While at Cannes this year, I had the good fortune of speaking with one of the heavy weights in marketing right now, Bonin Bough, former head of Digital and Social Media for Pepsi and now head of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Kraft. We talked about how hard it is for new or up-and-coming agencies to make introductions to senior-level people like himself, and he said that he is always open to a speed date. For him, that meant a 15 minute video chat on Skype or Airtime with the agency to review what they’re doing that’s innovative and exciting. I love this idea and have always believed that marketing decision-makers owe it to themselves to stay up to date on the innovations happening around them. How else will a marketer expand his knowledge of what agencies are doing to solve the problems he has? Unless he really starts his day reading AdAge and Adweek. Please. But the challenge, of course, is that senior marketers are extremely busy, and most agencies waste their time by talking about their agency in generic terms or highlighting their capabilities, which are the same as everyone else’s. The key to gaining the attention of the people that matter is to understand the business problems they are likely experiencing and offering to share how you are solving these problems for other clients in new and innovative ways on a quick video conference call. To get their attention, consider sending a link to a video that gives a sneak peak of the solution you’d like to share. Make the video personalized, underscore the pain the client was experiencing before he found you and highlight the business transformation your client experienced as a result of your efforts. Offer to share details on how you solved the problem on a fifteen minute call with an emphasis on knowledge sharing.

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