How will you respond when a competitor far bigger and more prominent than your company has lined up to poach one of your most prized, time-honored accounts?

Recently, our core principles were put to the test when our longest-standing, anchor account opened the contract up for competitive bids and a much larger, more prominent agency got involved.

When we launched Apt Marketing 10 years ago, we built our company on both science and art. Client partner relationships — people and communication — matter a lot. It’s our core principle, company culture and value proposition all rolled into one.

When faced with new competition, you must ask yourself — have we set a foundation with our client partner where we’re highly valued as a trusted advisor? Only you and your team knows for sure.

Here’s the first step we took to meet and beat the competition: As soon as we learned that a competitive bid process was in play, we didn’t rely only on history to save the account. Instead, we made sure the messaging about our value to our client partner was clear and self-evident. We reiterated our merits and the unique nature of our work to decision-makers and client teams via face-to-face conversations and phone calls.

We didn’t rely on arm’s-length communications such as emails or texts. We talked to people.

As a data marketing agency, our goal is to find the right mix of science and art to help solve our client partners’ challenges. But that’s not all who were are: We’re fundamentally people working with people. That’s what won us the contract and reaffirmed our relationship with our client partner.

We’ve got a few other cards up our sleeve if your company finds itself with the same challenge as we did. You can read them here.

By Curtis Thornhill


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