How do you get noticed and invited by the big brands to pitch as effective as possible?
We are a mid-sized digital agency delivering results that drives business impact and pushes the creative envelope. That really distinguishes us from the rest. We have a mix of medium sized & multinational clients and we are growing very steadily. My question as a business director is: “how do you get noticed and invited by the big brands as effective as possible when you don’t have the “power” of the big agencies but you do deliver the same or even better results?” For example, Unilever can’t work with mid-sized agencies so until we are big (which we don’t want to be actually) we probably won’t be invited to pitch for them.
Thoughts from a boutique consulting firm swimming with the Fortune 500. Can you give clients something unique which they cannot get anywhere else? Is there anything preventing you from contacting the clients instead of waiting to be invited? Is there an option to partner with other companies to provide a solution?
Thanks everyone for your wonderful feedback. I'm having a discussion with my team this week and we'll discuss this in detail now.
Where do they eat, party, shop, church.... find out... be there....covert marketing...
People hire who they know, like, and trust.
don't talk about yourself. get others to talk about you. share your work in the places that creative directors and business people congregate. designboom, fastcompany, inc, adweek. ask your happy customers to talk you up to their friends, colleagues and associates. what you are doing successfully now is your best asset. flaunt it as humbly but aggressively as possible.
Great question and obviously the lack of answers show that you are NOT the only one who hasn't figured this out. I am by no means saying that we have every time, but we have had success with large brands that are now clients such as General Mills, Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
Our thing is that we go in a different door... Everyone is looking to pitch the marketing department as an agency. Decide how you can position yourself to be seen as valuable by another department and then hit them there.
For us, as a digital coupon provider, we attack them from their innovation and technologies departments, or from their sales and inventory management side as we can launch real-time digital coupons with manufacturer level security to push product they know is sitting on a shelf.
I would just encourage you to decide what other angle you could take to get in the door and then get introduced around. If you drive ROI, reach out to sales, if you are cutting edge creative, reach out to promotions... etc.
Hope this helps and best of luck! :)
I agree with John, in this day an age of business if you have consistent business growth you are doing something right. Stick with it.
In my opinion there are three goals to establishing your business in a specific market, yours being digital agency. Which is, be the first, be the best and/or be the loudest.
Being the first, you can set the tone for your category you are building. You can be the leader and show people that no one else can do it like you do.
Being the best is what every company needs to strive for. This will get you noticed to do everyone you work with is referring people to you because you are the best digital agency in you market. You will get noticed
Be the loudest! You want to get noticed by big brands, make sure you are every where they are looking. You want to have a gorilla marketing strategy that your target audience will not miss. Of course do it in an authentic way, don't just post ad's and images of your service every where, provide true value that people appreciate and want to share.
Business/marketing strategies have not changed, you are trying to connect with people. Business people call them "clients" but they are just normal people. They do research for what they are looking for, they want to be spoken with not too and they want to feel someone understand what they are going through and has the solution they need.
Tell you story with the companies you currently work with, make them engaging, emotional and the big businesses will notice you. Remember you never know who is watching you and if you are doing things right consistently. Big businesses will start to take notice.
So be ready to submit your RFQ's and RFP's. If you do things right you wouldn't have to worry about being noticed, it will just happen.
Good luck with your business growth
If your company does not want to grow, you have limitations on the "power" that the big guys have over you. From what I can gather based on your question, you are actually playing the field, but no one on your team is catching the ball from the bigger team who is up at bat.
With that said, I think your marketing strategy has holes. I have not seen the plan but can tell from the information provided it is not attracting the clients you wish to seek. This is going to limit your potential for trying to take on bigger clients and you will plateau with the client types you have now.
First, why do you want to attract big clients? Get your name out there, more money, changing gears or some other type of underlying purpose? This needs to be answered first.
Second, think about the company's mission and vision to apply to what you are trying to do. Is it in your company culture to go after big clients or are you aiming for a certain type of client that you don't have already? Many people find if you fall off your mission and vision, clients will not take you seriously.
Third, if you do not want to grow, what is the plan to manage bigger clients? In terms of growth, if you do not want to grow but you want bigger name clients, there is something not right in that model.
Finally, go back over all of this as it applies to your company and find the missing pieces.
I have a feeling you will find the missing components and then take a look at Elaine's response on how to get RFQ's and RFP's. I would not recommend going after them until you are satisfied that you have a clear mission and goal to handle them in place. You can get in over your head and the last thing you want is an unsatisfied major client dropping you because you did not plan accordingly.
Good luck and let us know how this works out.
Big brands usually buy their services from an agency that covers all of their needs. As a small agency you will get locked out of the RFP process. If you really think the big brands are ideal for you, then find a big partner where you bring a piece they are not good at.
Hi Maarten. In many cases the larger companies such as Unilever, Coors Brewery, Pepsi etc. would go through the RFQ (Request for Quote) or RFP (Request for Proposal) process, when they are looking to engage your type of service. If you are prepared to go through this process then you would have to get on the RFQ list for the company that you are interested in. Another way is to find buyers for social media services at companies you are interested in through LinkedIn and connect with them. You can also build a following for your company through testimonials on your website home page of the largest of your existing customers, as an example of the best work you have accomplished with them.
You can also ask these companies if you can use their examples in case studies that you blog about. All this activity will make you more attractive to the companies you want to attract because they will already recognize your expertise.
If you already have some multi-national clients, you can always duplicate the process you used to gain those clients for other prospective clients in similar industries. It looks as if you are already doing well and just need to expand out.
Hope this information is helpful.
If you do not want to be a large firm yourself why bother with larger clients. If you are doing a great job for mid-sized businesses they will be far more loyal to you than larger companies. Plus you do not have to worry or bother with the added over head yourself.
Growth can be a business killer!