What do you really want from your Business Development agency or person?

By: Cat Hartland 

When speaking to agencies about new business development, there are usually three common scenarios:

  • The Owners / MD’s enjoy and understand business development, they’ve been responsible for the majority of their clients wins and they love using their network and hunting skills to find more. The only problem is that they don’t get enough time to do it being responsible for day-to-day responsibilities of running the business.
  • The Owners / MD’s don’t understand BD and don’t enjoy it (and why should they?) Their backgrounds might sit within the creative or development teams for example, so they’ve never been exposed to the new new business development and perhaps they’ve never wanted to.
  • There is a dedicated BD, usually because of the reasons above so they’ve hired an expert usually more focussed on responding to and converting inbound, referrals, RFPs and pitches than generating new, targeted opportunities.

We understand each of these situations, therefore we’re adaptable in terms of the relationship with our agency clients to make their individual business development as successful as possible. We love celebrating with the agency heads and agency BD’s when we help them new clients, and that is what BD should be about, success.

However, there is a common flaw in our industry where too much emphasis is put on short term KPI’s such as a quota of meetings per month. Of course, a good volume and consistency of prospect meetings is a key mechanism towards new business opportunities and this is a KPI we measure with our team as well as others including reach, engagement, briefs etc. but there is a problem if this is the only measured output of BD activity.

We all know that in order to win new business, there will be meetings to be had with the decision maker but over time this has often been perceived as the most important part of new business. I often receive briefs where booking meetings is the only requirement, and that’s when I like to find out what the actual agency ambition is. If your BD person or agency is only measured on how many meetings they can book per month, then that is where they will focus their efforts. But what if your BD person or agency was pointed at and incentivised towards winning business, not just meetings?

  • Meetings will be a natural output instead of a forced one, meaning they will be well qualified and well timed.
  • The opportunity will be well suited to you because the incentive for everyone is to win the client; therefore it’s more likely that it’s a piece of business you can win.
  • A smarter and more dynamic approach will be taken to approach the prospect or company, probably based on insight and research, therefore you’ll gain a good reputation when making cold approaches.
  • You will build a better relationship with them because they are as invested as you are to win business.
  • They will be motivated and hungry for more, so you’ll keep them. Take it from someone who has been just a ‘meeting booker’ – it’s the shortest-lived role I’ve had.

The key to successful New Business Development is getting everyone focused on the same goal and rewarding success. And celebrating of course!

Get in touch if you’d like to celebrate new business with us…

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What the GDPR legislation means for B2B marketing

Over the last few months, uncertainties surrounding the potential impact of The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation have meant a lot of conversation, speculation and quite frankly confusion for marketers within the B2B space. The piece of EU legislation aims to overhaul data protection law within the EU and will come into force in May 2018, but many in the industry are uncertain as to how this will affect them in practice.

In an attempt to make sense of this new legislation and what it means for B2B marketing activities, we consulted Lecturer in Law at University of Hertfordshire Henry Pearce, who provided us with his take on the implications of the GDPR legislation along with practical recommendations for how to prepare for its full implementation come 2018.

How does this new piece of legislation apply to B2B marketing?  

At present, most of the obligations under the DPA apply to firms carrying out B2B marketing related activities. However, there is currently one notable exception to this. At present, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), mentioned above, specify that B2B email marketing and similar activities would not have to obtain the express opt-in consent of any individuals whose personal data were involved in said activities to satisfy the individual consent ground for legitimising the processing of personal data under the DPA. Therefore, in the context of B2B marketing activities involving personal data, if individuals are given the option to opt-out this is sufficient to establish consent.

So B2B marketing strategies will not be affected by this legislation?

Broadly speaking, to all intents and purposes the GDPR retains the same definitions of “personal data” and “processing” as contained within the DPA, meaning that all and any uses of any information that can be used to identify an individual person will be subject to the GDPR’s substantive rules and provisions. The GDPR broadly also retains the abovementioned conditions for processing of personal data contained within the DPA, but with some important clarifications, particularly regarding individual consent.

As noted above, under the DPA the processing of an individual’s personal data can be made lawful by way of said individual giving their unambiguous consent. Under the DPA and PECR it appeared that consent could validly be obtained for personal data being used for marketing purposes on an “opt-out” basis (i.e. as long as the individual concerned was given the option to opt-out of their data being used for marketing purposes, this was enough to signify them giving consent).

What can B2B businesses do ahead of May 2018?

To prepare for GDPR coming into force in May 2018, you will need to make sure that:

  1. In the event an individual whose personal data are contained within your database contacts you enquiring as to whether you holds any information about them, confirmation must be given to that individual without undue delay.
  2. If, having received confirmation that their personal data are being held, you will be obliged to make the individual aware of precisely which of their personal data are being held and for what purposes, and that the individual has the right to object to their data being held in the manner specified.
  3. If an individual asks to access personal data of theirs that is held by you, or wishes to receive a copy of those data, then you must honour this request without undue delay.
  4. If any of the personal data contained within your database is inaccurate, you must allow any affected individuals to rectify or otherwise correct any erroneous records.
  5. If an individual objects to their personal data being stored in your database, or asks for their personal data to be deleted, then these too are requests that must be upheld.

Even still, many are concerned that the GDPR could apply to B2B in full due to the PECR current reforms and the leaked GDPR version suggesting that the previous B2B exceptions will be done away with. As in the case with Brexit, however, only until the legislation has been implemented will the full limitations be made clear to B2B marketers.

In the meantime, businesses should be refining what they already know and taking into account best practices when building strategies to communicate with prospects. From refining data to ensuring that messaging is targeted and content is relevant in order to build long lasting relationships, to building in plan a robust data management system in order to track engagement and honour ‘opt outs’, you will put yourself in the best position not only to comply with the GDPR legislation, but to encourage ‘opt ins’ and engagement with your campaigns and content.

 

 

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Figaro Digital Marketing Conference 2017

Upfront is delighted to announce that it is an official partner of Figaro Digital’s Flagship Summer conference following our previous success as partners during last year’s conference. Taking place on the 20th July 2017 at The Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park, this is an event not to be missed!

The event sees 500 senior-level marketers coming together to explore, discuss and debate the sharpest insights shared from brands and agencies who are shaping the future of digital marketing. The impressive speaker line up includes more than 20 in-depth keynote presentations from brands, agencies and technology providers, such as Head of Global Digital Communications at GSK, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovation at Channel 4, Marketing Director of The Telegraph Group, Digital COO & Head of Experience from Lloyd’s Bank and many more!

The focus of the day will be innovation. Brands are committing more time, dedication and budget than ever before to innovation. This is due to the increasing customer expectations and the drive to adapt to a changing landscape. Digital innovation is at the forefront of most businesses strategies, and agencies will need to cut through the noise in order to connect with these brands.

We have keynote speaker slots available as well as the opportunity to share some fast learning with Figaro Digital 21s, where you will be speaking alongside the likes of BT, Pret and Mondelez on topics ranging from how to go about creating an internal agency culture to the importance of listening to your customers through social media and utilising feedback to create brand purpose.

As an Upfront partner you will:

  • Raise the profile of your agency alongside the Upfront team
  • Capitalise on new business opportunities through Upfront’s joined up approach
  • Receive dedicated post-event comms aimed at maixmising engagement and opportunities with potential leads
  • Speak alongside high-profile brands such as BT, Pret Mondelez and more!
  • Join us for a complimentary lunch and evening bar for networking opportunities

If you are interested and would like to find out more about the speaking packages available, please do get in touch.

We would love to welcome you on board, but spaces are filling up quickly, so don’t miss out!

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May’s Movers and Shakers

Working in Business Development, it’s hard to keep track of all the changes and the latest Movers and Shakers so here is a summary of the latest company news and exciting new appointments that we recommend you keep an eye on:

Ian Gandy has joined at Travelers as their new Head of Digital. Previously, Gandy was working as Head of Digital with Esure.

BT British Telecom has recently appointed Andrew Stears as Digital Product Owner, from his previous role at Stagecoach Group.

Burberry named Judy Collinson their new Chief Merchandising Office. Collinson was formerly at Christian Dior in the U.S. and at Barneys New York.

The British luxury fashion designer and retailer has also hired former Unilever chief information officer (CIO) Mark McClennon to be its Global CIO.

Anthony Newman, director of brand, marketing and communications at Cancer Research UK, has recently left the charity after a 17-year stint to become Global Brand Director for Sea Life.

He begins his new job with the Merlin Entertainments business at the end of May, replacing the outgoing Dominic Warne.

WaterAid UK has recently announced that Tim Wainwright will become its new Chief Executive, to take over from Barbara Frost following her retirement in May.

British Cycling announced that the sports governing body has appointed Julie Harrington, currently the Football Association’s group operations director, as British Cycling’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Phase Eight has poached Jigsaw’s online trading and digital marketing boss James Williams. Williams will become Director of Marketing and Online Trading at the Foschini Group-owned retailer. His remit will be to accelerate online growth and ensure customer experience is consistent across the brand.

Former Jaeger trading director Gwynn Milligan has joined maternity and kidswear brand Jojo Maman Bébé as Commercial Director to help drive the business.

Pete Markey has left Aviva after just one year to become Marketing Director at TSB Bank. Markey will play a key role in maintaining this momentum if it wants to continue to disrupt the major high street banks.

British fashion brand Jack Wills has appointed Mike Doyle as their Financial Chief as well as promoted Mark Wright to the new role of Multi-Channel Director.

Sally Abbott has been promoted from Global Marketing Director to Managing Director for food processing company Weetabix.

Elise Hamer has been appointed Global PR Manager at Clarks. Previously at Aquascutum, Elise is based in the London offices and reports into Amsterdam-based Esther Lopez Riva, Head of Global Communications & PR.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has appointed Jeff Howarth as its new Group Marketing Director.

Edelman announced that Kate Hawker is joining the firm as Managing Director of its UK Healthcare team.

Formerly Healthcare Chair at Burson-Marsteller, Kate tripled the size of its healthcare business and spearheaded a successful team, winning and running significant global assignments.

HSS Hire has appointed Steve Ashmore as Chief Executive. He will take the reins on 1 June 2017.

Ashmore, who has previously held senior posts at supply chain company Exel and heating firm Wolseley, will replace John Gill as boss of the tool rental firm.

Moët Hennessy has appointed a new Managing Director for its UK operations as current head of the London office, Jo Thornton, gets promoted to a position in the US.

Taking over from Thornton on 1 July 2017 will be Bertrand Steip, who is currently international director for Maisons Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier, based in France.

Byron Hamburgers has appointed Wagamama marketer Simon Cope as its new Managing Director.

Cope will join Byron in July and sit on its executive board, focusing on marketing, food development and property.

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Call Mapping: How to structure the perfect call

By: Sam Meade

Ironically, cold calling seems a very hot topic of discussion lately. Particularly, whether it’s a legitimate method of initial communication, or whether it’s slowly dying out as an ancient sales technique.

So, is cold calling dead? The short answer is no.

Cold calling is an essential part of new business development, and now more than ever, it’s essential that you get it right. The best business development professionals know exactly what they want to get out of a call before even picking up the telephone. Successful call mapping can be the difference between the start of a blossoming relationship or the end of one.

So where does it all start?

First and foremost, a bit of background work prior to the call. A valuable trait of a successful Business Development professional is their ability to know who to talk to. The reality for many BDMs is that (more often than we might like to admit), a lot of time can be spent preparing for a call, simply to find that you are being referred onto someone else.

Why does this happen? Simply put, you have failed to effectively qualify the prospect.

Here are some helpful tips to get you through the perfect call – from qualifying the prospect to closing the call:

Tip #1: Use all the tools available to you

The importance of utilising an insight led approach to call mapping is key in being able to structure the perfect conversation. Scanning industry blogs, reading through the trade press and using new business insight tools like Upstream, can enable you to find appropriate points to discuss to ensure that your call is relevant to the prospect, and not a nuisance to them.

Social media networks like LinkedIn & Twitter are a wonderful way to get a feel for an individual and their company’s organisational structure (some even list their direct responsibilities within the role!).  Finding out this information will ensure you are ready to make that all important first step to building the relationship with your prospect.

Once on the call, you need to ensure that you grab their attention from the offset. The most important part of the call is the first 30 seconds, the elevator pitch. This is where the contact decides if they’re going to give you their attention or not. A lot of people get the elevator pitch wrong because they do not understand it’s purpose, which is in short a way to generate enough interest to continue the conversation, not to close business. Which leads me to tip #2…

Tip #2: Keep it to a concise intro (to the point and relative to the prospect)

If you manage to adhere to this, you will have caught their attention, and now you can move onto qualifying their situation. This means figuring out whether the prospect needs your product/service, and more importantly, if they can afford it.

This is where identifying what you want to come away from the conversation with before the call is essential to knowing what questions to ask. Try probing the prospect into talking about their situation and existing approach with the use of structured qualifying questions.  Of course, the dream outcome is that they are interested right away, but we are in the business of generating business relationships, and finding out when they might be interested could be far more valuable than forcing someone to take a meeting when they’re not ready.

Tip #3: Your first question should be the least intrusive

You need to remember, your relationship with the prospect is completely cold, and you need to come across consultative and valuable. Your chances of a positive conversation will increase if you start off slow, map out a structure for the call which ultimately leads to the end goal (a follow up call later in the year, or a meeting in the diary, etc.).

Once you have all the information you require, you need to make a judgement call to your next actions, whether that’s getting commitment from the prospect to a further call or meeting. Either way, get that in the diary as soon as you finish the call. Which leads me to my last point…

Tip #4: Send an invite for your next action right away once the call has ended

The biggest mistake I find BDMs make is not setting a specific next action directly following a call. You can seriously increase the business development life cycle by accepting vague sense of commitment from the prospect, e.g. “Give me a call in a couple of months” or “Send over an email with some dates and times”.

To avoid this rabbit hole, just be polite and ask for a specific follow up date and time. If you’ve outlined an apparent reason to speak again, the prospect will not mind. Then it’s just a matter of securing this appointment with an accepted invite, and I emphasize accepted because until the invite has been accepted, it isn’t in your prospects diary, and in a weeks’ time they will probably forget.

Wrapping up

As I hope I’ve made apparent, setting out a clear call map from the offset will allow you to build your relationship with the prospect from the get-go. By following these tips, you can ensure that you have all the necessary information to move this prospect through the business development life cycle successfully.

While business development often gets linked to sales, I would argue that it’s so much more than that. So when it comes to call mapping, an agile, thought out approach can be the difference between traditional sales and truly understanding prospects business objectives in order to connect with the right people when the time comes – ultimately what good business development is all about.

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“This proposal is pretty good, right Bob?”

But that wasn’t the first thing the EVP of Marketing asked me. Before that she’d said… 

Tell me what you think about this presentation Bob.

I had just started a consulting project a few hours earlier, when the animated EVP asked me to look at a presentation she was going to be giving later in the week. So, I took a look at her first slide which was filled with self-absorbing, company-centric, all about me information. Then, I looked at her second slide. Her third slide. Her fourth slide. All the way up to her 34th slide which were just more of the same. I immediately had a flashback to a similar and equally awkward situation I found myself in my distant past.

Not surprisingly, the presentation slides were a precursor to a proposal which I also had an opportunity to review sometime later. That’s when the, “This proposal is pretty good, right Bob?” question got asked.

For the life of me, I have a difficult time understanding why people just don’t realize, that a client or prospect doesn’t really care about your first 15 slides in a presentation, or your first 10 pages in a proposal that talk about how great you are.

OK, get ready. Here it comes…your client or prospect only cares about what’s important to them, not you. They could care less about how and when your company was founded, how many awards you’ve accumulated, or what color socks your CEO wears in meetings.

Sure, all that stuff is important to establish your credentials and credibility. (Well, maybe not so much the color of the CEO’s socks.) But, there is other, more customer-centric and subtle ways to convey that information. And if you can weave them into a story that relates to a problem the client or prospect has, it can be a strong way to enhance your credibility.

But Bob, it’s not always possible to do those things.

Of course it’s not. And in some businesses, it’s not only inappropriate; you can be penalized or even excluded from the vetting process, for not adhering to protocol. Templated Requests for Information and Proposal formats also usually don’t leave much room for self-expression, storytelling or deviation.

But, in my experience, the majority of B2B clients and prospects are flexible about what you’re proposing, and you can pretty much bet they’d appreciate being educated, informed and yes, even entertained to some extent, with a well-thought-out and easy-to-read proposal. Especially if what you’re telling them helps to solve a problem that’s keeping them up at night. Think about it. How many times have you had to read through page, after page of extremely detailed, pretentious, me-too, aren’t we wonderful, here’s what we will do for you, pseudo-knowledge droppings types of proposals?

To that point, as illustrated by my illustrator, cartoonist friend Bot Roda

Proposals are like presentations. They need to be engaging.

But, unlike a presentation, you won’t be there to tell your story. To make eye contact. To see how your audience (the reader) is reacting to the delivery of your words and your proposal.

So it becomes even more important to make the proposal memorable, in a good way. Assuming, of course, you can actually address the problems your reader is facing and provide quantifiable value while doing it.

So, here are a few tips.

  1. Think of your proposal as a magazine or online article. Make it readable and informative, with attention-getting “teaser” headings and subheadings to entice the reader. Make it something your audience not only believes, but something they want to read and, importantly, share with their colleagues.
  2. Use an “opener.” Think of an appropriate way to attract and keep the reader’s attention. Then deliver it in a way that will let them know you understand their problem, while also implying you know how to help them to achieve their objectives and address whatever issues they may be facing. I place the opener immediately after the cover page and use it to set the tone for what follows. For example, I’ve used the following opener on more than one occasion to call attention to a company’s disorganization issues. “Pilot to passengers. I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is we’re hopelessly lost. The good news is we’re making great time.” Yes, it is humorous, but it acts to diffuse a serious situation, while simultaneously drawing attention to it. Before deciding to use this particular opener, I had to have an understanding of the environment, the people involved, their personalities, company culture, competitive landscape and the problems they were facing.
  3. Thank you note. I like to put a brief, personal note right after the “opener” to reinforce the message of the opener and how the proposal will address the prospect’s issues. I also use it to express my appreciation for the opportunity to submit a proposal and I sign it (either an original signature or an inserted JPEG signature). Does my signing it make a difference? To me it does for two reasons. First, it means it was the last thing I did after having reviewed the entire document to make certain all the points were addressed. Second, by my signing it, it makes it personal and reflects my commitment to the prospect or client. I’m sure there is research somewhere regarding the best color ink to use when signing a document for memorability. I use blue.
  4. Put the good stuff upfront. Look, nobody has time (or really wants) to read through 47 pages of detailed information about how you’re going to solve their problems. And while that’s definitely important, you need to condense how it’s all going to work in an Executive Summary. Simplifying complex issues is no easy task. But, it’s definitely beneficial for the reader (and you too) when you can do it and do it well.
  5. Include the price. Don’t make your reader flip through the proposal looking for the cost. Give it to them in #4 above and definitely do it while keeping #6 in mind.
  6. Quantify the value. This is the most important part of #5. Quantify the cost in terms of the value benefit your proposal will be delivering. Anything can be quantified, whether its carbon footprint reduction, improved productivity, reduction of particulate matter, the instances of rapid eye movement in dream states in dogs…anything. Whatever it is, just make sure you present it in terms relevant to their problem. Will what you’re proposing help reduce costs? Then give them the projected value of those costs savings over time and compare it to what they’re doing now. Or compare it to competitive offerings. Or, show them the cost savings on a piece-by-piece or a per person basis. Whatever best demonstrates the true value based on their objectives. Ideally, you could create algorithms for your value offering and convert it into an Excel document, so your prospects can enter their specific information to see various calculated outcomes for things such as ROI, Lifetime Value or Lost Opportunity Costs. I created an “Evaluator” that provides a roadmap so prospects can see how well they perform in four key business development areas most businesses have in common. You can email me at Bob@streetsmartbizdev.com and I’ll send it to you, along with an overview on how it works.
  7. Use visuals. It can be a quote, graph, cartoon, link to a video, or a text box (like the one here). Anything that will reinforce your value message throughout the important sections of the proposal at a glance as the reader skims it.
  8. Speaking of quotes. Consider including one from the project manager or team members who will be overseeing the project or program. It can be about their expertise on the subject and experience and how they, and your company, helped other clients facing the same or similar issues. It’ll not only provide an introduction to the person/team, it will also provide a human connection and reinforce credibility. We humans are visual beasts, so if appropriate, include a picture or video of the person, or the team to put a face with the name.
  9. Other stuff. If your proposal will have a fair amount of pages, include a Table of Contents. And if you do include one, make the line items interesting, not just a boring listing about the section and a page number. For instance, if you’re identifying the pages which describe the implementation of the program or project, try something like this..“This is where it all comes together”…………………….pages 8 through 15. You can also do the same thing for #8 above. “Meet the team who will make it happen”……………. pages 16 through 17
  10. Links to reference material. Provide links to relevant articles to reinforce your recommendations. Kinda like I’m doing here with some good articles and tips on proposals by people like Dan Steiner in his article, and of course, Ian Altman’s reality check article.
  11. Addendum. If you’re required (or compelled) to include all your services, company history, and things like case studies, White Papers, related research, detailed employee profiles and other relevant materials, the addendum is a good place for them.
  12. Proofread the damn thing. Frequently, people will use a proposal template where they can just fill-in-the-blanks to save time. Time saving? Yes. Smart? Yes again. But, it could be disastrous. I’ve read proposals which had the previous prospect’s or client’s name in the document. Nothing says, “I’m too busy to really look at what I’m sending you,” more than a boilerplate document which has not been proofread. Take the time to make sure it’s done. Ideally, by someone other than you because you’re too familiar with it and will overlook things. (Using a professional proofreader is best so long as your “style” is understood and not compromised.) If your proposal is not proofread thoroughly and the reader finds typos and errors like the one I described earlier, you can count on one thing. Not getting invited to submit another proposal any time soon…if ever.
  13. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s always the delicate situation of following up. Ideally, you will be notified you’re been awarded the project. However, waiting can be nerve-wracking. So, when and how you follow-up is key. You want to make sure the prospect knows you’re anxious to get started. But don’t want to annoy them in the process. According to Noah J. Goldstein, Robert B. Cialdini and Steven J. Martin, authors of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be More Persuasive, “Sending a funny, inoffensive cartoon during negotiations can generate higher levels of trust and generate 15 percent higher profits”. There’s also neuroscience behind the reasons as to why it works. Does it work in every situation? Nope. What you do really all depends on the relationship you’ve developed. You just need to do what makes you and your client feel comfortable.
  14. And when you do get the business. If you don’t continue to keep in touch by providing your client with monthly updates, with progress reports linked to the quantified value you said you’d be providing, then you’re leaving money on the table. Monthly summaries will keep you on your toes and provide the foundation for regular client review meetings. It’s also a good time to begin thinking about asking for referrals. Marla Tabaka has some good information about referrals in this article.

Got any proposal tips you’d like to share?

This would be a good place to do it.

Reposted from LinkedIn with permission from Bob Musial, Principal at StreetSmart Business Development. Click here to read more of Bob’s work.

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Celebrating 12 Years of Client Wins

When Upfront launched in 2005, it was a with a clear vision – to help our clients win new business. 12 years on we have been involved in winning over £100 million of new business with high profile wins including the likes of Adidas, John Lewis, Virgin Money, American Express, Hotels.com, BT, Volvo, Panasonic, Vue, GSK and Expedia, to name a few.

We’ve seen first hand what impact a big win can have on a business. By getting your new business targeting right, you can start to get closer to winning the right type of clients for you. Sometimes this will take you into a new sector, get you working with a brand that your team are excited by, allow you to do something a bit different, help raise your profile, and win work with the right type of budgets to make it all worthwhile.

Your network, referrals and inbound leads will always be a good source of client work for you, but you have very little say over who this is with, or the scope of work that comes your way. Proactive Business Development can enable you to better shape the type of opportunities in your pipeline and the future direction and success of your business. However, Business Development takes a lot of time, effort and persistence – and the rewards aren’t usually instant.

Some companies will have a dedicated Business Developer who can concentrate on this all the time, but it’s still a challenging role and requires a specialist skill set. For many companies it will be down to their Senior Management or Client delivery teams, who have to find time in already busy days to meet prospective new clients, identify opportunities and pitch for new business. This can all be very time consuming and is not tangible until you win the business, making it difficult to prioritise when you have demanding fee paying clients to keep happy. However, it is critically important and over the long term, can be very rewarding to your business.

Whilst the marketing industry likes to talk about the big pitches (just read Campaign), a lot of Business Development can go under the radar and often does not get the recognition it deserves. Whilst it is a vitally important function, a majority of your company will be oblivious to the work that has had to go into winning a new client. If Business Development is done well, a regular flow of clients can be taken for granted and focus will quickly switch to the work that has to go into deliver on each of them.

The person who first identified a contact, worked out an angle and started the conversation is often long forgotten in the process. Whether it’s outsourced or in-house, this shouldn’t be the case. Business Development is a challenging but very rewarding role – the highs of a win and the recognition are usually what they thrive on. That’s why at Upfront we make a big deal out of it and like to celebrate every win, which is why we are always inspired and looking for the next one.

Winning business drives our culture, we know every win is different and each one will have a story behind it. We like to share these to help inspire future wins: the brand, the value, or whatever makes that win particularly special, sometimes it’s the approach or the challenges that were involved. We remember all of our wins and still get just as excited when the next one arrives – which did last week with Lush Cosmetics, well done Sam!

To celebrate the last 12 years of clients wins, we will be hosting drinks on the 27th April at the Crown Tavern in Clerkenwell. This will also see the launch of #BDSocial.

Business Development is a team effort and we have been lucky to work with some fantastic agencies and brilliant people. We’ve experienced a vast range of different approaches and it can be inspiring to see just how much our clients put into winning the opportunities we generate. We believe there is a lot we can all learn from each other, therefore we will be hosting #BDSocial which we hope will help bring together like minded professionals to share insight, experience and best practice.

Click here if you’d like to join us.

 

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March’s Movers and Shakers

Working in Business Development, it’s hard to keep track of all the changes and the latest Movers and Shakers so here is a summary of the latest company news and exciting new appointments that we recommend you keep an eye on:

ExCeL London has promoted Lucy Merritt to the role of Head of Marketing ahead of what is expected to be the venue’s busiest year to date. Boosting the venue’s conference and events team, Merritt will take on new responsibilities, including digital marketing, CSR and corporate communications.

Coffee chain Costa has appointed Thrive PR’s Esme Knight as Corporate Communications Manager. Knight takes responsibility for corporate communications, policy development, and crisis and issues management within Costa’s comms team.

Sophie Marshall has been appointed Senior Global PR Manager at Warehouse. Sophie was previously at BPCM as Account Director.

Publicis UK

Publicis UK has promoted Publicis London chief executive Karen Buchanan to the newly created role of Chairman of Publicis London and Chief Client Development at Publicis UK, while co-founder and chief executive of Poke Nick Farnhill will take on her previous responsibilities at the London shop.

Dom Boyd has also been appointed as Chief Strategy Officer in a bid to strengthen the company’s strategic offering.

Thames Water has poached SSE’s head of finance Brandon Rennet to replace CFO Stuart Siddall who is to retire next year.

Accountant Rennet, who has worked in the power sector for 14 years, will take over as the water company’s Finance Chief in March 2017.

Tesco has hired Mindshare’s veteran chief client officer Nick Ashley to be the supermarket’s first Head of Media.

Ashley will report to group brand director Michelle McEttrick and have responsibility for Tesco’s media across brand, food, mobile, bank and general merchandise.

Mothercare has hired Monsoon Accessorize’s international director Kevin Rusling, who will join the business in March next year.

Kevin Rusling will take over responsibility for its international business as Chief Executive.

Mindshare has promoted chief commercial officer Joanna Lyall to be the media agency’s first UK Managing Director in four years.

The WPP agency said it has brought back the managing director role to bring together individual teams that have been launched over the past year, including Fast, Purpose and Grow.

Accolade Wines has confirmed that Adrian McKeon will return to wine as the Accolade Wines UK & Ireland General Manager. 

Wagamama has appointed Emma Woods as Customer Director.

Starting at the company in April, Woods will join the Executive Team and report directly to wagamama CEO, David Campbell.

Lego announced that Marina Edwards will join as VP & General Manager of UK & Ireland.

The Football Association (FA) has recently announced the appointment of Marzena Bogdanowicz as its new Head of Marketing and Commercial for women’s football.

The appointment coincides with The FA’s launch of their new women’s football strategy ‘The Gameplan for Growth’. The strategy outlined The FA’s approach to its three core goals for the women’s and girl’s game by 2020: to double participation, double the fanbase and achieve consistent success on the world stage.

Amaze, the digital marketing, technology and commerce specialists, have confirmed Alex Comyn in the post of Chief Strategy Officer, helping to marry data intelligence and experience design within the company.

Garmin

Satellite navigation specialist Garmin has hired two new marketing executives at its UK headquarters in Southampton.

Chrissy Winchcombe joins the company as Marketing Executive for marine, fitness and wellness, while Katie Harrison is now the Marketing Executive for outdoor and golf.

Luxury tailor-made tour operator, Carrier, has announced the appointment of Mark Duguid as its new Managing Director. Based at the company’s headquarters in Cheadle, Cheshire, Mark will join the company at the beginning of April, taking the helm from Steve Kimber who is retiring after a successful six and a half years with the company.

Sir Philip Green’s fashion chain, Topshop, is losing its trailblazing managing director Mary Homer to The White Company.

Mary Homer helped make the retailer into a global brand that constantly managed to lead fashion on the High Street.

Wiggle has poached the White Company chief executive Will Kernan as Group Chief Executive, replacing Stefan Barden at the helm.

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Straight Talking Takeaways: E3 Top 10 Tips for Successful Biz Dev

In the second instalment of our Straight Talking series, Upfront welcomed an array of representatives from a diverse cross-section of agencies to hear two fantastic speakers discuss the importance of a joined-up approach to business development, marketing and communications.

One of the day’s speakers – Miranda Glover from e3, showed us how the process of selling has changed; presenting some wonderful, working examples of ways agencies can develop a robust business development strategy.

Here are Miranda’s top 10 tips for selling your business through a truly immersive programme of live and digital.

1. Show don’t tell

Sell a story not a process. Ensure your marketing collateral embodies your message. It should be user-centred and focus on impact. Turn your case studies into relevant content marketing collateral that focuses on the solution for the client.

2. Inspire innovation

Credential presentations are so last century! Instead, think to offer potential clients a sample of activity that shows you at work and opens their eyes to new ways of thinking and doing. Consider offering focused sessions on digital trends aligned to core client challenges that show don’t tell.

3. Dare to be different

Be clear about your offer and your differentiation in market but also about where it fits into an organisation, culture or process. Don’t be afraid to be niche and noisy – the lead agency rostra doesn’t always support innovation models and big brands can benefit by using independent thinkers and smaller independent agencies.

4. Contextualise culture

Contextualise your offer within the wider business and economic culture of the moment – at e3, we help clients keep pace with consumers to encourage growth because consumer behaviour is changing faster than business culture, meaning it is very easy for companies to fall behind. Highlight the pain point in their industry and offers definable solutions to help them keep pace.

5. Don’t be afraid to be niche

Listen. Become a trusted advisor. Do your homework. Know your stuff. All of these elements helps to garner trust and prepare you to go to meetings and get straight to a real conversation.

6. Utilise your talent

Look inside at the talents you have within your business and exploit them. It’s good for your business culture, good for your employee satisfaction and extends your reach and opportunity. People work with people, so they want to know the expertise within your team.

7. Find your voice

Tone of voice is often hard to define. What should you tone be? Intelligent yet personable, engaging yet consultative, open yet intriguing? When people read your comms they should know that they come from you.

8. Glean genuine insight

We collaborate with brands directly through our thought leadership programme (e.g. live events and online papers) to capture the latest insights and show our expertise through real time trend analysis and problem solving. Then it’s all about delivering great content, capturing insights, sharing knowledge, and being open and generous to gain trust.

9. Make the right kind of influence with the right partners

e3 works hard to keep the right company – both with regard to our clients, our supplier partners and the influencers from inside and outside of our industry. Playing with the right partners not only amplifies but helps to position your brand – and helps you shape a bigger, bolder, better future for your clients.

10. Fame

Make yourself known. With all of the above elements interplaying, you need to ensure you are reaching your audience. As agencies working on behalf of our clients, we need to understand our audiences and we need to speak their language. Here at e3 we work with a fame agency to help us gain share of voice.

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Straight Talking with Tonic and e3 – Event Takeaways

Yesterday Upfront welcomed a fantastic array of representatives from a diverse cross-section of agencies to hear two fantastic speakers discuss the importance of a joined-up approach to business development, marketing and communications.

In a packed room at The Zetter Townhouse, we were treated to talks from Tonic founder Kerry O’Connor and e3 Business Director Miranda Glover. The day’s presentations were moderated by our very own Guy Edwards, Director of New Business at Upfront.

Kerry’s presentation highlighted the consequences of not aligning an agency’s marketing and new business teams, and spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well! She then gave us insightful tips on the process, talent and resources required to implement a successful new business and marketing strategy.

Miranda followed with a wonderful, working example of how e3 is moving into a new business culture. Taking David Bowie as her inspiration, Miranda delivered a rousing demonstration of how e3 have developed a strategy, much like the one described in Kerry’s previous message.

One thing that really stood out as key, in both presentations, is the need to make new business part of the agency culture and having the right people, in the right roles, to maximise their potential and drive new business:

In Kerry’s words: “your team has to buy into the [new business] process for it to really work. Embed New Business in culture and encourage people to get involved.”

This was echoed in Miranda’s talk, as she encourages agencies to “look at the talents you have within your agency and exploit them! It’s good for your business culture, and good for your employee satisfaction.”

Both presentations were packed full of insight, and we will be posting a full breakdown of the top-tips from both, very soon.

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