Markets are becoming overly saturated, which means competition is rising.
It also means the rapport between small agencies and their clients is changing.
From a client perspective, having complete trust in your agency’s ability to deliver is now even more important.
Brands need further proof that the solution they’ve paid for isn’t unfounded.
They expect their agency to have done the due diligence for them. We recently interviewed Bigeye about what ‘due diligence’ looks like, and why insight not only helps them win big business, but informs everything they do.
Bigeye is an independent, U.S.-based advertising and marketing agency that works with companies of all sizes – from emerging startups to established brands.
Bigeye’s mission? “To make brands better and clients prouder.”
We spoke with Liliana, New Business Specialist, and Karen, Associate Account Manager and Media Planner, who explained that the philosophy behind “making brands better and clients prouder” stems from the agency’s belief in data to achieve amazing things.
We asked Liliana and Karen what advice they’d give indie agencies hoping to land bigger accounts.Here’s what they said.
Be good at something and become known for it.
Some people still believe small agencies don’t or can’t manage larger scale clients. But they do, and they do it well.
Small agencies have their own strengths and selling points, which is why they often get approached by bigger brands looking for something different.
For example, if you’re a specialist in one area or your agency has a particular point of difference – such as a family-oriented culture, or less hoops to jump through when executing riskier ideas, for example, then that becomes your “thing”.
Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer at Ally Financial, says small agencies are more likely to move at the speed of the marketplace, and that’s what makes them so appealing.
Bigeye has a varied mix of clients, from global to regional and what they call, “very local”, and their “thing” is data. Or, a reliance on deep consumer insight.
They can relay what’s trending in any given market, how different brands are perceived, as well as different types of audience personas that you may want to target.
It’s about uncovering and honing in on the right insights, and using these to create carefully considered media plans which are highly targeted.
Liliana and Karen say if you want to convince someone of why they should take the approach you’re suggesting, don’t use generalizations to make your case. Ideas themselves matter, but so does the reasoning behind them.
Give clients proof your ideas haven’t come out of thin air.
“One of our taglines is ‘reaching the right people in the right place at the right time’”, says Liliana. “You can’t do that without being audience focused.”
How do you become audience-focused? By going as granular as you can get, she explains.
“Our agency likes to build out personas. It gives clients proof that our ideas speak to real people.”
Bigeye believes starting from a strong place – with real, consumer truths – sets anyone up for success.
This belief echoes a sentiment expressed by Ben Levine, Director and Head of Research, Analytics and Measurement at FleishmanHillard Fishburn, who said “creativity is empowered by data”.
75% of the time, Bigeye uses GlobalWebIndex data to pitch ideas for new business opportunities. The psychographic data they extract from the platform speaks volumes.
Idea hinged on attitudinal insights often carry an emotional pull, making them more likely to be successful.
Karen says the speed at which the industry moves means it’s important for them to rely on data sources that are current. Because sometimes clients test them. They’ll ask: how did you get this data? Is it reflective of what’s happening now and is it relevant to us?
“The world of media is ever-changing and we see that firsthand”, says Karen. “We get why clients are asking for assurance.”
“We can pull data all day long, but we have to ask ourselves – is it relevant to the media we’re buying? Is it relevant to the creative our clients are paying us for? At the very least, that’s what our clients deserve to know.”
Get access to good quality, local data.
Sometimes Bigeye will have prospects coming in with a pretty “average” take on who they believe their consumer is.
“We come in and throw them a curveball”, Liliana says. “Data, especially local data, gives us the confidence to say hey, you thought your audiences was this, but really you need to narrow it down.”
Liliana says the whole team tries to become as familiar as possible with the context surrounding any given brief.
And when they do dig deeper to get context, consumers’ attitudes, behaviors and perceptions can vary slightly – or greatly – depending on who’s being profiled and where they’re based.
“No two markets are the same” is something of an unofficial mantra for Bigeye.
“If we can’t say it’s relevant to a particular market, it doesn’t help anyone out when you’re spitballing random facts to prospects to win new business,” says Liliana.
“I just know we pride ourselves on being authentic and being able to provide the best service to our clients, and GlobalWebIndex is a tool that definitely helps drive that. We strive to provide granular information our clients can run with, which get the results they need,” says Karen.
“You don’t want to go to the grocery store and buy something and then take it back home and realize it’s not the product you purchased.”
Karen says local insights are hugely important. Because even if the percentages about who’s doing what – and where – are low, it still paints a picture.
Last piece of advice: be confident.
Recently, a group of agency leaders shared what they thought were the most significant challenges and opportunities for indie agencies today.
We asked Bigeye similar questions: what matters to them, and how do they ensure the future always looks bright?
“Confidence is everything for us”, says Karen.For us to feel it as an agency and for our clients to also feel confident with us.
“Even internally, it’s nice to be able to say, I know this audience. I feel very confident in this creative. I feel very confident in the media plan that I’ve put together in the campaigns that we’re optimizing.”
At the end of the day, you don’t come to Bigeye looking for a run of the mill, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Bigeye is a small agency, with big capabilities. That’s what keeps clients happy.