WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? INSIGHTS FROM OUR NEW BUSINESS SURVEY

2016 has been some kind of year. What kind of year, the choice of adjective, is down to you – so please insert as appropriate. So, how was it for you and your agency? As you write your 2017 new business plan (it’s December so I’m not jumping the gun, right?) what lessons are you drawing upon to shape the year ahead? What will success look like? Whichever way you look at it, it’s pretty much certain that 2017 will be no less challenging than 2016. What are those challenges likely to be? Our inaugural New Business Barometer, a survey conducted amongst 112 New Business Directors between February and September 2016, may provide some clues. Let’s start with an insight from that survey. Women working in new business are twice as likely not to have an incentive scheme in place compared to their male counterparts (42% versus 21% respectively). Given that gender equality continues to be right up there on the social agenda – both in terms of pay and smashing the glass ceiling – this is surprising. And particularly so given that new business is essentially a sales role where incentives are the norm not the exception: 67% of…

WHY AD AGENCIES NEED TO WORK WITH PROCUREMENT

WHY AD AGENCIES NEED TO WORK WITH PROCUREMENT Our New Business Barometer highlighted Procurement as a key challenge for agencies seeking to win new business. Here, Tina Fegent, an industry-leading Procurement Consultant, argues that engaging with Procurement early, developing a good working relationship and building trust, is a strategy all agencies are well advised to pursue. Often an agency person’s view of Procurement is based on agency hearsay and not always on fact, and that is why I started my JFDI presentation with a quote from the astronaut John Glenn ” “As I hurtled through space there was only one thought in my mind – that every part of the capsule was supplied by the lowest bidder”. Yes, procurement is there to manage the costs and all the commercial and regulatory elements of a client:agency (supplier) arrangement. But the role is varied and Procurement is a key partner that agencies have to engage with, as soon as they can, whether it be at the start of a new pitch process or when a new buyer starts in the client organization – and is therefore new to buying marketing. We can pull together the agency long and short list for a…

HOW TO GAIN AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE IN PLANNING NEW BUSINESS

HOW TO GAIN AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE IN NEW BUSINESSWe all know that New Business and Marketing is a tough job. The role has expanded exponentially over the past few years, competition is fierce, clients and procurement teams have become more demanding. And the result is ever-increasing pressure on resource and time.So where do you start and how do you deploy your time, resource and energy? How do you position your agency to win more business, more often?The answer is to gain clarity around your goals and apply a strategic framework that allows you to create the right kind of valuable pipeline opportunities. Needless to say, it’s a road well travelled by the most successful new business winning agencies. So here’s the outline approach: Start with the Agency Business PlanWork together with senior management on the detail of the agency business plan. Their growth targets and strategy (including new services, products, skills and expertise) will define yours. Make sure to agree your new business and marketing budget for the year.Work alongside agency managementIt’s important that you update senior management throughout the year (they’ll be coming to you, so don’t worry, it’ll happen). Signal any areas that will require investment (both financial…

AGENCY MARKETING: A LOAD OF OLD TOSH?

  We all know why and how marketing is changing. We have these conversations with our clients every day. The key question is – are we practising what we preach when we market our own Agencies? Given the growing importance of marketing-led prospecting to fuel our new business pipelines, we need to be sure that we’re doing everything we can to grow and leverage our Agency brands. So we’re taking ‘How Brands Grow’, arguably the most important contemporary marketing book, and will be exploring its impact and implications on the way we conduct Agency Marketing. That’s the plan for our next Early Worm Club on Thursday 22nd September. We’ve asked Paul Arnold to review the book and then run an interactive session – to see which of its key principles apply to marketing strategies that drive Agency growth. HOW BRANDS GROW: SEVEN SIMPLE RULES FOR MARKETING 1) Reach – Continuously reach ALL buyers of your category with both broad reach communications and physical distribution.   2) Make it easy – Ensure the brand is made as easy to buy as possible.   3) Get noticed – Be salient. Be distinctive. Use emotions.   4)  Build brand memory assets – We ignore things that…

HOW TO MANAGE AGENCY NEW BUSINESS AND MARKETING

NEW BUSINESS SKILLS DAY: THURSDAY 3RD NOVEMBER 2016 Are you a master juggler? Chances are if you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet that you are. Throw five balls at a New Business Director, and on a good day we’ll keep them all in motion, on a bad day? Well, we all have those. Too many balls, not enough hands, system overload – sound familiar? So, where to start and get a handle on everything? The impulse can be to leap right into the centre of the action, careering around between the conflicting demands of short-term necessity (I need to get some meetings in now) and longer term Agency brand building and prospecting. And then there’s the collateral, the website refresh, content creation, social platforms, awards strategy – roll up for the juggling masterclass. The good news is that it is possible to manage the seemingly impossible and hit (exceed) your new business targets. Successful agencies do it. What it requires is a cool head, clear thinking and a strategic approach, that starts with one simple question: what’s your goal? Your goal is, of course, to deliver Agency growth, so before you commit to anything at all, you need to…

How To Grow Your Existing Clients – And why it’s so important

Your agency is at least 5 times more likely to win new business from your existing clients than new clients. And yet, most agencies fail to approach this significant area of potential growth with the same rigour and vigour as a new client opportunity. Moreover, it’s not a choice – given the first 6-12 months of any new client revenue will be offset against the cost of winning it, you will only achieve profitable growth if you can successfully grow your new business wins into established, long-term, growing clients. So given its importance, here are some tips for New Business people who want to engage their Client Leaders /Account Directors in growing their Agency’s existing clients: 1. Help them recognise the importance of New Business to the Agency. Tell them if they have any aspirations to lead an agency one day, they will need to be able to grow one! It is definitely in their interest to develop these skills. 2. You need to give your client teams insights into the New Business market place so they understand what the Agency is up against 3. It’s important to share your New Business plan with the agency and to make clear…

WE NEED YOUR VALUED INPUT TO THE JFDI NEW BUSINESS SURVEY

JFDI has worked with some 350 agencies helping them to win more new business. We’ve witnessed many changes in the new business and marketing role over the years, and would like to learn more about your experiences. How does your agency structure the role, what are your challenges, how are you incentivized and how do you see the future? Opinium Research, an independent insights agency, is conducting this survey on our behalf. Over the following months, Opinium will be gathering the survey results and producing a report. With your support, we aim to collect comprehensive data that we’ll share with you later in the year. We’ll also be hosting an event – giving us all the opportunity to discuss and debate the findings, and the implications for the future.  To take part, please click on the link below. https://www.opiniumresearch.com/R.aspx?a=7764&as=cO5d39V1r3 If you have any questions or would like more information, contact: camilla@jfdi.uk.com. Thanks, and we look forward to receiving and sharing your insights.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT PROSPECTING

When do we feel most loved and valued by Agency Management? I’d say when we have a burgeoning new business pipeline, when those opportunities just keep rolling in. And then we need to convert them, of course, but that’s predicated on the strength of the pipeline. No pipeline, no pitches. Fact. Which is why we need to talk about prospecting. We’ve identified 13 prospecting strategies, which fall into the short, medium and longer term – when you’re creating a pipeline, it’s important to frame expectations. If you’re embarking upon a longer-term strategy, say agency marketing, be prepared for a long haul. The road from initiating contact to conversion is a road well travelled, and often takes upwards of 2 years. That said, we know the market is driven by churn – there are key events both client and agency side that trigger reviews. So the smart agency makes sure it’s well positioned to take advantage of these unforeseen opportunities. Our advice is to balance your strategies between short, medium and longer term, because let’s face it, when the pressure is on, you need to deliver the briefs. Which is why having short-term opportunities in play is important. The bedrock of…