• How to Streamline International Account Management

    By | July 30, 2014

    Account management carries enough challenges on its own. But what about when it also carries more than one passport?

    With tools that make it easy to collaborate and communicate, agencies are better positioned than ever to serve international clients across time zones. However, the relationship’s logistics still may pose a few challenges for account managers.

    How do you set expectations, clearly communicate, manage projects and deliverables, and stay on the same page when your client is a world away?

    Don’t sweat it. With just a few tweaks to your account management practices, you’ll set yourself and your clients up for success—no matter which time zone they live in.

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  • Succession Planning for Agency Owners: What You Need to Know

    By | July 22, 2014

    Jesse Giordano is a financial advisor and leads The 360 Group at Morgan Stanley in Great Neck, NY. Jesse and his team provide specialized wealth management services to owners of privately held companies who are looking to exit their business over the next 2-10 years. 

    Some of the services he and his team provide include helping the owner get their business ready for sale, navigating the many exit strategies available to determine which is most appropriate, facilitating the exit process, and implementing an income replacement strategy once the business is sold. 

    Jesse has been working with business owners over the last 10 years. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and received his MBA from Pace University in 2003. He is also a family wealth director and senior vice president at Morgan Stanley. 

    In this interview, Jesse discusses the need for agency owners to start succession planning now, and tips and considerations on how to get started.

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  • Turn Productivity into Agency Profits

    By | July 15, 2014

    The old adage time is money never rings truer than in an agency. You can set pricing intelligently, diversify revenue streams and attract business by filling in-demand marketing needs. But, as a service business, your time and talent are directly tied to profitability.

    Boost your personal productivity, and watch your agency reap the benefits, with these seven tips. 

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  • HR Planning: How to Prepare for an Unexpected Leave of Absence

    By | July 8, 2014

    We are able to plan ahead and adjust for vacations, holidays and maternity/paternity leaves, but what happens when a core account member has an unexpected leave of absence? If other consultants are unaware of, or uninvolved with, the day-to-day ongoings of their client(s), this may pose an issue for maintaining momentum and quality of work.

    Is your agency structured in a way that enables other consultants to jump in and support client accounts? Would your clients feel confident working with other consultants if their main contact were unavailable?

    Here are some recommended safeguards every agency should have in place to prepare for the unexpected.

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  • 3 Ways Your Agency Can Combat Impression Fraud

    By | July 2, 2014

    This is a guest post from Charles Cantu (@CharlesCantu), founder of Huddled Masses.

    Would you believe me if I told you that you’re losing up to 35 percent of your media-buying budget?

    Everyone knows that you allocate about 15% of your budget to commissions if you’re working with a programmatic team. You allocate more if you’re still playing the game with networks or managed servers from one of the “big players.”

    But you may not realize that impression fraud is estimated to eat up another 30%, meaning you’re starting with 35-45% less money than you thought you had.

    That’s not good for the client or your agency. We have to face impression fraud head-on.

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  • Culture Lessons From an Off-Centered Craft Brewer

    By | June 25, 2014

    Dogfish Head’s off-centered, non-traditional culture is one of many reasons it has grown from the smallest commercial brewery in America to the 13th largest craft brewery in the country (based on 2013 beer sales volume). The Dogfish Head culture extends beyond just its workers, taking on a life of its own and attracting beer enthusiasts from around the world that want to taste cutting-edge beers and have a good time doing it.

    Even though I don’t work in the beer industry, I’ve learned a lot from Dogfish Head on how to infuse passion into the workplace. Below are a few lessons on company culture applicable to modern marketing agencies.

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  • How to Keep Agency Account Teams in Sync

    By | June 17, 2014

    As corporate-marketer-turned-agency-professional, one of the starkest contrasts for me was the decentralization of, well, almost everything. Teams, tasks and priorities are splintered across accounts, and your focus must shift between clients from one hour—or email—to the next.

    With multiple clients to satisfy and competing priorities, it's easy for wires to get crossed.

    This post contains six ways you can improve account team members’ communication to achieve greater transparency, stimulate collaboration, improve efficiency and deliver maximum value to the client.

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  • Failure is a Place of Potential

    By | June 11, 2014

    Like it or not, we all fail at different points in our life. Trust me on this one. It took me plenty of bruises as a kid to learn how to ride a bike, plenty of missed shots as a guard to make a basket and a healthy amount of rejection as a salesperson just to gain one “Yes.”

    Instead of avoiding failure, we should embrace it.

    Mistakes and mishaps foster growth. Failure is a place of great potential that allows us to accelerate success and improve through experience. But the fear of failure can be detrimental to our creativity, resulting in a lack of risk-taking and innovation stagnation.

    As agency professionals, we must combat the fear of failure, or risk a reactive attitude toward clients. If you have strong client relationships rooted in trust, knowledge and past success, then proactively bring unique, creative campaign ideas to the table without hesitation.

    Here is a checklist to help you stifle your failure phobia and start confidently suggesting new ideas to clients.

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  • How to Break the 24/7 Work Habit at Your Agency

    By | June 4, 2014

    "When people work together to create predictable time off, people, teams and ultimately the organization all stand to benefit.” — Sleeping with Your Smartphone

    In most cases, it’s the pressure that we place on ourselves and our colleagues that makes work so demanding and all-encompassing. By making small concessions over time—such as answering client emails in the evening or responding to requests on vacation—we create the impression to others that we are always available

    This has a trickle-down effect. Colleagues start to think that they, too, must always be “on” to demonstrate they are equally hardworking and driven. Everybody starts to ask more from you, and expects you to answer quickly, since you’ve set that precedent. You accommodate the additional requests; and therefore, you expect the same of others.

    The cycle of responsiveness will go on in perpetuity unless your agency puts a stop to it. But how?

    Sleeping with your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work by Leslie A. Perlow (@LesliePerlow) explains how predictable time off can put an end to the nonstop workweek and create better work-life balance for employees. Below are lessons from the book that you can apply to your agency.

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  • What An Emperor, A Mathematician And A Pitch Artist Can Teach You About Leadership

    By | May 28, 2014

    You don’t need another list of leadership tips.

    Leaders are forged through long experience and serious trial. Every agency leader at every level of the organization is different. And each agency must nurture its own brand of leadership to achieve its goals.

    What that means is: Tips are good, but resources you can revisit for the rest of your career and use to meet your own leadership needs are better.

    We’ve collected three uncommon sources of leadership knowledge that we believe can give you tools to grow your leadership abilities on your own terms and in your own environment.

    Read on to discover what a long-dead emperor, a number cruncher and a living master of the pitch can teach you about leadership.

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