Tips from Mirren

I just returned from the Mirren Conference, where I was thrilled to facilitate a discussion group on best practices for new business pitches as well as participate in a panel discussion on pay-for-performance compensation models.

For the discussion group, we had 20 new business folks from all types of agencies. Unsurprisingly, every attendee was hungry for tips on improving their new business process/submissions. However, somewhat surprisingly, many in the group indicated that third-party validation was exactly what they needed to return to their agency, and implement the new tactics they had already been considering.

Top New Business Tips

1) Only participate in reviews you are right for.

2) Don’t say “yes” to everything.

3) Submit flawless materials.

On to the panel…

The topic was “What’s Up with Compensation and Pay for Performance?” Discussed by a number of consultants, we all agreed that agencies should not work for free. We also acknowledged that while many clients are talking about pay for performance, not many are doing it. And finally, while agencies are interested in new and different ways of being compensated, truth be told, we’re not seeing much deviation from the norm.

Top Compensation Tips

1) Agencies should push back on longer payment terms. 120 days is too long. You are not a bank.

2) If pay for performance is on the table, clients and agencies should wait at least one year before implementing.

3) Establishing the metrics that tie agency compensation back to creative results is still incredibly difficult.