‘Be noticed, be remembered, be understood,’ is Mars Wrigley’s motto when it comes to its advertising. But, as Michelle Gansle, formerly Senior Director of Insights at Mars Wrigley says, this mantra can also be applied to insights agencies when they approach clients.
Speaking as part of the client panel on Day 1 of Insights Marketing Week (the COVID-friendly online reincarnation of IIeX’s Insights Marketing Day), Michelle joined with fellow client-side researchers Nijat Mammadbayli (UX Researcher, Adyen) and Dieter Deceuninck (Global Director Strategy & Insights, Danone) to tell Colonel Mustard Lucy Davison how they like to find agencies to partner with. The event also saw presentations from Aspen Finn, Lillian Labs, Buzzback, Little Bird and of course Keen as Mustard on topics such as branding, email, social media marketing and building fame for your agency.
One of the key themes that arose across the presentations each day was the need for company specialism, or ‘secret sauce’. This idea was one of the motivations behind Keen as Mustard itself – a marketing agency to help you find and communicate your distinctive flavour – hence the name Mustard. Our belief is that a core offering based on your expertise or a distinguishing viewpoint should be showcased in all the content your company creates – your mailers, blogs, whitepapers, and company branding.
Many companies struggle to define their specialisation in the fear that they will narrow down their pool of potential clients. In CEO of Delineate James Turner’s presentation on ‘how to create a winning marketing formula to grow your business’, he talked about his own personal struggle to have a clear offer. ‘There’s a balance between wanting to be really clear about what it is you do, the one thing you want to be famous for, but also needing to bring revenue through the door,’ he says. ‘But having a clear offer, what people know you for, when should they come to you, is something I’ve had to learn. I like to say yes to things, but it’s important to sometimes say no.’
James isn’t alone in facing this struggle. In fact, insight clients Nijat, Dieter and Michelle agree that only 1% or 2% of companies that reach out to them are showcasing a strong specialism. But it’s something clients are looking for in the agencies they partner with. Dieter explained, ‘For me, one of the biggest and most effective ways [for agencies to attract clients] is if someone comes with a point of view. Having that perspective and then translating it into an offer of how to approach a problem is, for me, the most effective way [to get my attention].’ Likewise, Michelle says that for agencies and suppliers to be noticed, remembered and understood is about having a ‘noticeable tagline or something unique or personal in the email subject line’ it’s about ‘making it clear what your point of view is’.
As Michelle mentioned, another key element of the approach is personalisation. Once you’ve created great content that shows your company’s secret sauce, it can be used to start conversations with potential clients. However, conversations need to be personal and well-researched to encourage engagement. Nijat gives an example of being approached while working at Booking.com with a sustainability study that had data about the company. Because the content was relevant, he went on to share it widely within his team. ‘If someone had just sent me a random sustainability index without my company included in there, there’s no reason for me to open the report,’ he says.
Finding the recipe for your secret sauce can be a daunting process. Picking out one key ingredient when you’re used to adding a dash of this and a dollop of that risks some people turning their nose up. But finding your distinct flavour has long term benefits for your brand. It’s more likely that clients will take notice of your message, understand it and remember it for later, even if it’s not to their specific taste at that time. It’s tempting to want to please everyone, but when it comes to marketing your agency, generic messaging is likely to please no one. So, bring out your distinctive flavour and watch your company bring home the bacon.
If you’re looking for advice on marketing your market research agency or supplier, you can register to watch the recordings of Insights Marketing Week here for a reduced rate of £30.
Anyone with an IMW ticket can click here see the recordings free of charge with their email address and ticket number.
If you want help finding the recipe for your company’s secret sauce, email firstname.lastname@example.org