Social media teaches ad agencies to do new business the right way.
I thought FUEL LINE readers would like to have an example of agency good news in the midst of all of the bad news.
The Russo Group, a small ad agency (full time staff of 19) in Lafayette, Louisiana, is having explosive new business growth using and leading with social media. Instead of laying off they are hiring. 104% net profit over this time last year. New clients, all outside their market, located in California, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington D.C. Washington state even England. All won without having to pitch and their prospective clients called them. Her new business programs hard cost for last year? $11.95.
I talk with ad agency CEOs on a daily basis. There is a lot of doom and gloom in the beginning of 2009. I understand the pain and frustration many small to midsize ad agencies are having in the midst of a global economic crisis and a revolutionary shift in the advertising industry. Here are a few comments that are typical of what I'm hearing:
"We are an old company living on the concept of high design and total quality production when the world is YouTube video quality. We're trying to sell $5,000 identity packages when web sites in India design logos for $50. What the reality of that is that the $50 logo is acceptable quality because it's done in time for the next wave of Twitter messaging your client is sending out."
"We're fighting alligators, employees are worried and paralyzed and the demands of our time just to save business without revenue is daunting."
"I know how to make money on a $35,000 print ad but how are we going to make money on social media?"
"I spent the night thinking about my little company. We're dead. Dead in the water. 60 days, 90 days, I don't know but we're dead."
"We just had the third client in less than two weeks to tell us that they are drastically reducing their ad budget for this year."
Realizing a change was coming, Jaci lead her agency into social media and she is using it as a new business tool.
- 8 new clients since January
- Agency's profits up (January 2009 vs pre-recession January of last year) 104%
- New clients located in Texas, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Washington State, Washington D.C. and London
- All new client accounts won without a pitch
- All of these prospective clients that became clients initiated the call to the agency
In the following audio taped interview with Jaci Russo, she discusses social media, its impact upon her agency's business model, new business acquisitions and profits.
Interview with Jaci Russo
"There is a change coming ... you can't be all things to all people ... people like to do business with people they like ... not everybody likes us but that is okay ... we're now fishing in a global pond ... we're not laying off, we're hiring ... we don't see a recession ... clients are still spending but they are moving their budgets into different places ... I feel very connected to what is going on in the world ... if you have nothing else but time social media is not a bad way to invest it ... social media right now is the biggest tool in the tool box for now ... most results and least expensive ... this is how (new business) is suppose to work." Jaci Russo
I want to say thanks to Jaci for willingness to share and provide positive example to agency's in these trying times. Also a special hello and thank you to the staff at The Russo Group. I'm told they all are readers of FUEL LINES.
Here are a few ways to engage Jaci online. I'm sure she would enjoy hearing from you.
Additional articles that might be of interest:
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Michael Gass, agency new business consultant, primarily to small and mid-size advertising agencies, utilizing both traditional and new media tools.
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