Strategy to Drive Small Ad Agency New Business

Elizabeth Baskin of Tribe passed along a good idea to me yesterday that may be of use to those who work or own small agencies. We ran into each other at Catapult New Business‘ New Business from Social Media conference, which is being held through today in Atlanta (full disclosure, I have a financial stake in Catapult).

Elizabeth founded Tribe about 10 years ago. She describes it as “a branding company with an expertise in niche markets. Our sweet spot is building relationships between specific tribes of people and the brands that can make their lives better.” This is a good, solid positioning statement. And what I really like is that you can tell they live what they say they do; this is not some fluffy positioning written by someone uninvolved with the business.

One of her secrets to drive new business in this: every summer, when things slow down a bit, her team focuses on in-depth learning of a new niche market or skill. In the past they’ve immersed themselves in Gen X employees, Millennials, and high income households. This summer, it’s social media.

They use their new-found knowledge immediately. Here’s their simple 4-step process:

  1. Identify very specific corporate marketers who you believe will be interested in the subject matter.
  2. Create short, focused thought-pieces.
  3. Send one to each prospect.
  4. Follow up with each prospect, engaging them in conversation about the subject.

They’ve found that if what they study is current and they target appropriate marketers, it’s relatively easy to begin a conversation.

And that’s all you can ask of a new business strategy like this: use it to crack open the door so you can start a conversation.



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