The entry deadline for this year’s MiAwards is now just four short weeks away and in the run up to deadline MiNetwork has asked the MiAwards judges to give us their thoughts on what makes a great agency business.
In the first instalment Barry Dudley, a partner at leading corporate finance house Green Square and former COO of Naked Communications, outlines what he will be looking for in agencies when he judges the reports in October.
As a judge in this year’s MiAwards, what, for you, constitutes a great agency business?
A great agency business is one with confidence. The leadership / management team are confident in their abilities to deliver on the agency’s vision; they have confidence in the talent that they have assembled; there is confidence in how they go about their work, right through to a strong financial performance.
As a former agency leader, what do you think are the most important qualities for the leader of an agency business to have?
Inspiration. Clients need to believe that you are going to deliver something for them that will set them apart and the agency people need to believe that they are capable of doing this.
How important is it for agencies to have a high media profile and what is the best way to build and develop this?
It is very important for an agency to have a healthy on-going media profile. In order to have a profile you need to have something to say! New client work and client wins right through to thought pieces, white papers, opinions. The key here is ‘on-going’ – you don’t win a new client every week, so you need to plan how you are going to maintain your profile week to week. Both clients and agency people take pride and confidence from seeing ‘their agency’ in the news.
As an agency leader, how did/do you approach entering awards and what merit do you put into them?
The knowledge that your work as an agency person may get put forward for an award is a very strong motivator. And this motivation exists all year round, not just at award time, so if used well by an agency it can be a very powerful tool. This of course also applies to the agency itself being awarded for its overall performance, not just client by client.
What three pieces of advice would you offer the leader of a growing independent agency?
1. It’s all about the people – in the agency and at the clients. Inspire and motivate them and everything else will become a lot easier.
2. Set three to five year plans, but keep them simple with objectives, timelines and accountability. And make the time to regularly revisit and revise them.
3. Winning new work from existing clients is easier than winning new clients.
The deadline for entry to this year’s MiAwards is Friday 13th September.
For further information on the awards please visit the MiAwards website or contact Nikki Gillies on 0141 559 6076.
MiAwards is sponsored by The Wow Company, The Little Black Book Agency, Boutique Media, Wild Heather Digital Research and Evolution Print.