A different approach to doing business

Quick Answers
I’ve been burned by agencies before – how can I prevent that in the future?

Know – and clearly communicate upfront – three things to any agency and you’ll almost never have a problem. Those things are:

Precisely what you want to have happen...
Exactly when you need to have that happen...
How much it’s worth to you.
Give them as many details as you can about all of the above. Don’t expect them to be mind readers; if you have a very specific idea or approach in mind, tell them.

Then if they still fail, they aren’t the right folks for you.

I’m thinking of having a variety of agencies compete for my business by doing an identical project. Would you be interested?

No. A better idea is to go spend a few hours at each agency you’re considering. Don’t let them show you any work, or ideas they have for you. Instead, take the time to get to know the people who you’ll be working with – not the “new business“ team – but the folks you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis.

Imagine spending long hours with them. Tossing ideas around with them. Arguing at times with them. Depending on them. Trusting them to spend your time and money wisely.

Then make your decision.

How do you work with clients outside Philadelphia?

All but one of our clients are outside Philadelphia. One of our first clients, who stayed with us for 12 uninterrupted years, in fact, was located in Colorado. Our largest current client – who has now been with us for over 20 uninterrupted years – is over 100 miles away.

The way we deal with these remote clients is no different than the way we deal with closer-in clients – we maintain a lot of contact, largely by phone and e-mail, supplemented by Fedex®, with fewer “in-person” visits than you might imagine. We only visit in person when it’s absolutely necessary – usually for planning or strategy, and always at their invitation – and are not big on wasting their time with live “show & tell” sessions. The vast majority of them prefer to see our work electronically; it saves us and them valuable time.

Do I have to buy everything – like media and printing – through you?

No. A few of our clients place their own media, or have other media-buying groups do it for them, for example. Many handle their own printing. We can handle both services for our clients, too, and we do for most of them, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

If you're looking at our site, and you've worked with other agencies before, odds are you're here today because you're not happy with the agency you're working with now. Correct?

You probably feel they don’t "care" enough about your business. If they "cared" more, they wouldn't be blowing the details, missing deadlines, be so far off on prices, be so off target on the work they show you, and, well, not be so sloppy about doing business with you. You may suspect that they are so interested in getting new clients for their firm, they don't pay as much attention to the needs of their existing clients like you.

If that's how you feel – and it's not that uncommon – we will be a refreshing change for you.

We prefer to have a handful of really great clients and keep those clients for years, growing our business almost exclusively by helping those clients grow so they need more of what we do. The way we keep them is by making them feel they are the only client we have; the way we grow them is by producing the best results on time, every time, and never resting on what we have done for them before.