Currently the Middle East market is saturated with agencies, both large global and new startups, all with different offerings and varying price points. It is important for businesses to look at several ways to demonstrate their key USPs to set themselves apart from the competition.
Firstly, a commitment to delivering high-quality work which achieves measurable results is extremely important and should be at the top of all priorities. This ensures a positive outcome and helps to build a strong reputation, also attracting new clients through referrals.
Secondly, a strong brand identity which resonates with the target audience is key. This includes creating content for your business which showcases its high-quality work and demonstrates the expertise amongst the wider industry.
Thirdly, a business should create a culture of innovation by embracing the latest trends and experimenting with new technology to help stay ahead of the curve and provide clients with cutting-edge solutions which deliver real business value.
Finally, building strong relationships with clients and providing excellent customer service should be a top priority for all businesses. As much as we are working within an increasingly digital landscape, human connection, and the ability to build trust and rapport with clients is essential.
What challenges do agencies face now when it comes to business development – have they changed since pre-Covid?
The role of digital marketing agencies globally has become increasingly critical. In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift to digital, and since the pandemic, business who were not heavily engaged in social and digital marketing have been forced to take a digital-first approach. This increased demand comes with its own set of challenges.
One of the most significant challenges Socialeyez has faced is how to continue to stand out amongst the competition, as mentioned above with the number of agencies increasing, we have been forced to differentiate ourselves and demonstrate our USP to new potential clients.
It has also been crucial for us to have the ability to pivot our approach and be agile and adaptable to the fast-paced nature of the industry. This has required us to invest in the continuous learning and development of our team.
In addition to these challenges, since the pandemic there have been two noticeable shifts. One being that the hybrid working model, which many companies have chosen to adopt, can be a challenge to meet clients in person and build relationships. And secondly, the uncertainty of the economy has seen many businesses being hesitant to invest in agencies, as such a flexible offering of services and pricing need to be available to be able to tailor and customised to clients’ requirements and budgets.
What makes you stand out to a prospective client?
It is important to understand that prospective clients have multiple options to choose from when it comes to selecting and agency. Taking the time to fully immerse into a client’s business, is important to fully understand them, their industries, and the challenges they are facing.
Finally, having the ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas that will set our clients apart from their competitors is crucial. I believe that creativity is the key to successful digital marketing, and constantly striving to find new ways to connect with target audiences.
What are the dos and don’ts when it comes to new business and pitching?
Many successes heavily rely on a businesses ability to pitch and win new business. However, not all pitches are created equal. There are certain dos and don’ts that should be kept in mind when pitching, to ensure to stand out from the competition and win the trust of potential clients.
Research – This is important during every stage from the initial communication up until the pitching stage.
Expertise – Highlighting our expertise and service offering to ensure that a potential client understands the full extent of how we can add value to their business
Personalise – Every pitch is customised and tailored to each client, we do not believe in a generic one size fits all approach
Transparency – Being honest about what we can and cannot deliver for our clients is important, we will not over promise and this is key to ensuring we build long-term and trusting relationships with our client and uphold our reputation
Be pushy – While you need to highlight the agencies strengths, it is important to use communication with clients to listen, understand and foster open conversation
Neglect – Ensuring you are following up at every stage, to show that you are committed and invested in providing solutions for their business
Overlook – Pay attention to the details of your pitch, down to formatting, spelling and grammar. These small details can make a big impact on how a client perceives you as an agency
Forget to be creative – While we need to be professional when presenting to any potential client, injecting creativity will help you stand out and leave a lasting impression.
In conclusion, keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind will ensure to create a pitch which is engaging, persuasive and tailored to the unique needs of each potential client.
By Cassie Bell-Misri, Director of Business Development, Socialeyez