New Business and Your Ad Agency’s Vision

Yesterday I participated in a Vistage meeting that featured an excellent speaker, Dan Barnett. Dan has run businesses for 25 years at companies like Pillsbury, Nestle, Constellation Brands, Vistage, and now on his own.

He pushed us to write down our company’s vision and then identify our “make or break”.

Three things struck me that hadn’t previously: written well, a vision statement should:

  1. Motivate employees
  2. Drive behavior
  3. Last for (only) 5-7 years

Woops: I realized that ours doesn’t accomplish either of the first 2 and was written 9 years ago. Dan said that while it’s not uncommon, we were all missing a huge opportunity not to update or change it so points you in the direction you want to go.

The other question he asked was this: “Will achieving your Vision make you happy when you get there?” If you’re the CEO or on your agency’s management team and the answer is No, you need a new vision.

Think about this: your new business program needs to flow directly from your vision. Like your vision, it must be clear, specific, measurable, achievable and motivating. Is it?

  • Does your agency occupy a clear position in the market?
  • Have you set specific goals?
  • Can you easily measure every activity that will lead to new business success?
  • Are your goals and activities achievable in the time period?
  • Are they motivating to employees?

Let the vision statement be your agency’s guide. Once you have it, everything else will follow.

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