The Importance of the Prospect Snapshot for your Agency

This is the second in our ad agency list-building blog series around our latest eBook, The Prospecting List, Turbocharged: How To Pump The Right Fuel Into Your New Business Engine

(See the first here: The Case For Ad Agency List Building Delegation)

Written by RSW Operations team member, Cory Esselman, Cory delves into the ingredients that make up your ideal prospect snapshot.

If you’re not familiar with what that is, Cory shares the RSW list building secret sauce, and why it’s so critical to your agency new business effort.

The Importance of the Prospect Snapshot for your Agency

Designing a targeted outreach list may seem simple on the surface.

To the untrained eye, it’s as simple as copying down company names anytime you see an ad pop up on Google or read an article about a trendy new consumer good or retailer.

If you can do this over and over again for days/weeks/months, then boom – you’ve developed quite a large database.

You certainly look the part of someone trying to develop new business for your agency since you have a plethora of leads and can spend hours each day emailing, calling, and connecting on social media with them.

But Is it really that simple?

Obviously, no – or I wouldn’t have a job as an Account Executive at RSW/US.

What you really end up with are just companies and names of contacts – basically just random letters and numbers on a spreadsheet.

None of the information you have makes sense unless you have qualified them as an ideal target for your agency.

Anyone can say ‘I want to bring on ____ as a client’ but without understanding how their business fits into your agency’s past work and present capabilities, how are you going to land that big fish?

What are you going to talk to them about if they answer the phone or what can you put into an email to make them open it?

You’re just a dog chasing a car at this point. Not knowing what you would do if you caught one!

Enter – The Snapshot

The Importance of the Prospect Snapshot for your Agency

Our ‘Secret Sauce’ in developing targeted outreach lists for clients.

Good thing for you is, we don’t keep our recipe under wraps like the Chick-fil-A sauce or McDonald’s Big Mac sauce (ok the Big Mac sauce is a bad example as we all know what’s in it).

So, lets give you the ingredients (last pun, I swear) to a successful snapshot.

1. Industry – The space you are wanting to work in/the space you have worked in the past that you can speak to.

Break it down even further if the industry isn’t as cut-and-dry as restaurants or insurance.

You may find yourself breaking out Consumer Goods or Retailers into 20 different sub-segments by the time you are done… which is a good thing!

2. Title – This is how you will open the door, not necessarily who you will have the final meeting/sign the contract with.

Who is going to have enough time to answer the phone/read an email while also having enough seniority to move you up the ladder?

3. Revenue – You know who you have worked with and who is in the same ballpark.

Aim just above the size of your past clients.

There are many sources out there that report revenue but take them with a grain of salt – if it seems wrong, it probably is.

Start-ups are usually overlooked as they are late to the game in reporting accurate data, throw some in just in case.

4, Geo – Some industries operate in specific regions while others aren’t geo-specific.

With that said, one sound strategy is keeping it close to home.

Being in the know about local happenings and using local dialect is certainly helpful with smaller targeted companies.

Doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t reach out nationally, as so many agencies have clients all over the country, but the local/regional play can provide advantages if you haven’t already saturated “your backyard”.

5. What doesn’t fit/hasn’t worked – Keep a list of competitors of your current clients.

Don’t lose a current client for a new client unless you are certain they are going to be a better fit for your agency in the long run.

Also noting past fails in outreach along with who you don’t want to target is helpful to note.

Good luck out there and remember that ingredients are always listed in decreasing order. Enjoy…

The Case For Ad Agency List Building Delegation

This is the first in our ad agency list-building blog series around our latest eBook, The Prospecting List, Turbocharged: How To Pump The Right Fuel Into Your New Business Engine

Written by RSW Operations team member, Emma Thompson, Emma delves into all the list options agency execs are bombarded with and a few of the best solutions to tackle what is arguably one of the most important parts of your agency’s new business effort.


As an agency executive, you have a lot on your plate.

You most likely wear many hats.

Aside from the day-to-day running of your business, you probably also handle prospect research as well as outreach.

It makes sense that you look for ways to make your job easier and more efficient.

Luckily for you, there are many great resources on the market for company and contact research.

We named a handful of these (including our own service-couldn’t help myself) in our recent eBook The Prospecting List, Turbocharged: How To Pump The Right Fuel Into Your New Business Engine.

Making the process more efficient, many of these programs offer an automated list service.

But are they any good?

While they may seem time and cost-effective upfront, the information may not be all that accurate.

These platforms often grade their information on an accuracy scale and do not guarantee that it is 100% correct.

The data they are pulling is often based on a computer algorithm that culls information from the internet, or worse yet, user-entered information.

As you can imagine, this results in a wide range of accuracy from platform to platform and puts into question the quality of your purchased list.

When the data you are using for your outreach is inaccurate, you will spend more time finding the right information and less time actually prospecting.

Your agency would actually be wise to utilize 2-3 different research platforms to gather all necessary data and crosscheck for a high level of fidelity.

But as an agency executive, do you really have time for that?

The answer is assuredly no, but the time and effort it takes to do this extra legwork is worth it.

Consider hiring someone to do this work, or more realistically (especially for small and mid-sized firms), could be a prime opportunity to have someone handle that work as part of their responsibilities, with a salary increase.

Trusting your list building to someone proficient in online research, who understands your company and can navigate resources and analyze data, is the most effective way to get the information you need.

Not only will this person have a full understanding of what you are looking for in a way a computer never will, they will also be capable of cross-referencing multiple data sources to find the most accurate information on your target list of companies and contacts.

The role of this designated “list builder” can even go further.

Once they build up your initial list of prospects, they can also help you manage your database on-going and ensure that new company and contact information being added over time is accurate and correctly targeted.

As experience has no doubt shown you, it’s important to continue to nurture your prospects over time, so when the opportunity strikes and they need agency assistance, your name will be top of mind.

Keeping your database “clean” will ensure that you reach everyone.

And delegating this work to a researcher will free you up to focus all your time and energy on your outreach and not ad agency list-building.