Never underestimate the power of a website

Marketing Consultant Robb High’s survey of 132 agency executives and 118 client decision-makersImage_2
confirms the importance of agency websites.

According to High’s survey, 97 percent of clients on the prowl for a new agency examine an agency’s site as part of the due diligence process. And, more than three-fourths of client decision-makers believe the ‘people/staff’ profile sections are the single most important component of an agency’s site.

Yet, almost half of the agencies polled have sites that only contain profiles of the two or three most senior people. And, 18 percent don’t feature anyone on their sites.

High’s results confirm what we’re seeing: more and more prospects asking for biographies of the ‘team’ that would work on their account. It’s always been important but, I think, so many ‘clients’ have been burned by the big agency ‘bait-and-switch’ model that they’re insisting on the team ‘meet and greet’ before pulling the trigger.

It makes sense, but can be difficult for the agency since the ‘team’ a prospect meets with, say, September 5th might not be the one that’s available on October 5th when the client makes its final decision. That’s because a day or a week at an agency can be like a year in more traditional businesses. Clients come and come. Accounts wax and wane. And, while Johnny, Janey and Akbar may have had time available when they first met the prospect well, stuff happens.

High’s survey is instructive and we, for one, will be making changes to our web site to make it more user friendly and people-focused. Prospects will be seeing more Peppercommers on our site, but they’ll have to balance that with the realities of agency life when it comes to the composition of their actual team.

3 thoughts on “Never underestimate the power of a website

  1. Headhunters and competitors will contact your staff regardless of whether you post their biographies and photos on your website. It’s part and parcel of doing business and, in my opinion, shouldn’t stand in the way of highlighting your culture and top people to clients, prospects and the greater business world.

  2. The trouble with posting staff biographies is that PR recruiters will read them, too. We learned that lesson the painful way.

  3. An interesting post, but speaking from the client side, I’ve never selected an agency because of their website. I’ve always relied to my network of communication professionals to provide me with a reference. This is true for all of the agency relationships I’ve been involved in over the past 10 years. We will soon begin working with an agency in Europe for a certain amount of work, and are doing so due to a recommendation. My coworkers and I looked at their site, and said, “Ehhh…looks like any other agency site…who we are, what we’ve done, look at how great our work is, etc.” The most such a website has to offer is how to get in touch with them. If we were making a decision about the agency based on their site–even just deciding to give them a call for a look-see–I don’t know that we would have selected them. But the personal recommendation we had from a reliable source made all the difference.