B2B agencies showing “gloom and doom” the door

Business-to-business ad agencies had it tough last year, with total ad spending down 2.6% from 2007, according to Nielson Monitor-Plus.

Though advertising took a hit, many b-to-b agencies were able to grow their business last year, with some reporting their most profitable years ever.

How did they do it?

According to a BtoB Online Special Report, those businesses found success by focusing on three major areas:

  1. Understanding their clients;
  2. Developing relevant, compelling creative
  3. Expanding into new areas such as green marketing and social media

Winners from this year’s Top Agencies Special Report added that in order to succeed in today’s market, B2B businesses will need a healthy dose of “optimism, boldness and creative thinking.”

“If you are smart, you get lifted up by the recession, not pulled down by it,” said Rick Segal, CEO of HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, winner of the midsize category. “It is an opportunity to grow and become more profitable in terms of building your business and bringing new ideas to clients, even if they’re not asking for them.”

With an increase in revenue by 30%, 2008 was HSR’s best year on record. The agency explored new opportunities in online video and social media, even with some of the company’s most traditional clients like John Deere & Co.

“We live in a time of extraordinary change—change that will be amplified and accelerated by the recession, ushering in perhaps a new age of business transformation,” said John Favalo, managing partner-group B2B at Eric Mower & Associates, runner-up in the midsize category. “Business models, marketing and communications will transform, and successful agencies will be instrumental in helping clients through the dramatic changes.”

Read the full BtoB Online article.

How has your organization responded to the changing market? Are you using new media, including online video and social media to improve your chances of success?

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