For those of you who aren’t aware I emigrated from the UK towards the end of 2011 and have settled in the south of Australia. A beautiful place to relocate to, and on the whole I’m loving it, yet I am also really astonished, and quite frustrated, at how different and dare I say it…behind… agency new business development is here.
I’ve listed a short series of refresher questions below to give an idea of the initial process that is conducted when building a solid new business plan. This can be applied to any marketing agency discipline, location and at any stage of the business’ maturity.
I’m continuing to build a picture of the Australian marketing industry here and specifically, I’ve witnessed here in SA that there is a very traditional and much more reactive approach to agency new business development. Many agencies still rely purely upon referrals, recommendations and word of mouth for new business generation and yet this can’t be controlled and won’t provide a constant flow of tangible opportunities.
There is a smarter way
A healthy new business pipeline should show continuous potential business opportunity. This can only be achieved by applying a proactive and considered new business strategy. If you are an agency owner questioning the effectiveness of your approach stand back and ask yourself the following questions (these aren’t exhaustive and are merely to set the scene);
What services does the agency offer?
What would make you buy its services?
Are there too many, or too few?
Does it have a niche in terms of its experience/knowledge?
What stands it apart from its competition?
Is it a quality proposition or an affordable one, or both?
What examples are there to show?
Where has ROI been proven?
What is the culture of the team?
How does the agency show that it cares?
Go on to build a new business proposition considering target markets of interest that are best suited to the agency offer and experience.
Map out a calendar of proactive new business activity that will boost the presence of the agency in the areas where there is a lot of experience. Over a period of a few short months it will also begin to show green shoots in the form of requests for a credentials meeting, direction, proposals or a response to a set brief.
When conducted and managed expertly, you can grow and hone the agency’s success where clients can literally be handpicked.
After all, we’re all looking to be successful and enjoy what we do, whilst reaping the rewards and being able to relax and enjoy life without worrying where the next $ or £ is coming from.
I challenge you more forward thinking agency owners to step up, Cake can provide you with the direction and support to help you realise your ambitions.
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