The final mistake agencies make when they sell themselves is promoting their process. While I am a big fan of process because clients DO like to know that an agency’s success is repeatable, the problem is that most agencies create one ‘catch all’ process to apply to every client problem. And often that process is identical to every other agency in their category. Everyone has some kind of input process that yields a strategy that is then executed and optimized in whatever channels they manage. The input process will also be eerily similar, although everyone will call their tools proprietary and have a special name for them. Not only is this not a differentiating approach, but one process for every client would seem to indicate that every client has the same problem, which we know isn’t true. If the client has a problem with customer retention, you would look at different inputs to understand the problem than you would if the client has an acquisition problem. And even an acquisition problem can be broken up into many different scenarios. Is it a product launch? Is it a mature product or service that is being repositioned? Is it an old product in a new market? Is it a conversion problem in a particular channel? All of these scenarios would require a slightly different strategic process. This is where the discussion should begin for your agency. What key problems are you solving day in and day out, and what bespoke processes are you using to solve each one?

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