Too many creative and web marketing agencies practice “yeah, me too marketing” in 1) how they solicit new clients and 2) in how they go “pier fishing” with a client’s budget.

“Me too marketing” is when similar marketing agencies have interchangeable web sites with some variation of the same tag line and recite the same products / services 40 other vendors do.

A small test in a major U.S. city, Houston, Texas,  in 2012 involved soliciting agency creative directors about calling me next time an editing or advertising troubleshooting project comes up involving a more complex, non-retail consumer product arises.

How many web sites repeated the exact same unique selling proposition and “about” page with a story about passion for creativity and “getting results” if at all?

How many creative / digital agencies had the same WordPress theme layout with the homepage photo slider MSN and started before anyone else and quirky bios including their hobbies and favorite pet names?

Invariably, out of the 34 or so I observed, nearly all went on and on about THEMSELVES like this:

  • our people
  • our process
  • our philosophy
  • our blah blah blah

Talk about “yeah, me too marketing.” This happens a lot because the creative agency fails to understand their customer’s customer, target market place and profit model / complementary markets.

An organization in a position to make a change from its present marketing agency wants to know what really matters:

  1. credentials of whomever will be doing the projects
  2. special training and / or experience
  3. relatable case studies
  4. is there some exploitable opportunity in their market place the new agency sees

Saying “You / Your” to marketing directors and senior managers together with something to say aside from recommending they pay agency XYZ to metaphorically “pier fish” with their marketing dollars the same way everyone else lines up next to one another with repetitive ideas works better than “I / Our / We” and telling them of one’s greatness and life’s passions.

The higher level decision makers want to buy competence and follow-through on ideas they wouldn’t think of and execute, not make friends with interesting people. Focus on a competitive advantage for that prospective client more so than articulating a product portfolio and previous awards won.

Walk into Cedar-Sinai or UCLA Medical Center and meet with a heart surgeon. They have certificates and all sorts of credentials behind their desk on the walls. Very complex, technical training is required in their field of endeavor.

Ever hear one tell a patient’s family about awards they have won? No. Because the dying patient’s family wants to hear about what’s critical in their world: what strategy is the least risky and works the best on a given heart problem so they trust the surgeon before she / he goes in the next room to operate with high stakes.

A top-caliber agency, their editors and troubleshooters are more like the surgeon – showing the client they “get it” versus telling like everyone else does.