New Beginnings: Agencies Are Brand, Too

We can lose sight of who we are. CDM Digital is one of thousands of creative agencies, but we are totally unique. Distinction keeps one from being mediocre. That came across during a few recent pitches for new business. Each time we went in thinking our specialness was apparent, but it wasn’t. We lost. It wasn’t that our presentations were bad, at best, we were tepid.

The pitfalls of indistinctness came up again in correspondence exchanged with someone whom I admire in advertising. He’s a specialist in new business for a Madison Avenue ad agency. One of the pearls of wisdom he shared was that as Carson Dunn Media Advertising transitions to CDM Digital and pitches for new business, we must allow the distinctness of our brand to be on display – that we stand for something — something good, admirable and formidable.

Re-branding the agency has been arduous. So, the past three months I’ve pitched six large companies for business — and not landing one, forcing me to go back study pitches. The essence of the pitch is telling the client you get them, not extolling your own virtues. On this reminder, in tenure, content of my pitches changed to reflect that CDM is singular. I write pitches with formality, throwing in a dash of humor, however, maintaining a serious posture.

These companies are introduced to the ‘CDM Way.’ That’s like the ‘Patriot Way,’ where we establish our integrity, and maintain it, in the pursuit of excellence. Our skills are put on full display. When you try for major accounts, you find out clients have standards. So do we. Our pitches contain small ads within PDF files. No one else does this. As my esteemed colleague suggested, make my work memorable, and be mindful of our brand. That’s the “CDM Way.”

Catch you later,

Bernard Alexander McNealy

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