Agency of the future
We have conducted several “Agency of the future” planning sessions with Agency management teams. In some cases, such as with a leading multi-national agency in New Zealand and a holding company group in Sydney, our session was as a stimulus for a planning day. In others, such as with a leading Melbourne independent, we ran the entire planning day based on the 12 principles we have outlined for agencies to meet the needs of the changing landscape. To help a multinational PR agency step change its business we devised and ran an international CEO’s conference for nearly 50 of their global CEO’s, based on the Agency of the future thinking resulting in changes that have seen the business nearly double in three years.
Growth and value planning
The foundation of long-term growth, Growth & Value Planning has had an incredible impact on one of our foundation clients. In eight years the agency has grown from $300,000 to over $10m in revenues and now enjoys a distinctive market position, which has been recognised in industry awards. Throughout that time the agency has remained true to the one word equity we uncovered in the Growth & Value Planning process and enjoys a unique culture and working model that distinguish it from its competitors and opens doors to new business opportunities.
New business development
In two-and-a-half years we have helped our client grow revenues from $6.5m to a forecast $15m this fiscal. This client had been struggling to regain momentum since the GFC and asked us in to advise on business development. We worked with the management team to define a compelling and differentiating service offer and a ‘one team’ approach that included cross-selling the various services offered. We introduced a structured business development process and a goal-led plan including weekly and monthly updates, introduction of structured customer relationship management, networking, marketing and social media marketing. ROI for the business has been phenomenal.
We have helped several agencies with developing branding and positioning strategies for their own Agency Brands. These include a multi-national agency that needed to define its clarity of purpose, especially because of vast geographical differences in its offering. In a session with agency leaders we were able to define the clarity of purpose and provide an inspiring positioning platform. For a media organization, we were able to help the management team identify a clear positioning and sources of differentiation and strategies to align the internal and external facets of the brand.
We have worked with the owners/partners of several businesses including advertising agencies, production and design companies, in aligning their personal and business goals and developing a combined view of what the business needed to deliver for them. We have then helped with developing strategies to achieve those goals in 3, 5 or 10-year horizons.
We were asked to conduct a “Health Check” for an agency that was in the process of reinventing itself, to check the impact of the changes. We surveyed clients, staff, suppliers and opinion leaders to provide a 360 perspective. As a result of the “Health Check”, we helped the agency management identify areas of concern with current clients which they were able to remedy and in one scenario, avoid a pitch. It also resulted in an internal re-structure and clarity on the agency’s offering.
Mergers and acquisitions
We have completed various M&A projects – spanning purchases, mergers and acuisitions. In one instance, the agency has grown beyond its home State and now has a significantly larger income base as well as an opportunity to pitch for multi-State and national work on the back of the new acquisition. In another, the merger has significantly boosted the management team of a high profile agency, adding income and access to significant new clients. We conducted an extensive, multi-State search for compatible partners for our client, opening conversations with potential partners. We also worked with our clients on constructing the deals, management and organisational structure and defining the new offering of the agencies. We have also recently helped a data consulting company prepare an information memorandum to attract investment from outside the marketing services industry, effectively helping increase the multiple by selling to a tech company.
A client with a very clear idea of where they wanted to be – but unsure how to get there approached us. Through our proprietary BusinessMAP workshop we were able to provide them with a ‘To Do’ list or series of actions that would take them to their chosen destination. This was then shared with the staff and given out in a pocket book format so that all were constantly reminded of the goals and could pro-actively take care of the actions required to reach those goals.
Already this company has seen a morale improvement and significant (and faster) progress.
Restructuring for growth & rebuild
An architectural design company had outgrown its own infrastructure and was in danger of losing clients as a result. The Leach Partnership worked with the Managing Director to create a forward business plan and, through the use of ‘rebuild’, appropriately staff the company.
The company will double its profits this year and is enjoying the confidence of its clients once again.
Peak performance review
An iconic Australian food company asked The Leach Partnership to review its agencies and agency relationships with a view to ensuring both were optimal. We conducted a Peak Performance Review for the client including; individual interviews with the company CEO and Managing Director, senior marketing executives and with senior agency executives; workshops with the marketing team and various agency teams; discussions with external advisors and consultants working with the company and an analysis of all the various processes as well as remuneration structures and standards.
The results of this work were presented in a quartile analysis of People, Process, Partners and Dollars and a proposed plan of action with time scale.
The proposed plan is currently being implemented.
The Leach Partnership worked with a sound and film studio to help them build value into their organisation through optimisation of five key criteria for success. The start point was a creative workshop ‘Planning by Outcome’ and the end result a mini business plan covering key success criteria.
In its first full year after this intervention, the studio grew by 15% with improved margins, a clear succession plan and staff incentive scheme.
The studio continues to prosper.
Re-purposing an organisation
A blue chip client company was losing in new business to its chief rival and felt it may have had something to do with creativity in their sales and presentation. We were hired to train the sales force to be more creative and competitive. We also recommended the company should re-purpose itself to differentiate itself from its major rival and change the way it sold from reactive to proactive.
The company rapidly regained lost market share and has launched two new products directly as a result of our recommendations.
Management incentive/share option
A privately owned multi-disciplined communications agency engaged The Leach Partnership to assist them with a management ‘engagement and incentive’ programme. We assisted the agency in designing a bespoke programme combining on-going incentives and long-term equity participation. We advised on the mechanics of the scheme as well as brokered the deal that got all the members of the management team to sign on to the scheme.
This has resulted in a united, ‘tight’ management team, with targeted KPIs, and focused on the same clear goals for the organisation. There has already been significant progress, with a business plan agreed that will double the business in twelve months.
We have also helped an independent agency set up an employee equity plan designed to help them overcome the issue of talent retention in a relatively small market.
A major multi-national client felt they needed to do much deeper and more insightful competitive reviews to assist their 3-year Brand Planning efforts.
We recommended a custom designed War Games session to help the multi-disciplinary teams walk a mile in the shoes of the enemy.
The session helped the teams to view themselves and their competitors with fresh eyes and provided valuable direction for Brand Planning.