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How To Become The Unencumbered Incumbent

How To Become The Unencumbered Incumbent

Emily Porter

Emily Porter

November 29, 2018

Havas Formula's Emily Porter on how agencies should fight for what they believe is rightfully theirs.

When deciding to participate in a review, it's essential not to be blinded by your amazing team, great results or even a tight relationship with the client.

Forbes

By Emily Porter
President, Havas Formula – West

 

Nov. 21, 2018

In the agency world, nothing makes a leader’s skin crawl quite like the phrase “agency review.” Dare I say, there has never been an agency that heard this phrase and thought, “Yes! I can’t wait!”

Most agencies immediately know the odds are against them. And no agency is immune. Even the very best have had to fight for what they believe is rightfully theirs. So, what do you do? Take a deep breath and consider the following tips.

1. Be Objective

You’ve gotten past the initial shock. Before you even look at the new request for proposal (RFP), step back and be completely objective. Did you do good work? What may seem like a simple question may be difficult to answer. What was good work in your opinion may not be what the client wanted.

Additionally, you should ask yourself whether it’s time for the brand to have a change. Again, being completely objective and removing the agency’s position and history is difficult, but necessary. And most importantly, you must determine if you have a chance of winning and whether or not it’s worth the investment.

2. Dig, Dig And Dig Some More

Now, it’s time to understand what the driving force is behind the review. What’s going to be the main deciding factor? Who are the decision makers? If it is a larger organization, procurement may be involved or even mandating the review. Or is it a more intimate group comprised of the brand team? Perhaps it includes other players and executives? Has a new CMO come into the picture and, if so, how open are they? Dissecting who is involved and the psychology of what’s important to these individuals is critical.

Also, evaluate other factors such as whether the review was driven by budget cuts or a desire to consolidate agencies. A thorough list of evaluation questions can quickly help you assess if you should even participate.

Years ago, we were working with a local technology brand. The company ended up divesting the division of the company we were working with, selling it to private equity and relocating the headquarters. Our knowledge of the brand, our media relationships and our results were all impressive. But despite all of this, I knew that the leadership team wanted a local agency, which we were not. I had to put aside my personal feelings (and experience) that we could service the business wherever it was located. While all the other boxes were clearly checked off, this was one we couldn’t check.

When deciding to participate in a review, it’s essential not to be blinded by your amazing team, great results or even a tight relationship with the client. By setting this aside and focusing on what the brand is really looking for, you can honestly evaluate if you have a chance at winning.

 

Read the full article.

 

When deciding to participate in a review, it's essential not to be blinded by your amazing team, great results or even a tight relationship with the client.

Forbes

By Emily Porter
President, Havas Formula – West

 

Nov. 21, 2018

In the agency world, nothing makes a leader’s skin crawl quite like the phrase “agency review.” Dare I say, there has never been an agency that heard this phrase and thought, “Yes! I can’t wait!”

Most agencies immediately know the odds are against them. And no agency is immune. Even the very best have had to fight for what they believe is rightfully theirs. So, what do you do? Take a deep breath and consider the following tips.

1. Be Objective

You’ve gotten past the initial shock. Before you even look at the new request for proposal (RFP), step back and be completely objective. Did you do good work? What may seem like a simple question may be difficult to answer. What was good work in your opinion may not be what the client wanted.

Additionally, you should ask yourself whether it’s time for the brand to have a change. Again, being completely objective and removing the agency’s position and history is difficult, but necessary. And most importantly, you must determine if you have a chance of winning and whether or not it’s worth the investment.

2. Dig, Dig And Dig Some More

Now, it’s time to understand what the driving force is behind the review. What’s going to be the main deciding factor? Who are the decision makers? If it is a larger organization, procurement may be involved or even mandating the review. Or is it a more intimate group comprised of the brand team? Perhaps it includes other players and executives? Has a new CMO come into the picture and, if so, how open are they? Dissecting who is involved and the psychology of what’s important to these individuals is critical.

Also, evaluate other factors such as whether the review was driven by budget cuts or a desire to consolidate agencies. A thorough list of evaluation questions can quickly help you assess if you should even participate.

Years ago, we were working with a local technology brand. The company ended up divesting the division of the company we were working with, selling it to private equity and relocating the headquarters. Our knowledge of the brand, our media relationships and our results were all impressive. But despite all of this, I knew that the leadership team wanted a local agency, which we were not. I had to put aside my personal feelings (and experience) that we could service the business wherever it was located. While all the other boxes were clearly checked off, this was one we couldn’t check.

When deciding to participate in a review, it’s essential not to be blinded by your amazing team, great results or even a tight relationship with the client. By setting this aside and focusing on what the brand is really looking for, you can honestly evaluate if you have a chance at winning.

 

Read the full article.

 

Emily Porter is the President of Havas Formula West where she oversees the firm’s high technology, B2B, BuzzLounge, consumer west, and Havas LA.

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