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How an agency can stand out in an increasingly growing crowd

  —   29 October 2014   —   Opinion

How an agency can stand out in an increasingly growing crowd

Our basic job as marketeers is to help get our client’s products and services seen and remembered. That involves understanding our audience and ensuring whatever we create is seen in the right places, stays true to the brand, the message identifies a clear point of difference from competitors and is visually impactful.

When it comes to marketing ourselves as integrated agencies, applying that same treatment to our own offering isn’t always easy. How do we stand out when we know there are so many other agencies seeming to offer exactly the same thing at the same price and promising the same standard of service? I realise this is a well debated topic but it has been particularly  relevant to me within my first year at Access where I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in a variety of new business pitches and seen the agency grow in confidence (as well as head count) whilst striving to define their point of difference.

Analyse past successes to create more of the same

We ask ourselves how are people finding us? What do companies need when they find Access? What were our recently acquired clients’ pain points and reasons for selecting us over their incumbent agency? Where do we excel, have proven expertise and available resource to provide quality service? Answering all these questions builds our case organically and has helped formulate some very successful pitch tenders in the last year.

Identify your strengths & capabilities, commit and run with them

Being selective on which pitches we take on has been an important part of this process. Our experienced management team and solid financial grounding allows us to take opportunities that play to our strengths and turn down anything that’s not a good fit. This is so reassuring when working in a smaller agency. We know who we are and what we’re good at. We then have a chance of standing out and being remembered for all the right reasons when we KNOW we can do a good job. Going for work so far out of our comfort zone and skill set (however potentially lucrative and ‘different’ it may be) is demoralising for the team…..and a waste of precious time.

Present a proven track record and have confident ambition

Building up our in-house team of Drupal experts, taking on increasingly complex systems integrations and refining our own digital project management processes has provided a raft of successful projects and happy clients to create our point of difference. We’re confident talking about it, we know our stuff when questioned in pitches and know we can provide the expert support our clients need. We have testimonials, increasingly challenging case studies and tried and tested processes. We’re entering new markets & industries via the digital route and nurturing the client relationships from there into other opportunities.

Learn, observe, adapt and stay relevant

I realise that what we see as our point of difference now and all the things that we feel make us stand out now won’t be so forever...maybe not even in 2 years’ time. We’ll have found new ways to respond to clients digital marketing needs and have new areas of expertise. That’s the fascinating thing about this industry, you can never get complacent, or stand still. We’re always learning and being forced to adapt - technology, client/agency dynamics and consumer behaviour dictates it.  

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