A shockwave was recently sent through the advertising world when the merger between two industry giants, Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group, was announced. By joining forces, the new advertising conglomerate, Publicis Omnicom Group, will have $23 billion in revenues and employ 130,000 people worldwide.
Whether the merger presents an opportunity for your agency or represents a threat likely depends on several factors (as well as your mindset). Clearly, size and resources have their benefits. However, transactions of any kind can be a distraction and lead management to take their eye off the ball. Either way, I believe this merger could be a boon for smaller agencies if they are well positioned – with “well positioned” being the operative phrase.
Let’s face it – this deal will radically alter the competitive landscape and lead to reassessment by both clients and talent. With all the jostling that is almost certain to take place, it’s more important than ever to rise above the noise. Fortunately, delivering a memorable service experience is a proven way to stand apart from the competition, even in a crowded market.
Consider some of the fastest growing companies in highly competitive industries. Southwest Airlines, Amazon.com and Trader Joes (just to name a few) have all thrived in the face of much larger and well-established competitors. One of the biggest differentiators for all three companies was customer service excellence. They established a reputation for treating customers in a consistent, reliable, and extraordinary way.
The agencies working with Satrix Solutions have a similar goal. They understand that, by establishing a service-centric culture and nurturing client relationships, they can amass an army of loyal advocates who will rave about their experience to friends and colleagues. The manner in which they are being talked about within industry circles clearly helps them stand out in a crowded landscape.
There are several additional ways to align your agency around service excellence. Having a large stable of happy clients who can serve as reference accounts in new business pitches can help your company overcome any hesitancy a prospect may have in working with a smaller agency. These same clients are also much more likely to resist outreach from competitors, so when the new “OmniPub” comes calling, your clients will offer a polite “no, thank you.” Finally, loyal clients are usually open to offering guidance and advice as you evolve your offering and strengthen your value proposition. The point is, they have a vested interest in seeing you succeed and can help in a variety of ways.
Nearly a dozen agencies have partnered with Satrix Solutions to systematically measure and improve the health of client relationships. We employ a variety of approaches from online Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score® surveys to phone-based Sales Win/Loss Analysis interviews as a way to ascertain awareness and achieve sustainable improvement. These customer feedback programs have provided much needed clarity into client expectations and experiences and positioned each firm to succeed in a competitive market.
Clearly, market dynamics are changing thanks to the mega-merger. If your agency is just beginning to explore its client feedback journey – don’t worry, it’s not too late. Start engaging with your clients now to understand their satisfaction drivers, identify and address any pain-points that may exist in the relationship, and strengthen your service-centric culture so everyone at that agency knows what’s expected. Taking the right steps now will help turn the Publicis Omnicom Group union into a significant opportunity for your firm.