By Gerard LaFond, Chief Digital Officer
But the bigger story is about an agency that is growing the right way — by investing in its people.
Agencies are only as good as their people, but that’s hard for agency outsiders to understand. In fact, most client RFPs ask for information about industry expertise and then test the agency on how they would approach an assignment. Most agencies play along, pitching and responding in mass. But a few agencies are lucky enough to be selective, meaning they don’t always play along with every opportunity to grow.
Growth is good in business, and in our business it’s usually one of the top goals for any given year. However, as an integrated consultancy, growth for growth’s sake can be toxic as it can burn out your best people. And people are the most important resource an agency has.
We’re growing (this win is proof), but we also have the luxury of being selective. Not to toot our own horn too loudly, but we’re turning down more business than ever. Dozens of opportunities a month.
For us Trellix was different. It’s not every day you get to build a new brand and help that brand protect and grow businesses globally. Today we officially announced that Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the next generation of extended detection and response (XDR), appointed us as its agency of record.
Our cross-continent, integrated team now supports Trellix with public relations, content and social in the U.S. and EMEA as well as expanded its existing relationship in APAC.
We could tell you all about the pitch, but it’s really about our people. Without great people, we wouldn’t have won this assignment. While our people are very good at what we do, the real secret sauce is they love what they do, which translates to a passion that led us to this win.
Recognizing an employee need, we prioritized staff wellness in 2021, but we know there’s no magic wand to getting this right. It requires informal and formal (like annual anonymous employee surveys) mechanisms to ensure we hear our employees’ voices and turn feedback into action. Sure, new benefits are part of this picture — like knocking off at 3 p.m. on Fridays to give people a running start on the weekend and providing an office-spruce-up stipend — but we can’t stop there.
Just as important are actions that fall outside the benefits umbrella. For example, in driving growth we didn’t realize that some of our younger professionals had been assigned to four or even five accounts. That’s far too many! Some fraying at the edges of service delivery and internal chatter brought this to Leadership’s attention, prompting a reshaping of account teams and a redrawing of our hiring roadmap.
This new client win is big news, but how our agency is growing for the long term, by putting its people first, is the bigger story.
30 + years after our agency was founded, we’re just getting started. Join us.