News & Views

The rise of the Northern agencies: The value proposition challenge

by Steven Mallon
12th December 2019
The rise of the Northern agencies: The value proposition challenge, post image

In the second article in this series Steven Mallon, Director at Waypoint Partners unveils what some of the most successful Northern agencies are doing – and why there is a fantastic opportunity for them to be the next Northern success story.

At Waypoint Partners we have run and scaled agencies, walking in your shoes. With this experience we partner with agencies knowing what it’s like to be an independent agency owner, as well as being the buyer.

The route to success for Northern agencies and others like them are founded in 4 common and replicable factors that provide strong sign-posting to growth and value realisation for the leaders of Northern agencies today. The next set of Northern agency success stories will be those that adopt, plan, embed and drive these factors to increase agency value. The first blog discussed the importance of a growth plan and realising value; this time we look at the importance of:

Value Proposition (and selling to it)

Many agencies based in the North hit upon a particular growth challenge as they reach a certain stage of maturity and scale – growth becomes more difficult. Although many of the agencies are highly proficient in executional activity and leverage deep specialism, many are unable to take the next steps to become a more valuable, strategic partner of client businesses by solving their complex problems and challenges and addressing the underlying business need for agency services.

“agencies often struggle to move to higher value engagements by elevating from a ‘do for me’ …into a ’think for me’ role within the client relationship.”

As such, agencies often struggle to move to higher value engagements by elevating from a ‘do for me’ executional role which is highly commoditised and replicated by numerous competitor agencies into a ’think for me’ role within the client relationship. The latter drives higher value engagements, longevity and progressive cross-sell and upsell opportunities as the agency adopts a greater strategic partnership role resulting in sticky relationships with clients.

In new business, sharpening and differentiating the proposition is key to securing higher level engagements and winning more of them. Being focused on client problems that can be solved or opportunities that can be realised; and how the agency solutions, expertise and competencies can deliver that with confidence will lead to higher conversion. Similarly, growth through existing client engagements is also key to move the agency into the ‘think for me’ space and unlocking upsell and cross-sell opportunities through service expansion at a lower cost of sale.

The other blogs in this series will look at the other common and replicable factors:

In early 2020 we are running agency leader events discussing some of these topics in more depth. RSVP here to register your interest.

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