Agencies aren’t pitching their clients new ideas often enough. Whether it’s out of fear of being too sales-y or worrying that your client doesn’t have more money to spend with you, both fears are often misplaced and could be costing you business.

In this week’s podcast, Drew McLellan, founder of Agency Management Institute, shares some findings from their annual Agency Edge Research study from 2023, in which they discovered that clients want to spend more money with you.

AMI went straight to the source and asked clients directly how, when, and where they give their current agency extra budget beyond what’s in the contracted amount. The results contradicted the conventional wisdom among agencies that clients have no additional funds to spend with them.

In fact, around 70% of clients said they actually do have other pools of money that could go to the agency, even after initially claiming their marketing budget was maxed out. However, these bonus budgets tend to be siloed in other departments or set aside for other uses.

So what does this mean for agencies? It’s on you to actively encourage clients to tap into those hidden budgets to spend more with your agency. Bring them new and compelling ideas that get them excited about allocating those extra dollars toward marketing initiatives with proven ROI. And don’t wait until contract renewal time rolls around. Get out in front of your clients now by pitching fresh opportunities that prompt clients to dig a little deeper.

Clients want to hear your new ideas and business growth pitches. Many agencies hold back out of fear of seeming too sales-y. But clients said it’s more about the approach than the frequency.

Position your ideas as ways to help clients achieve their goals, not just make a sale. Clients are receptive to regular pitches that demonstrate you’re a trusted advisor invested in their success.

Unsurprisingly, AMI’s research uncovered that the #1 reason a client fires their agency is that they had stopped bringing them fresh, innovative ideas and the relationship had grown stale.

So be bold, get creative, and start uncovering those hidden treasure chests of bonus budget at your clients’ organizations. With the right approach, it’s very possible to unlock additional budget spend while nurturing trusted relationships.

To learn more about how agencies can unlock hidden budget from their clients in 2024, tune in to the latest episode of the Progressive Agency Podcast and join Craig and Drew in their discussion.


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