This post is by Co-Founders of The Agency Accelerators, Susan Werkner and Peter Applebaum. They have been running their own successful digital marketing agencies for over 15 years, winning and servicing numerous corporate clients like Unilever, Pirelli Tyres, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Pfizer, American Express and Optus.
Case Study A
Agency: Numerous small/ boutique agencies
Just how big is a ‘Corporate client’? Well, that’s relative to the size of your agency and your typical client profile. But, is there such thing as a client that’s too big? Mondelez International turned over $25.9 billion (USD) in 2018. Let’s put that into context. Honduras, a country in Central America, with a population of 9.3 million, has a GDP of $23.8 billion. So, yeah, Mondelez are pretty big.
Are they too big to work with small marketing agencies? Think again. Deb Giampoli is an Agency Scout (yep, that’s a thing) from Mondelez and here is a list of the things that get her excited about an agency and the things that frustrate her:
The Dos and Don’ts of Landing a Big Client According to Mondelez
1. You need to be more than just a list of capabilities. You need a story that stands out. Make sure you know your story and can articulate it effectively.
2. Your unique work will set you apart. But you must be able to talk about it effectively and distill your underlying strategy down, clearly and profoundly.
3. You’ve got a smaller, unique workspace. Deb explains that she won’t work with a prospective agency unless she’s been into their offices to see what they’re all about. Your place of work can say nearly as much about you as the work itself. Why not run some workshops or open houses? However not all clients want to come and see your premises, so don’t be put off by this.
4. Big companies can’t work with agencies they don’t know exist. Deb explains that small agencies should approach marketing execs through mutual connections. If you don’t have any connections to leverage, then make some.
1. You must’ve done your homework on both the individual you’re trying to reach and the company itself. You’ll have wasted your hard work if you finally get a shot with a decision-maker and you don’t know enough about them or the nature of their business.
2. Don’t bother with LinkedIn invites if you haven’t met. Deb says that unless she’s met somebody in person, she’ll reject or ignore their connection request.
3. “I don’t believe in love at first sight”, says Deb. Don’t blow your chances if you’ve been lucky enough to have an initial conversation with a big business exec, by pushing for work too soon. Foster the relationship, make yourself available and attentive. But, crucially, be patient.
4. Be a specialist. Whether you’re an industry expert or specialist in a methodology, you’re likely too small to specialise in everything. Big businesses are looking for industry-leading disruptors and innovators to partner with. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades.
Case Study B
Agency: Web Profits
Sujan Patel of Web Profits Agency has outlined the blueprint he used when trying to land one of his first Corporate clients.
Web Profits Blueprint of Landing Corporate Clients
First, he sat down with his team to pinpoint an industry to target. They did this by deciding which industry they were best equipped to help. They explored which types of clients they’d had the most historic success with. Finally, they looked at which industry would be most profitable. Their answer, FinTech.
Second, with an industry selected, they picked one of the biggest companies in that industry: Kabbage.
Third, they wrote a case study specifically for Kabbage. It was essentially an e-book of around 12,000 – 13,000 words. The e-book laid bare their interpretation of how Kabbage could market their business in the FinTech industry. It discussed the relative strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. They accompanied this with a video. They sent this to Kabbage and a number of other, carefully selected, big FinTech players.
Fourth, they secured two Corporate clients in the FinTech industry, one of whom was Kabbage, worth around a combined $600,000 P.A.
All in all, it took them around six weeks to create the targeted campaign that won them two Corporate clients worth over half a million dollars. Web Profits picked an industry and an ideal client within it and did something completely unique.
Case Study C
Become a specialist to win big clients for your small agency
Lynne Bartron, VP of advertising and strategy at LifeLock, explains that working with big agencies is good in terms of their broad range of expertise but they lack the depth of specialisation that LifeLock sometimes need. It’s for this reason that she turns to New-York agency YARD.
“I went where the unique expertise was, knowing they could tap into years of deep experience and my brands would benefit from that”.
What makes your agency special? What can you do better than a big agency? In which industries are your expertise?
Once you know the answers to these questions, nurture your presence, reputation and credibility in this area, and once you start to win clients, develop a portfolio of case studies and testimonials. Armed with this, you can start going after bigger and bigger brands in the confidence that you’re truly an industry-leading expert and have the credentials to prove it.
We can help you get corporate clients, take your first step here.