Many advertising agencies leave money on the table because they haven’t bundled or packaged their services into “solutions.” Think about your agency and all of the services you’re providing to clients. I’ll bet it’s an extensive list.
Take a lead from what B2B and B2C companies do. Bundling is a core component of their offerings; providing their customers with “solutions” rather than selling a laundry list of individual products and/or services.
“Solutions” is the key word. I talk with advertising agencies about this constantly. Get out of the business of selling “stuff” (web sites, email programs, etc.) and into presenting solutions to their clients. This approach can lead to enhanced customer loyalty, a simplified customer experience, ability to penetrate new markets and an easier path to up selling.
I’m sure you can think of plenty of examples of other companies that embrace this approach. Software companies have been doing it for years. On the consumer side, one of the early pioneers was McDonald’s when they introduced the “Happy Meal.” Mom and Dad were just not buying their kids hamburgers, fries and a Coke, they were buying an experience in a box.
I recommend to advertising agencies that they inventory all of their and services. We’ll go through an exercise to determine which services could be combined. I’m also an advocate of creating a name for the solutions – it adds perceived value and can be a way to differentiate you from a competitor. Here’s an example of a B2B company’s
Several years ago a document management client of our agency was positioning products, services and warranties separately to prospects. Each was a specific benefit.
– Five years’ unconditional customer satisfaction guarantee.
– Three year’s fixed price on service and supplies
– Eight-hour uptime guarantee
However, they had not considered selling these benefits as a solution. After white boarding challenges and ideas with the sales team, we presented them with this.
The 5-3-8 Promise
The sales team now had a solution to talk with companies about; distinguishing their offerings from the competition, and provided their prospective customer with a memorable way to think about what they had been presented.
Within agencies there’s a tendency to think about what we do as specific competencies within silos.
What can we learn from others?
Take a company like GE. They have many competencies spanning a vast number of verticals. Their GE Jet Engine division has highly skilled engineers, technicians and advanced plants. They don’t sell each of those assets – they’ll tell you that they don’t sell jet engines; they sell the promise of confident, uninterrupted air travel. I think you’d agree, that’s a very specific solution.
Now look at your advertising agency. What is it that you accomplish with all the talent you’ve assembled? How do you sell that to prospects? What is it that you do and why should a prospect care?
Spend the time to look within your shop and determine how you can take what you do so well and present it as solutions.
You will see two things happen. You’ll be perceived differently; a company offering solutions to their clients’ business challenges AND you’ll be able to sell what you do for more.
Clients will pay more for solutions than “stuff.”
What will it be for your agency in 2017?