The Purpose of an Agency Mission Statement
“A mission statement is not something you write overnight…but fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.”
– Stephen Covey
Marketing partners are changing. There are vendors, specialists, freelancers, consultants, analysts, etc. but from what lens are they viewing their work and their audience? Singularly-focused allies like PR firms, creative boutiques, media sellers, and web development companies have long been trying to tout services that relate to, but exceed their scope. Trades continue to report on consulting firms (Accenture, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PWC to name a few) buying and inserting “creatives” into their companies.
There’s no fault in trying to adapt to a changing world, however, there is in trying to be something you’re not. It’s important for any organization to understand its mission statement, the foundation upon which it’s built. Equally important, clients should understand what mission guides their chosen partner.
For instance, let’s look at the following mission statements of recognized ad/marketing partners:
We create ideas that inspire enduring belief.
– Leo Burnett
We will provide must-have news and information on demand across all media, ever mindful of our journalistic responsibilities.
Our mission is to create products and services that excite and engage our consumers, communities, advertisers, and business partners.
– iHeart Media
To help clients and people excel. DDT is driven to be recognized as the best professional services firm in the world.
To increase the economic well-being and quality of life of our clients and all stakeholders by providing measurable business solutions designed to exceed our clients’ stated objectives.
– LEAD Marketing Agency
Giving credit to my business partner and President of LEAD, Tom Sullivan, our mission statement (and agency name) resonates with companies looking for a return on their advertising investment. Leo Burnett’s speaks to visionary creative (not what the creative will do for your business). Gannett’s speaks to journalistic credibility (makes sense for a company built on news delivery). iHeart’s speaks to excitement and engagement (a philosophy that encourages promotion over results). Deloitte’s speaks to professional services (seems like the right path for a broad consulting firm, not a marketing company).
LEAD’s mission statement speaks to measurable business solutions and exceeding clients’ stated objectives.
That’s by design. In today’s results-oriented landscape, it’s not only important for an agency partner to be able to produce relevant messaging, imagery, and content, but also deliver it effectively and measure the progress of it with goal achievement in mind.
If strategically developed and written in a way that’s easy to understand, an agency’s mission statement should tell you all you need to know when choosing a partner. So, when someone asks me if I’m concerned about the increased competition coming into the agency space, my response is, “not as concerned as I am about the folks choosing an advertising and marketing partner.” I hope those folks take the time to read the mission statements of those they are considering. It could manage expectations and save time/money in the future.