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Embracing Ad Tech: Making the Case for Innovation

Change is good, although that doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially for old-fashioned ad agencies that are struggling to adapt to the new digital landscape. But the stakes are high: Companies that don’t adapt to these new realities can easily fall out of touch — or even go out of business.

A 2014 survey found that some executives predict the agency world “will become very niche, nonexistent, or extinct” in the next several years as brands look to cut costs. There’s only one way for agencies to survive and thrive: Invest time and money in new technology that makes them truly indispensible to their clients. And that’s where your ad tech company can help.

Many agencies haven’t integrated new technologies into their strategies for fear that introducing new tech will diminish their value. But in reality, aggressively pursuing digital, data, and research capabilities will allow many shops to excel in a rapidly changing world. In fact, having in-depth knowledge about new tech is an excellent way for any agency to gain a distinct edge.

Clearly Explain the Advantages

Innovation in marketing technology is moving at a rapid pace, and the concepts behind these new platforms are inherently complex. To someone who isn’t well-versed in tech — such as someone at a large, traditional agency, for example — many of these offerings look the same. After all, there isn’t always an easy way to explain how a tech platform works or why it’s better than other solutions.

To gain and retain interest from agencies, you need to craft a compelling message that explains why your technology is the best solution. Here are a few ways to communicate your message in an eye-catching, easy-to-digest way: 

1. Avoid technical terms. Help agencies understand the efficiencies your solution produces in a quantifiable way. Use concrete terms to explain why your solution is a good fit for agencies and their clients. 

2. Test your value proposition. Your value proposition tells people why your solution is the best solution. Try out several value propositions with landing pages and A/B testing. You’ll quickly find out which “elevator pitch” works the best.

3. Differentiate your strategy. Word of mouth and current relationships are limited in scale and impact. You need to supplement your marketing strategy with outbound email, social media, and even traditional phone calls.

4. Know your prospects. With dozens upon dozens of data resources available, it’s easy to find out more about your sales prospects. Social media resources such as LinkedIn and Twitter are a good starting point, but smart sales executives will also invest in a qualified resource to cut down on prospecting time and boost sales. 

Cirrus Insight is one company that does a great job clearly communicating its value proposition right on its homepage: “Respond to customers faster and update Salesforce from Gmail.” That’s a clear and concise value proposition.

Rather than touting features, ClearSlide focuses on the customer benefit: “ClearSlide is the leading sales engagement platform that helps sales teams close more deals.” This kind of promise hooks readers — now they might want to learn more about the platform and hear from people who have used it.

It’s time for advertising agencies to embrace new ways of forging connections between brands and customers. And with the right sales pitch, your ad tech company can help usher these agencies into a new digital age and redefine their purpose in the business world.

Dan Mottern, who leads the Ad Technology division at The List, helps clients connect and engage with their most sought-after brand and agency prospects. He brings a solid background of sales and service to ad technology vendors, startups, agencies, and sponsorship groups. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.