Tony is a strategy-driven, brand-focused 19 year veteran of the advertising industry. Prior to founding The BLÜ Group in 2004 he served as a senior account executive for a variety of large, national brands including Hickory Farms, NEBS, and Betty Crocker. Since BLÜ’s inception, Tony has dedicated his time to helping small-mid size businesses and organizations build strong brands while volunteering for a variety of civic and professional organizations, including serving on multiple boards and chairing a variety of committees.

The Importance of Being Loyal to Your Clients

Many years ago when I was a young Account Executive working at Ovation Marketing, the agency President, Ralph Heath, made a point to remind everyone that we should be eating Betty Crocker, Smucker’s, and Hickory Farms, drinking Budweiser and all their associated beverages, purchasing our supplies from NEBS, and our insurance from State Farm. His point was a simple one – support your clients and they will support you.

As the president of my own advertising agency now and being responsible for providing leadership and guidance to our employees, I have brought this philosophy with me and have bestowed it upon our team. In today’s day and age, plus working with multiple local businesses, it goes far beyond just consuming what they sell. It is my belief that our team must support our clients in the following ways in order strengthen the relationship:

1) Be Seen – Our local clients need to see our team supporting them at their establishments. From dinner and drinks to events and daily purchases, it is not enough to buy products from our clients, they muclient loyalty, advertising agencyst see us. One of our restaurant / entertainment clients told me that one of the reasons he decided to hire our agency, beside our capabilities, etc., was that I took the time to participate in something they offered on a continuous basis. I was loyal to them and they wanted to reward that loyalty.

2) Spend Your Money – We are very fortunate to have a diverse client base. They pay our bills and have created many jobs over the years. It is our job to pay them back by having accounts at their bank, eating at their restaurants, sponsoring their events, and buying what they are selling…even if you don’t really need it and it’s not “convenient”.

3) Engage on Social Media – Regardless of age, everyone at The BLÜ Group – Advertising & Marketing is required to participate in social media. We want them to go on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn every day to see what is happening with our clients and in the industry. It’s not enough to just be a voyeur though. They need to Like, Comment, Share, +1, and Engage with our clients. Doing this is a virtual method of being seen…and it helps grow our clients social networks and promote their business to our friends and followers.

4) Be Their Salesperson – Many of us of have a group of friends that we hang out with on a consistent basis and another group of people that we run into every now and then. It is our job to promote our clients to these people in a subtle, not over-the-top, friend-to-friend kind of way. Looking for a great sports bar or want to bowl? Be sure to head over to Features Sports Bar & Grill in West Salem. New to the area and are in need of a dentist, especially one that supports local businesses? Be sure to call Jim Allen at Allen Dental. That one extra referral just may help you get that retainer increase or extension you’re proposing for next year.

I may be the one that signs the checks every other week, but our clients are the ones that make it all possible. Once your team understands this, the importance of being loyal to your clients becomes crystal clear.