I realised I haven’t noticed any marketing agency boasts their success rates.

Individual success stories of some of their clients, yes.

But not overall success rate across all clients.

Why, being in the marketing industry for 3 years, my theory is this, most agencies don’t have high success rates.

Who’s To Blame?

It might or might not be agency’s fault, after dealing with a couple of business owners and insurance agents in my marketing journey, in my opinion many of them don’t have the tenacity required to succeed.

Those clients’ with the right business acumen and mindset, they make the most money from us, pay us the most money, and working with them is a breeze.

Of course there’s some clients on the flipside of that spectrum aswell, they sometimes lose money, pay us the least, and demand 100 different unnecessary things that they think matters (which obviously doesn’t).

Perhaps, this is why there’s the saying that only 5% of businesses succeed.

The Car & Driver Analogy

I’ve recently heard a line from a seasoned marketer Bryan Ang that resonated with me, “Marketing is 20% of the road to success”. It’s up to the business to complete the other 80%.

Imagine marketing agencies as drivers, there’s good drivers and bad drivers.

Now imagine businesses as cars you have 2 cars,

A Good Car: The 5-years old pink color bugatti (Andrew Tate reference hehe), well maintained, serviced regularly
A Bad Car: The horribly maintained car with 10,000 different problematic parts.

Good Driver + Good Car, there’ll be a High chance of success
Good Driver + Bad Car, there’ll be a Low chance of success
Bad Driver + Good Car, You’ll get far, but the risk of accident is high (e.g. a marketing campaign that results in bad PR)
Bad Driver + Bad Car, failure is pretty much guaranteed

Just like how success leaves clues, failure too leaves clues

At the end of the day, I do view it as the agency’s fault for agreeing to take on the client, because if the client displays some red flags during the sales appointment, like makes some strange demand or gives off a weird vibe, the marketing agency has full agency (no pun intended) walk away from the deal.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who runs another marketing agency who’d signs anyone who’s willing to pay him money,

and watching his IG stories for the past few months, it is just him complaining endlessly about all his various clients.
(Thankfully he’s stopped doing that now)

From his experience, and of course some exposure to books like The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns and Chris Do’s content, I’ve decided I’ll only take on up to a maximum of 10 clients (this number might drop to 5 in the future) at any given time.

  1. I’ll only take on clients where we vibe well with each other.
  2. I’m confident my skillsets will make them more money than the amount of money they’re paying to engage me. (A.K.A. We both sense we have the Potential to be The Perfect Fit.)

Remarks: A lot of sales and marketing people like to throw the word “a good fit” around to disarm their prospects when they don’t actually mean it, which is quite sad as it devalues the statement when it’s a claim made by people who actually mean it.

I recently had a zoom call with my friend I mentioned previouly who’d sign anyone, and I came up with a line that we both felt was quite meaningful.

“When you accept someone’s money, you accept them as a part of your statistics.”

Darren Seah, Sep 2022

And I want my business statistics to boast high success rates across all clients.

Which is why Advertise Pte. Ltd. has to be selective.