The other day I was having dinner with a folks from another ad agency who I really enjoy. We went to 13 Coins across from the Seattle airport because they had to hop on a plane right after dinner. We had such great conversation that we completely lost track of time and one of them nearly missed their flight! In fact, if I hadn’t started to tell a story, stopped and asked jokingly “How much time you got?!”, he would’ve legitimately missed that flight. Thankfully we had a great server who fast tracked our check and we were out the door before I could finish the story.
Isn’t great conversation refreshing? For me, it reignites enthusiasm for my career as a media buyer when I’m talking with people who inspire me to think differently about the profession I’ve done for a long time. One of the things we were chatting about over drinks and appetizers was how to grow an advertising agency in this day and age. Like, how do you grow an ad agency when there are a million of them and everyone seemingly offers the same services? With 20 or more cold calls a day how does a business owner or a marketing director have time to sift through the noise and really find nuggets of gold?! I get it. I get dozens of media calls a day. All day long. My phone rings and rings and rings. Let’s not even talk about the emails. How many of you can relate to waking up to at least 50 new emails?! And you’re thinking, but I just cleared my inbox last night… WTH.
So, how do you set yourself apart? How do you get new clients that you actually enjoy working with and how do you attract business from people who value the work that you do? What’s the best way to collaborate with others to form a real true partnership rather than a stuffy, stale, sales agency-client relationship? Those are the questions that both stress me out and excite me as the owner of this agency.
When I started Thrive in 2008 I admittedly had a lot to learn. It was such an interesting time in the industry because digital advertising was in it’s infancy and it was changing at break-neck speed. Fast forward a decade later and I have such a clearer vision of what Thrive is and how we fit into this space. I have clarity that has been developed from 10 years of growing, learning and fine-tuning the work that we do. I can now say with confidence that we have clarity about who we serve and who are target customers are. Have you heard the saying that, “if your advertising to everyone, you’re advertising to no one!”? Isn’t that truth? Thrive isn’t for every business or brand. We’re super niche. That’s our value.
So, with that in mind, one area that I’d like to grow this year is in our relationships with creative agencies. Since Thrive is a niche media buying agency, we have found that a great opportunity for meaningful collaboration is connecting with creative agencies who need the service of media buying, in an on-call as-needed basis. Like us, creative agencies often chose to not keep an in-house service provider for a service that they don’t offer all the time. That’s silly and wasteful. It leads to high overhead and the costs ultimately get passed along to the client, which is not cool. So, we don’t keep a graphic designer on our team full-time because that doesn’t make sense in this digital world that allows us to connect with talented people quickly and efficiently. Instead we have great graphic designers that we refer business to when a client has a need. We vet these designers and only recommend top-notch professionals who will reflect positively on us. We’d never intentionally refer a client to someone who does questionable work. Our referrals reflect back on us. You get it. I’m sure you’ve had the same experiences. Because of this, we’ve found that great partnerships exist in working for creative agencies as their media buyers. We’ve work for other agencies as white label media buyers, and also in a transparent manner without the “white label”. We work with creative agencies in a manner that makes them the most comfortable. We’re extremely respectful of agency-client relationships (because we believe you reap what you sow) while working seamlessly with their account managers to perform the service of media buying for their clients.
This white label media buying service allows us to deliver our product to more clients and offers other agencies an opportunity to strengthen the relationships they have with their clients. We’ve found a great recipe for success for all parties in these situations. We deliver media planning, media buying and media reporting to your clients under your direction. Essentially, our media buying team becomes an extension of your team without the hiring costs! We do this nationwide. Isn’t the internet great?! We have worked with marketing teams internationally too.
If you stumbled across this blog and you’re thinking, “OMG, having a media buyer work for me would make my life so much less stressful!”, please give us a shout. We don’t charge retainers or fees so you won’t be adding any cost to your budget. Check out our FAQs for details on how we’re compensated, what our process looks like and how we’ll ultimately save your clients thousands and thousands of dollars each year! So you look like a superhero and your workload is lighter.
You can always contact me directly. Did you know that when you work with Thrive you work directly with our senior level team?! There is no surprise, rookie account manager assigned to your account after we “seal the deal”. We’re not shady like that. My direct email is robin at thriveadvertising dot com. I can’t wait to hear from you! Let’s grow our businesses together and serve our clients well. We’re happy to act as your personal freelance media buyer.