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It Takes a Plumber to Know a Plumber

By: Tom

If you’re in search of a cool new restaurant and have a friend who’s a chef, wouldn’t you ask her opinion?

Or let’s say you take your imported car in for service but the mechanic says he doesn’t have the metric wrenches. He suggests a shop down the street that’s really good at Volvos. Wouldn’t you trust the referral?

It’s smart to ask business people for referrals because most pay close attention to their world. They know who sucks and who keeps them up at night. The cynic might think that one business would never recommend a reputable competitor. We have more faith in humanity.

Now, let’s say you’re looking for an agency. You could engage an agency search consultant to help you with the process. They’re helpful and certainly follow the scene, but this generally requires a substantial budget. Maybe you don’t have that.

Why don’t you just ask us to make a recommendation? Yeah, you’re going to have to get past the inevitable “give us a chance” plea from our account person. Just tell him your board would never approve an agency with such a frivolous name.

At Tom, Dick & Harry, we study the agency landscape more closely than Bears coach, Mark Trestman, studies the Packers. We know which agencies scare us. We know their styles, tendencies, favorite stock photos and go-to directors. We know their staffers, the complete list of award-winning headlines they may have written in 1999 and their mothers’ maiden names. We know who’s good at what and what type of ferns everyone has in their lobbies.

Advertising is an industry burdened by over-supply.  There are far too many agencies chasing far too few pork chops. You learn to keep a careful eye on the competition. You learn to recognize the good, the bad and the ugly.

We realize we’re not for everybody. If you’re shopping for an agency and just don’t like our name or logo or sense of typography, no hurt feelings.  We’ll help set you straight. We’ll suggest some good shops you should talk to. And we won’t even charge. Just trying to help.

One caveat. We’ll probably ask you to keep our number handy, you know, for when the agency we recommend inevitably drops the ball.

Yep, just trying to help.

08.08.14   The Biz

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