DALLAS, TX. The general view of advertising and marketing agencies is that we are hired guns and will work for any client with a decent budget. While there is undeniably some truth to that perception, at bloomfield knoble we won’t be just anyone’s hired gun. Frankly, we just can’t afford it.
As a principal in the agency, it is imperative I understand what “success looks like” before adding any new client to our exclusive roster. For an agency our size (20 strategic, technical and creative thinkers), perception is that we are only as good as our last job. In other words, failure is not an option.
The import of that last sentence cannot be overstated. Like most businesses, our industry is extremely competitive. We live and breathe based solely on our reputation. Much like hotels and resorts dealing with tripadvisor.com, if something goes wrong, it goes viral. It would hurt our business (and pride) if we implemented a campaign strategy that failed miserably. The good news from my perspective is that a failed campaign can only occur if we do not understand the business or sector we get behind.
I will never put bloomfield knoble in that situation. Moreover, our RUDE process ensures we don’t find ourselves in that situation.
So, as we look toward expanding the agency, I keep my eyes on what would benefit bloomfield knoble in terms of a new client. In order to have a sharp eye out for potential new clients, I first have to have a perfect understanding of our current clients.
Expansion means going into new territory where we strongly believe we have a very high chance of success. We have to carefully look at the matchup before we move forward to engage a potential new client.
Today we are working to expand into the health care market. Like our GSE and mortgage/financial clients, the health care industry has all the prerequisite requirements that few agencies can meet, but that bloomfield knoble has more than a decade of superlative experience. So we feel comfortable seeking a symbiotic relationship with health care providers and support companies knowing we will be able to share in the success we help them create.
The issues that potential health care clients face today are extremely similar to what bk helped the mortgage industry solve in 2008-2010 as they worked to end consumer confusion over industry terms and myriad options based on their circumstances. At that time, homeowners were inundated with terms and options to avoid foreclosure, refinance, etc. based on some very intimidating criteria. Like the mortgage industry then, the health care industry today needs to educate its customer – often a hospital or provider – and empower that entity to educate its customers – the public – on the impacts of health care reform or other related issues.
bk can demonstrate its successes and experience solving that exact marketing riddle with examples such as the Know Your Options platform that we helped develop, launch and manage to this day.
We immediately identified the obvious need to educate the consumer about available options. But the first step was to align the service providers and mortgage industry professionals by getting each to agree to terminology that homeowners would understand, which would improve discussions when they reached out to the servicers for help refinancing or leaving their homes with dignity and credit score in tact. Thus, the Know Your Options platform and brand was born.
So, I needed all that backstory to explain why I may not be calling you asking for your business. We choose to move “sideways” into new sectors, always looking for alignment with our past successes. Since we are successful with our methodology, the actual industry is not as critical.
Please don’t take it personally. It’s just, if I don’t call you, I may think we aren’t compatible. It’s really me, not you. I know you have a huge budget. And we can certainly help you out if you can find us and convince us you “get” us creatively, strategically, technically. I mean, I am open to more opportunities.
Just don’t take it personally if I don’t salivate at your budget. I need to look you in the eyes first to make sure we have a good chance together.
Eric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the Dallas-based advertising agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.