Whitney Graves

Having spent 7 years working at media agencies, myself and other GumGum employees have advantageous insider knowledge of the needs and challenges one faces on the agency side. Understanding how agency folks function, react and make key decisions is pivotal to GumGum’s success in the advertising space, which is why the New York office hosted the first ever Agency Panel Discussion. We wanted to provide the opportunity for GumGum employees to ask questions about how we can improve as a whole and better position GumGum in the competitive digital landscape.

The panel consisted of 7 current GumGum employees with former agency experience, representing multiple agencies, roles, departments and levels. We encouraged the entire NYC office to attend and come prepared with a range of questions relevant to Sellers, Account Managers, Marketing, Pub Dev and CSMs. We wanted the format to be conversational yet beneficial to all departments.

Overall, we had a fantastic turnout with almost the entire NYC office in participation (cocktails and snacks always help!). The panel answered questions that ranged from topics like “Did you ever read lengthy emails from sellers when receiving an RFP?” to “What types of events and swag are the most popular throughout the agency?”

One of the most beneficial topics the panel discussed was the agency/vendor relationship. A key function of an agency is to provide their clients with strategic recommendations that leverage vendor solutions to best meet their KPIs and goals. Since the agency acts as a middle man that sells the vendor’s solutions to their clients, it is imperative that we at GumGum provide them with the tools and resources to do so. We must make sure we are educating each agency contact on our offerings, our differentiators and capabilities in the most straightforward way. We need to make sure we are working with the agency as their partner to make them look like a knowledgeable hero.

The Agency Panel Discussion was extremely insightful for GumGum employees who have only ever called on agencies, but never worked at one. Some key takeaways were as follows:

RFPs:

  • Typically reference slides detailing what GumGum does, product demos and overall plan summary when looking at RFP proposals
  • A lot of times will compare our rates to other vendors which is a key decision maker when deciding who should be put on a plan
  • Don’t waste time providing information that wasn’t asked for- chances are they won’t take the time to read it and will only look for what was requested
  • Give a 1 week grace period before following up on an RFP
  • Most of the time agencies request RFPs way in advance so if you haven’t heard anything from your contact in a while, look at the flight date of the campaign and work backwards to determine the best date to follow up
  • Submit RFP’s that focus on the main KPI of the campaign, not on all of our other offerings that we think would be a good fit. Respond with what they are asking for
  • The programmatic team is often not included in the RFP debriefing
  • Ask the supervisor of a team what they typically prioritize when reviewing RFP’s for a campaign

Events/Swag:

  • Agency contacts love getting taken out to nails, dinner and shopping events
  • Love getting a free lunch, whether is it taken out to lunch/lunch and learn or simply dropped off in the office during busy time periods
  • Enjoy getting Holidays gifts but want them to be personal and usable like a SoulCycle gift card vs. a gift basket or branded bottle opener or note pad

Overall Thoughts:

  • Will not read lengthy emails as they are too busy- keep it short and sweet with key takeaways in bulleted format
  • Be an educator
  • We stand out due to our technology, data and cool units

During the Campaign:

  • Provide info around what is being changed to improve a campaign
  • Clients care about audience insights
  • They want to know about performance- reasons why it performed the way it did

Establishing Client Direct Relationships:

  • Be extremely careful when building a relationship with the client directly- make sure the agency contact helps foster the relationship and they don’t feel as though they are no longer useful

Due to the success of the event, we are hoping to roll it out in the Midwest and West Coast! In addition, we will host another Agency Panel Discussion in NYC that will consist of current agency clients and contacts.

Thank You!

 

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