts on Bringing Junior Staff to Pitches

After some spirited blogging on the topic of bringing day-to-day staff to pitches, there are three points that bubble up to the surface.   First – While...

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Ms. Denise McDevitt

The Client Mantra--Marketing Effectivenes: Effie Awards as an Agency Credential & RTB in Your Agency's Effectiveness

Clients face intense pressure to continually prove that they are generating positive results from their marketing investment. So, if Effie Awards are synonymous with "ideas...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

What Can Agencies Learn from Coke's VBC Approach?

The agency community reaction to The Coca-Cola Company's (TCCC) approach to Value Based Compensation (VBC) has been mixed. There is some skepticism about whether Coke's approach...

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Mr. Mark Sneider

The Dangers of Agency New Business Social Media

Social/digital should play a part in any agency's new business development effort, however there are four things an agency principal should consider when building a...

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Mr. Mark Schnurman

To Bring Junior Staff to a Pitch or Not: That Is the Question

I was speaking at a 4A's workshop on new business the other day and, after raising the question of whether to bring junior (day-to-day) staff...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

Rules of the Road for Agency Search Consultants

In a recent communication with leading industry agency search and new business consultants, the 4A's reiterated the importance of preserving industry best practice by adhering...

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Mr. Michael Farmer

Increase Your Revenues By Up to 20% Without Pitching

In this economic environment, where clients are requesting more service for less compensation, "Scope Creep" is an unaffordable drag on agency revenues and a drain...

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1st Half 2009 Accounts in Review

The 4A's maintains an analysis of published agency review/search activity. An interim report covering First Half 2009 activity is available by clicking on the link...

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Best of RFI's & RFP's

In previous 4A's BizDevBlog posts (3/18 "Frustrated With RFP's From Hell;" 4/6 "Why Are RFP's so Difficult?" and 11/18 "Winning RFP Proposals") members and industry...

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Worst of RFI's & RFP's

In previous 4A's BizDevBlog posts (3/18 "Frustrated With RFP’s From Hell;" 4/6 "Why Are RFP's So Difficult?" and 11/18 "Winning RFP Proposals") members and industry...

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Mr. Rich DelCore

P&G’s Sales-Based Compensation & BAL Model: How Can This Strategic Approach Be Applied to Other Agency-Client Relationships?

In a 4A’s Webinar, P&G’s Rich DelCore and Cindy Deihl, along with Saatchi’s Jane Wagner (BAL-IAMS), discussed the expanded P&G sales-based agency compensation approach and the...

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Client Perspectives: Agency Selection Fundamentals That Win Business + Build Relationships

During the 4A's Webinar "Client Perspectives on Agency Search and Selection," four marketers shared their perspectives on business development: Kathy Witsil (Chase Credit Cards) challenged marketers...

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Mr. Theodore LaBarbera

Twittering Away on Business Development

Back in April, the Current Television Network made waves in the new biz community by boldly soliciting agencies to respond to an RFP for an...

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Dr. Jodi's Prescription for Pitch Preparation

I spent eighteen months delving into the minds of clients, agency personnel, and search consultants. Respondents all had significant experience in pitching and described the pitch...

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Ms. Sarah Armstrong

The Coca-Cola Company's Value Based Compensation Approach: What Do You Think?

In a recent 4A's Webinar, Sarah Armstong of The Coca-Cola Company described TCCC's unique approach to Value Based Compensation. Coke's new compensation plan features the...

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Mr. Richard Roth

An Account Not Lost

The press is full of news on the latest accounts on the move, but seldom do they address accounts that stay married. Not losing an account...

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Mr. Mark D. Goldstein

Making the Tough Decisions

Every single screw up, every lost account, every embarrassing pitch can be traced to one thing: a bad decision.  Not a bad intention, but a bad...

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Ms. Jane F. Bedford

The High Cost of Free

Clients are demanding more and more "free" work from agencies as a hurdle to winning new business.   Even when the client requests that there be no...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

The Element of Surprise

The Element of Surprise….Why, How & When it Works?   The starling performance of Susan Boyle singing “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent is a...

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Ms. Judy Neer

Why Are RFP's So Difficult?

During her recent Tips, Tools, and Tactics Webinar, Judy Neer suggested seven effective RFP habits: 1) Don’t just mail it in2) Make everything relevant3) Explicitly...

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Are agency brochures & reels outmoded?

For years, we have relied on oversized brochures and TV reels to introduce our agency and capabilities to prospects. But neither seems to be quite...

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Frustrated with RFP's from Hell?—Stop Carping and Do Something About It!

Agency biz dev execs are telling us that the RFP process is getting out of control. So, to that extent, I have two questions: 1) What...

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Ms. Lorraine Stewart Rojek

The Importance of Agency Culture in Tough Times: An Invitation and Question for Agencies

It’s a simple theory that we have held fast to for some time, or some might say even originated within the industry: the notion that...

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Putting Value Pricing to Work: How to Get Started Down the Path to Compensation Based on Value

For the past several years Ron Baker, Tim Williams and the 4A’s have been encouraging agencies (and advertisers) to explore agency compensation that is based...

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Mr. Cleve Langton

New Business Imperatives for 2009: Cleve Langton's Top 10 "Do's and Don'ts"

At the 4A's New Business Transformation Workshop in Chicago, Cleve Langton, founder of New Business 3.0 Inc and author of New Business Lessons from Madison Avenue discussed...

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Confidentiality of Marketing Services Information

Recent industry tactics have emerged that potentially compromise the confidentiality of media and marketing services information, including media rate information and agency compensation information. To...

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Mr. Stephen Boehler

Arrogance or Insanity?

I've had discussions with several very senior agency folks from many of our top agencies over the past few weeks, and have an unsettling reaction...

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The Marketing Services Value Chain---Business Development 1.0

During the recent 4A's Webinar on value pricing, Tim Williams and Ron Baker discussed fundamental steps to overcome client commoditization of an agency:   1st—Create real value...

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"The Marketing Forum"--Request for 4A’s Colleague Feedback

I’d appreciate feedback from the 4A’s new business community members that have previously participated in or carefully evaluated a Marketing Forum (Richmond Events) cruise. It...

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Ms. Joanne Davis

What Is the Cost to Switch Agencies?

After Tom Finneran sent the 4A’s Accounts in Review report, it made me think again about the cost of new business for both the client...

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Ms. June Blocklin

The Digital Services Your Clients Really Want

American agencies are pursuing a range of strategies to keep pace with the accelerating client demand for digital services. But the real question is whether...

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Mr. Randy S Snow

New Business and Small/Independent Agencies

They're a national advertiser and we’re a relatively small, independent shop…why would they hire us? That was the question recently when we found ourselves in...

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Ms. Donna Lynn Newton

You’re in Show Biz Now: Lessons Learned From a Casting Director

During the last 4A's New Business Committee meeting, we discussed generating ideas to improve the agency review process overall for all participants--marketers, agencies and search...

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Mr. J. Francisco Escobar

The Procurement Perspective

On October 28th, I spoke at a 4A’s Finance Committee meeting and Webinar on the topic of “The Procurement Perspective: Understanding Procurement and Working Collaboratively...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

The Best of…Top 10 Biz Dev Concepts

The 4A’s has had the good fortune of having a host of industry experts share business development suggestions with our members over the years, and...

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Mr. Tim Williams

The End of Cold Calling

Cold calling has always produced only modest results, and today’s avoidance-enabling technology only makes it easier for prospects to hide from your phone calls and...

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Ms. Jody Sutter

Response to Diane Woodruff Re: Theater in New Business Pitches

Diane’s point about knowing your audience is an important one, especially when we have so many tools at our disposal – from the search consultant...

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Theater in New Business Pitches

I keep a file of lessons learned from new business pitches in my desk.  And, I actually do refer to it from time to time. ...

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Mr. Stephen Boehler

Turning Your New Business Efforts Upside Down

Agencies everywhere are finding new business development to be a greater and greater challenge, and, unfortunately, the business development strategies of most agencies are destined...

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Mr. Chris Shumaker

It's the People, Stupid

As the political season draws to a close, it seems fitting to borrow from a famous political campaign quote to concisely convey my point of...

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Mr. Thomas Finneran

Response to Jody Sutter and Diane Woodruff Re: When Client Conflicts Get in the Way of Pitching New Business

Jody and Diane raised a host of interesting perspectives on the gnarly issue of client views related to agency conflicts. It has always fascinated me...

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Mr. David Beals

Winning RFP Proposals

On October 23, I discussed Structuring Win-Win RFP's and Compensation Agreements during a 4A's Webinar. There are several tips, tools & tactics that I discussed...

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Response to Jody Sutter Re: When Client Conflicts Get in the Way of Pitching New Business

As a mid-sized, full-service agency, conflicts are an issue we bump up against frequently. And, given our size, we do not have the infrastructure in...

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Ms. Jody Sutter

When Client Conflicts Get in the Way of Pitching New Business

In my experience at media agencies, it's extremely hard to pitch clients in the same, similar, and, at times, not-so-similar categories. There's a good reason...

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Mr. Robert Moorman

Response to Nancy Hill Re: Getting the Best From Your Agency

I agree with Nancy's Hill's comments that the new business process should be a two-way assessment of capabilities, compatibility and economic expectations. I have a...

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Mr. David Lubeck

Response to Matt Anderson Re: Can Anyone Do Business Development?

Great thoughts Matthew. Like Deutsch, we're doing everything we can at Bernstein-Rein to promote a new business mentality within all aspects of our agency--especially in...

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Mr. Mitchell Caplan

Why New Business is Everyone's Business

I was at the recent ANA Conference and (surprise!) found myself at the bar before dinner. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by about...

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Mr. Matthew Anderson

Can Anyone Do Business Development?

Absolutely. In fact, it is crucial to the success of your new business efforts to make sure everyone is doing Business Development.   Business Development is a...

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Ms. Nancy Hill

Getting the Best From Your Agency

On Oct. 25, I spoke at the ANA’s Agency-Client Forum on the topic of “Getting the Best From Your Agency.” It was an ideal opportunity...

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My Notebook

My Notebook

PR Forum:
24/7 Always On Communications

May 14 | JWT, NYC
The industry’s top journalists, agencies and brand managers will convene for an open conversation about what's going on and what's next.
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NY Seminar:
Strategy For Account Managers

May 15 | NYC
Send your account managers to improve their new business pitches and gain digital strategy insights.
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Spring 2014 | Nationwide
We have dozens of professional development events scheduled...
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PR Forum 2014
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