Speaking to a client recently, the general talk took a familiar “it’s not all doom and gloom” flavour and indeed it really isn’t. The reason for this client’s optimism was a recent run of new business wins, both through Alchemis and through their own efforts.
This particular agency works in the digital arena and interestingly, The Sunday Times on 6th February reported on small businesses and highlighted that those companies able to identify and act upon a fledgling trend are able to flourish in a weak economy. As well as a Fairtrade cosmetics and a food company, the article focused on We Are Social, a social media agency based in Clerkenwell. They are in their third year and riding high, helping businesses to develop or introduce a social media strategy to aid growth.
The rise of digital marketing has created a whole new world of niche specialist companies. Unsurprisingly, digital agencies make up a substantially higher percentage of the Alchemis client base than a few years ago. From our perspective, we have seen the whole development of the industry from the “New Media” (effectively website build) agencies of the late 90s. New digital agencies are setting up every day and often entrepreneurial, talented experts have identified a niche in which to focus. As an offer, this is great for Alchemis. We love working on tight, interesting offers. We tend to glean more interest during conversations and our clients are able to build on that in the subsequent meetings.
However, we don’t just do this for digital agencies where a point of difference and resulting USP is normally fairly obvious. We are also extremely adept at developing business for more traditional PR, research, creative and integrated agencies. This makes us something of a bellwether. Our client base tends to be a strong indicator of market trends and we see starkly through our results which propositions are most effective and which markets are buying what. Clearly there are client confidentiality constraints, but we are able to utilise general trends to develop a client’s proposition and new business strategy. By understanding their experience and case studies, we are able to identify angles and issues that set each individual client apart.
This has resulted in a record breaking number wins for our clients in 2010 and the start to 2011 has been equally positive.
There is no doubt that digital offers will continue to rise, adapt and even fall by the wayside, but across the raft of marketing services, it is those agencies that are able to identify new trends and develop innovative offers or propositions early that will make hay in tough times.