Friday, September 30, 2016

WebClinic: How to Succeed When You’re Not the Client’s Only Agency

We all hate it, but it’s a truism in our business: Clients have multiple agencies. And they expect those agencies to mesh well together. But we know that’s not always the case.

This Web Clinic  is based on interviews with clients who use multiple agencies.
 -- Register Now --

On October 18, join Sheila Campbell as she  reveals what clients using more than one agency, really expect from their agencies:  Sheila will review: How clients  want you to communicate with them and each other; how sensitive clients  are to agencies sniping at each other or chasing more pieces of the business; how clients  envision the perfect relationship among themselves and their agencies.
Key takeaways:

  • How to initiate a multi-agency arrangement: what to ask for in the beginning, and what to hold back
  • How to clarify and establish boundaries with the client and the other agencies
  • Four things that really irritate clients in these situations
  • Best ways to keep each other in the loop without giving up your own proprietary insights
  • How to talk with clients when the other agencies aren’t performing well or cooperating with you
  • How to keep your agency’s achievements top of mind at the client’s office.

Who should attend:

Account managers at all levels who work with clients who have multiple agencies — or
have clients who work on a project basis. It’s also important for the agency’s executive
team who have to plan strategy for the agency and how it will work with clients.

About Sheila Campbell

Sheila Campbell is principal of Wild Blue Yonder which is based in Washington, DC. She has held senior positions in both client organizations and agencies business. Today Sheila advises agencies and conducts training workshops across the country in maximizing client relationships for organic growth.

WebClinic: Three Powerful Ways to Immediately Boost Agency Compensation

As clients continue to trim budgets, agencies are struggling to grow their revenues and improve their margins. The reaction of most agencies is to attempt to do a better job of estimating, recording and billing for the agency's time. That is not the answer.
The way to improve your profits is to stop selling your costs (time) and start employing the techniques employed by pricing professionals.  

  -- Register Now --
On October 13, join Tim Williams, Ignition Consulting Group as he provides three techniques you can start using immediately to improve your bottom line.
Tim’s content will include:
  • Changing your pricing success rate by modifying your language:

Behavioral psychologists have shown that language is the precursor to behavior change. By adopting the language of value in place of the language of cost, you can do a much more effective job of signaling the agency’s value and getting your price

  • The power of options and why you should never present just one price:

Think about the last time you signed up for a software service, selected a new mobile provider, or even got a car wash.  Pricing professionals provide buyers with choices because they understand the power of context in getting a better price

  • Attaching different pricing to different classes of value:

To clients, different types of agency services are perceived as having widely divergent value.  Certain serviceslike ideation and concept developmentare high-value offerings that can carry a premium price. Other services like production and distribution are viewed as lower value because they are so widely available from so many providers. Instead of combining these classes of value into a "blended rate" (a mistake made by most agencies), this webinar shows how to effectively separate them and maximize their value to both the agency and the client.
Key takeaways:
  • Come away with a new understanding of the psychology of pricing that will allow you to deal more effectively with professional buyers  
  • Quickly adopt more effective ways to package and present your pricing that will greatly improve your ability to capture fair value for your work.  
  • Learn how to remove many of the barriers that cause clients to push back on compensation proposals.

Who should attend:
Any agency personnel who gets involved with negotiating compensation with clients.

About Tim Williams:
Tim Williams, Ignition Consulting Group is a leading teacher of effective pricing practices for agencies.  Tim has worked with firms literally around the globe, helping them to transform the principles and practices by which they value and sell their services. Tim is also a LinkedIn Influencer, writing regularly about pricing for professional services at

Monday, September 26, 2016

WebClinic: Managing Nerves During Presentations, Pitches & Q&A

Nervous reactions can sabotage even the most highly skilled presenter.  The result can be career limiting, since clients often get the impression that the presenter is either not smart, is under prepared  or lacks knowledge - which couldn’t  be further from the truth.  Since nervous reactions vary by individual, this webcast covers tactics for managing different reactions along with how to develop a nerve management plan  for performing more consistently and feeling more at ease.

On September 29, join Pam Bloore as she will provide participants with dozens of tools to both manage nervousness and eliminate the outward signs of nervousness.  
Key takeaways:

  • Examining common nerve triggers, their causes and some suggested solutions for each
  • Developing a nerve management plan that  will increase your presentation success rate  
  • Learning tactics for handling Q&A when nervous
  • Avoiding common preparation mistakes that increase nerves
  • Understanding how PowerPoint can increase nerves and how do make PowerPoint work for you
  • Creating a positive first impression
  • Recovering from a nervous reaction during a presentation
  • Utilizing mental techniques to feel more at ease
  • Learning communication  tactics that project a calm exterior (even if there are some nerves under the surface)
  • Understanding how stress affects thinking and your approach to rehearsal.

Who should attend:

Any agency personnel  that are looking for tools and techniques to calm nerves and give better presentations.

What can you expect from this web cast?

Participants can expect to learn tools that will help them have better control over their nervous reactions and experience better performance.

About Pam Bloore:

Pam Bloore, partner, Filament, Inc.,  has worked with staff from executives to new hires at agencies such as The Martin Agency, McCann, Leo Burnett to name a few, helping them reach their highest potential by becoming more engaging and compelling communicators.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Advertising WebClinics

Are you looking to enhance your ECD’s skills? Do you want to increase the agency’s bottom line (of course you do!). Has word gotten back to you that some employees are bad presenters (the cause: nervousness perhaps)?? How familiar are you with programmatic buying? Want to learn how to keep clients longer? Are you maximizing social media to attract new business?

If the responses to these questions have piqued your interest, advertising agency consultancy Filament Inc. is the answer.

Bob Linden, after a decades long stint at The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and most currently as 4As Senior Vice President, Training, Education & Development, has joined forces with advertising training and consultancy firm, Filament Inc.  Bob has created a new WebClinic practice designed to train you and your employees in the practical, advertising specific skills that can be put to use immediately.

The following is a partial list of the topics that Bob has assembled.

  • Managing Creatives
  • Writing More Effective Creative Briefs
  • Using Social Media to Attract New Business
  • Keeping Clients Longer
  • The Next Generation of Programatic Buying
  • Creating Better Social Advertising Faster
  • Negotiating to Win (targeted to Account Service)
  • Succeeding When You Are Not the Client’s Only Agency
  • Building Strong, Sustainable Client Relationships
  • Techniques to Improve Your Bottom Line
  • Marketing Strategies for the Modern Mother
  • How To Create a Powerful Presentation
  • Managing Presentation Nerves

Time is a valuable commodity in the agency world.  The Web Clinics will begin at 12:30 pm EST, so agencies may be able to utilize them as lunch and learns.

People have asked us, given the saturation of webinars, how our WebClinics differ from others. The  answer can be summed up in one word—content.  Bob has lined up best-in-class WebClinic leaders who will address issues facing the advertising community today.

A listing of WebClinics and online registration will be available shortly.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Are you Pitching to Win?

Many agencies seem to believe that great creative, great strategy, great research, great chemistry, great (insert your criteria here) is the key to winning a pitch.  And that the agency's creative/strategy/chemistry/etc. is so great that it will overcome any shortcomings that they may have.

Unfortunately, a pitch is more like a hurdles race.  You do not get extra credit for sailing three feet over a hurdle.  It is not like you can use that extra three feet on the next hurdle.  Each hurdle, whether it is creative/strategy/chemistry/etc. is a new challenge.  Fail any one challenge and you will likely lose the pitch.

The difficulty is that each of the different criteria require resources and effort.  The internal competition for resources at an agency can be a political minefield.  There are a thousand reasons that a particular department may get more than their fair share of resources but this can have a detrimental effect on the overall pitch.

For example, an agency may spend a bunch of money on primary qualitative and quantitative research but only assign two teams to concept for the pitch.  Another agency may put six creative teams  on the pitch but rely on secondary data and a few qual interviews for their research, creating a flimsy strategic foundations for their recommendations.  It could be that they agency already knows the category and doesn't need to do the research but no clients wants to hear that their agency already knows it all.

A terrible example that I witnessed was an agency spent well over $100,000 on primary research and did their presentation on a poor quality, $700 projector.  Poor allocation of resources.

Another frequently squandered resource is time.  How much time is the agency spending tweaking slides or creative instead of rehearsing.  While I realize that there is such a thing as over-rehearsing, experience says that most agencies never get anywhere near being too rehearsed.  A poorly presented presentation can torpedo a good pitch very quickly.

Money is the most obvious and scarce resource.  For every dollar that the agency spends on freelancers, that is one less dollar that they can spend on research, production, staging, etc.

The challenge is in making sure the agency clears every hurdle.  You can do this by better managing resources like people, time and money to insure that every area is being addressed.  Are you using resources as wisely as you could?

Mark Schnurman
President - Filament Inc.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Overcoming Presentation Nerves

While everyone knows that fear of public speaking is common, you may think that your nervousness is much worse because you get nervous just presenting to a few people.  When you are speaking to a small group, it is hard to call it “public” speaking.  It is just a meeting!  You may think you are the only one suffering, since your coworkers don’t seem to be having the same problem.

The fact is that most people get nervous presenting at some point in their career.  For the past 15 years we have been asking workshop attendees if they ever feel nervous.  More often than not, the majority of hands are raised.  One day I was coaching at an advertising agency where people are required to present frequently.  When the HR person discovered that I had a spare hour to run a discussion, they put out an online request for who would like to attend a discussion on handling nerves?  Two hours later, there were 50 people in the room.  

How can this be when it seems most people around you don’t look nervous?  The reason is some people don’t show outward signs of nervousness.  Some people just get a little formal or soft spoken, or they speak too quickly.  Some lose their personality and warmth.  If you had the opportunity to ask them, they might tell you they thought they did a horrible job and they were trembling inside.

So the first step in addressing nerves is focusing on the physical signs of nerves: Do you speak too fast, too softly, do you scan the room or break eye contact and talk to the screen for too long? Do you use fillers such as um, like, sort of, kind of?  Do your hands shake or do you rock back and forth or flush?

If you are not sure what makes you look nervous, take a video of yourself and take a good look at it.  Pick out one area to address. For example if you fidget, don’t clasp your hands together.  Instead  use a one handed rest position such as putting one hand in your pocket or on a chair so you don’t trigger the fidgeting . You might also be pleasantly surprised that you are not as terrible as you think.  Sometimes we are our own worst critics. 
If you do see some problems, your goal should be to focus on one area at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming.  Also, don't worry about getting it perfect.  Concentrate on getting it better.  For example, if in your video you notice 32 ums during your five minute presentation, this will create the impression that you are not confident in your material. Work on eliminating those filler words by pausing more often.  Perhaps in the first week you can eliminate 50% of them.  Some people can do it in a day while others may take a month.  Once you cut the fillers in half continue reducing another 50% would bring your total to 8 ums.  At our starting point of 32 ums, it is safe to say that you did not come across as confident or knowledgeable …and you seemed nervous.   At just 8 fillers in your presentation, no one will notice. This is simply a physical speaking habit that is creating a bad impression.  
Another option is to work on addressing ums in the first minute of your presentation.  The way that you start a presentation sets the tone for the entire presentation.  By addressing ums in the first minute of you presentation, you can set the tone for a much better presentation even if the ums creep back in during the balance of the presentation.

Remember, it is not about perfection.  It is about improvement. Trying to be perfect might be one of the mental triggers for your stress in the first place.  Striving for perfection can be demoralizing and can get in the way of real progress.  I realize that videoing your presentation is scary but no one is going to watch it but you.  Push through the fear and you will be happy with your progress.

Take a before and after video so you can see your improvement. This alone will start to build your confidence. When you see that you can feel nervous yet project confidence, you will start to FEEL less nervous and more confident. 

Pam Bloore
Co-Founder and Partner
Filament Inc.
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