Westofcenter and Pemberton have announced a partnership that will see the two firms collaborate to market Pemberton’s existing portfolio of consulting services and workshops to UK agencies across the communication and marketing services industry. The services complement Westofcenter’s existing advisory capabilities and add a new dimension by providing systemised organic growth programmes for clients.
Initially, Westofcenter is offering agencies an Agency Diagnostic service; the Mapping Organic Revenue Expansion (M.O.R.E.) approach and an Operational Scoping workshop product. These three propositions address the common pain felt by most agencies. Firstly, understanding organic growth potential and performance across the organisation. Secondly, introducing a systemised approach to identify, map and book previously unavailable client budgets. And finally, introducing a method to ensure any scope of work is appropriately scaled to the available budget, and written in a defensible way to effectively communicate any additional requests of the agency would require additional resource from the client.
The announcement and the availability of these services could not come at a better time. The industry, and in particular the communications sector, is facing some of its toughest times since the outbreak of Covid in 2020, with 58% of US agencies reporting that new business has been hard to find in the year to date. This compares with 43% in 2022 and 28% in 2021 but comes close to 2020 when 67% of agencies reported difficulties in securing new business.
While these numbers are from the US via an annual report released by business development firm RSW/US (and reported on by Jon Gingerich, a Senior Editor at US PR publication O’Dwyer’s), they might not come as a surprise to many UK based firms. Anecdotally, the UK marketing services sector has experienced a tough year. While not universal across all industry sectors or specialisms, firms are growing at a slower rate than before, with many seemingly happy to report on single digit or static growth at best.
This backdrop provides the strongest reason yet why all marketing services firm should pay greater attention to managing their existing client portfolios. Retaining and growing existing clients at a time when net new business is thin on the ground will repay the investment faster. Indeed, according to Bain & Co, acquiring a new client is between 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Bain has also said that it is 50% easier to sell to existing customers than it is to new ones.
By partnering with Pemberton, Westofcenter is tapping into a proven methodology for client management and for unlocking seemingly hidden budgets from existing clients. Pemberton’s own data shows the impact its approach can have with 84.1% of account leaders seeing account growth of at least 10% in six months. With client churn a constant issue for agencies, reducing the impact of client loss by applying innovative client management and growth strategies to an agency’s client portfolio will have a profound effect on business performance.
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