Ignition has come to believe that the only way to answer these questions effectively is to first find the answer to a much bigger question: What is our positioning? Unless you know what the agency stands for, how can you possibly make effective decisions about how to run it?
Effective answers to good questions
Consider how a clearly-defined positioning can lead you to good answers to critical questions like:
What kind of services should we offer?
What kind of business partnerships do we need?
What kind of knowledge do we need to acquire?
How should the agency be structured?
What kind of people should we hire?
What kind of training should we provide?
What kind of website should we have?
What should we say in our self-promotion materials?
Who are our best new business prospects?
What should our offices look like?
What is the right kind of office layout and working environment?
What kinds of tools and resources do our people need to do their jobs?
Alignment is everything
Every decision an agency leader makes will be a better decision when made against the backdrop of a well-defined positioning. And every decision either contributes to or detracts from the agency brand; very few are neutral.
Your next offsite planning session will yield much better results when you force your executive team to first 1) Agree on what the agency brand stands for, and 2) Set all your objectives in context of what it will take to make that brand real.
Strategy before operations
Think of it this way: its virtually impossible to make good tactical decisions in the absence of a good strategy. Business decisions can’t be made in a vacuum or based on some vague notion of “excellence.”
The agencies that make the best decisions are the ones with the clearest view of who they are and what makes them different. In other words, agencies with a positioning.