If you’re responsible for business development at an SEM agency, it often feels like a perpetually uphill battle against the thousands of other agencies doing search marketing. What is especially challenging is that these other agencies have virtually the same pitch as yours:
"Hey, check out The Cliche SEM Agency! We’re an award-winning, one-stop-shop agency offering a team of out-of-the-box creative thinkers and a holistic data-driven approach to advertising. We disrupt the traditional paradigm of advertising and are experts at breaking through to ambivalent millenials...yada yada yada."
In our experience providing SEM intelligence to hundreds of agencies since 2007, we've learned that the most successful pitches demonstrate that the agency truly understands the target’s industry, business, customer, finances, and marketing needs. In response, we built an SEM intelligence tool called Lighthouse that gives agencies inside information on their target to include in pitches and RFPs. This information leaves no doubt in the target’s mind that the agency is intimately acquainted with the target’s SEM business. Our agency clients tell us that this one move is enough to greatly increase their odds of moving to the final rounds. Here are six ways that Lighthouse can help your agency's biz dev person look like a rock-star during your next cold call, email campaign, RFP, or in-person pitch:
1. Create a Best-fit Prospect List
It all starts with creating a list of advertiser targets that closely fits your agency's strengths or where your agency would like to grow. It's easy to use Lighthouse to enter the following criteria and quickly build a target list:
Industry (of the 1,239 industries covered)
Number of PPC advertisers in any industry and the leaders in clicks/spend/ad share
Performance metrics such as CTR and CPC for a specific company, group of advertisers, or entire industry
A company's performance metrics versus either the industry benchmark or your agency's proven performance (i.e. find the under-performers!)
Monthly PPC budget for specific companies or spending tiers (Top, Middle, Bottom)
Tracking software used by the target, when listed in their ads. Examples: Marin, Kenshoo, Omniture, Linkshare
Number and names of PPC advertisers by any country
2. Add Your Prospect Mailing List to CRM
Your target list is now made, and Lighthouse can help add the list into your CRM system, such as SalesForce. Once your list is loaded, you can use for initial prospecting campaigns via email or phone, and closely track how your new list performs for future sales.
3. Score and Rank New Prospects
If you're lucky enough to employ a huge sales team, you might be able to contact all of your new best-fit prospects. But most likely you will need to score this list and focus on the most attractive companies for your agency. Our agency clients apply different scores for each company based on things like their CTR/CPC performance against the industry, how much they spend monthly, and whether the agency has experience with the tracking vendor they currently use.
4. Send the Right Data & Get the Meeting
This is the easy (and fun) part. Our agency clients tell us that once they add our industry or company-level data to their outbound communications, their chances of getting to the meeting round improve greatly.
5. Optimize Your Pitch Deck for Success
You've got the meeting and it's time to prepare the game-winning presentation. Lighthouse can provide exactly the data points and charts you need to add weight to any pitch deck. Lighthouse produces ranked tables, trending line charts, bar charts, scatter plots comparing two metrics, and several other pre-formatted reports. Click on examples at right to see more. It's hard to argue with a pitch supported by actual industry data from an experienced company that works with thousands of search marketers. Plus, our experience shows that when good or even provocative data is added to a deck, it usually leads to a discussion that lets the agency explain why they are the best selection for the advertiser.
6. Create Targeted Infographics
Now it's time to work with your Marketing department to create the infographics to demonstrate your industry knowledge. Use these for two main purposes:
Distribute frequently to target audiences (with an emphasis on social media) and require an email to view. This collects emails, launches your marketing automation process of nurtured follow-ups, and builds your agency's brand as the industry expert in SEM. Our client Kenshoo has done an amazing job at this. Just view three recent SEM industry infographics for Insurance, Air Travel, and Automotive.
Email to individual targets in certain industries to demonstrate your knowledge of their business. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well your emails perform when they include a targeted industry infographic.