Agencies Attracting New Business: The importance of acting like a brand

While agencies are helping thousands of brands across the globe engage with consumers by developing clear, meaningful, brand propositions, they’re often guilty of forgetting they too are a brand and that, in order to attract the best brands and talent, they should have a clear brand positioning and differentiating story.

With over 20,000 agencies competing in the UK to win business from some of the world’s leading brands, and with more agencies emerging daily, it’s vital that your agency has a clear proposition and story. Doing so makes it easier for marketing directors to understand why you exist, what you can do to help them and why you are different. Knowing who you are and how to communicate that story authentically will help you to retain your existing clients, cut through the noise your competitors are making, build long lasting relationships and ultimately win your dream clients.

We are hosting a seminar on the 20th October to bring together the latest thinking and further explore how agencies can develop their brand and agency proposition to really stand out. We will be sharing industry insight from all views (agency, client and intermediary), with a speaker line up that includes Lena Robinson and Adam Graham (Kiwi Gray)Tony Spong, Managing Partner at AAR and Ameet Chandarana, Digital Consultant.

Agency proposition experts, Kiwi Gray, will be explaining why developing your agency’s proposition is crucial to your business development strategy and why brands (even agency brands) with purpose tend to do better commercially and socially than those that don’t.

Alongside them we have Tony Spong from the AAR sharing insights and industry best practice, as to how agencies are effectively able to stand out from the rest. We will also hear from ex-digital agency Managing Director, Ameet Chandarana who now enjoys the view from the client side. Ameet will be sharing his experience and discussing what types of agency approaches can make an impact.

Join us for breakfast on Thursday 20th October at The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell to hear more. Register here now.

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Figaro Digital Summer Conference

Upfront is delighted to announce that it is an official partner of Figaro Digital’s Flagship Summer conference. Taking place on the 14th July 2016 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 the Community Editor of The Economist, Head of Product from The Trainline, Customer Insights, CRM and Loyalty Manager from Virgin Holidays, Head of Digital from Domino’s and many more!

Personalisation, automation, content and context will all be hot topics on the day. The two-track conference will focus on how you can apply this to build a more robust and long-term relationship with your customers.

The event is an opportunity to meet and connect with other leading industry thinkers and a chance to build a more innovative and efficient marketing toolkit. Recent delegates include the likes of Adidas, Pizza Express, Adobe, L’Oreal, Nokia, Ocado, Starcom MediaVest and Universal Music, to name a few.

If you think your brand or agency would benefit from a speaking slot, then please get in touch to discuss potential options to best suit you. It is an opportunity to position yourself as an industry expert and thought leader, allowing you to raise your profile through knowledge sharing to brands and agencies.

Early bird tickets are available now. Contact Leiley in our events team if you would like to attend, get involved, or just want to find out more.

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Join O2, Paddy Power and Channel 4 at the Figaro Digital Conference; 26th November 2015

The next Figaro Digital conference is set to take place on 26th November in London – and Upfront is once again delighted to be a partner. The line up is already looking impressive with  Telefonica O2, Channel 4, Standard Life, Paddy Power, Time Out, Rufus Leonard, Tempero & Branded3  all speaking on the day.

The full-day event brings together experts from a whole range of disciplines and industry sectors to provide the latest insights and issues shaping digital marketing.  View the full line-up of currently confirmed speakers here.

Figaro Digital conferences have become a key part of our contact strategy for a number of our clients. We’ve found it can provide a great opportunity for agencies to meet and engage with potential clients. Speaker opportunities provide a great way to demonstrate your expertise and experience – and we have already seen a number of big wins as a direct result of clients presenting at previous conferences.

Please get in contact if you’re interested in speaking or attending this.

See you there.

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Breakfast Seminar with JFDI – Key Insights

In conjunction with JFDI, Upfront recently hosted a breakfast seminar designed to help our clients get more out of new business meetings and improve their new business conversion.

Camilla Honey, founding partner of JFDI and all round new business expert, kicked off the morning with an interactive session to give us an overview of the current state of play in the new business market.

The findings put some real context around the reason we decided to hold the seminar and really pressed home the importance of taking every opportunity and making the most out of new business meetings.

It’s competitive. There are around 20,000 agencies in the UK and clients receive an average of 20-50 approaches per week

The average client/agency relationship lasts 2.5 years. That average is getting shorter, which is good news for new business and makes it even more critical you get this right.

A new appointment is often the catalyst for a review, with almost 40% of marketing directors reviewing their agency immediately upon taking up a new position with another 40% doing the same within the first 100 days.

Once a client decides to review, on average the incumbent has a 22% chance of retaining the business.

We keep track of this with our own movers and shakers feed and have noticed an increased number of job changes over the last 12 months. This trend looks set to continue as it was revealed that nearly half of Marketing Directors/Managers expect to move roles in 2016.

But don’t just look at marketing contacts…
Procurement teams are involved in around 80% of new business opportunities / pitches.

And finally, the Holy Grail, it does happen… 15% of agency moves happen without a pitch.

All of this really emphasises the importance of nurturing deep and lasting relationships with your prospects  and making sure you keep top of mind with them at all times. Don’t just assume your main contact will get in touch with you when the time is right, they may not even still be there! Invest time in understanding them and their business and you will be first in line when an opportunity does come around. You may even be the one helping them write the brief.


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Upfront clients well represented in Econsultancy top 100 list

Econsultancy has recently published it’s Top 100 Digital Agencies report, the definitive listing of the UK’s largest digital agencies. The report shows that marketing spend on digital in the UK continues to grow with total fee income across the top 100 digital agencies reaching £1.696 billion, this was up from £1.48 billion in 2014.

The Top 100 Digital Agencies Report lists the UK’s top 100 digital marketing, design and build, technical and creative agencies. These are ranked on their fee income from digital activities in the UK. Click here to see the full list.

Congratulations to Sapient Nitro who retain top spot with growth of over 15% last year. They were followed by IBM Interactive Experience and AKQA, with Tribal DDB a new entry at 4 and DigitasLBI slipping to 5th.

It was good to see breakthroughs by 4PS and True entering the top 100, both were highlighted as ones to watch back in 2014. And well done to Branded3 who enjoyed stand out growth of over 100%, jumping 39 places to 49th.

We were very pleased to see 10 Upfront clients in the top 1o0, with an average growth of 20% and very proud to have been a part of this.


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Using social to win new business

Do you currently use social media as part of your new business programme? Are you using it effectively? Most of us will use LinkedIn as a way of finding new contacts, but how are you using social to engage with target clients?

We are hosting a breakfast seminar on how agencies can use social to win new business on Wednesday 19th November. This will feature guest speaker Katy Howell, CEO of immediate future, who will be providing practical advice and tips for agencies on how to use social media as part of a joined up approach to new business.

Katy will explain the value in creating clear journey for developing relationships to keep you top of mind with decision makers at the brands you’d like to work with. And how this can compliment other new business activity to help drive through new business success.

The event is being hosted in the Games Room at the Zetter Townhouse, St Johns Square. Spaces are very limited and specifically for agencies.

If you’d like to attend please register via Eventbrite or get in touch.




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Figaro Digital moves to the Emirates!

Upfront is proud to be a partner of the upcoming Figaro Digital Marketing Conference. Digital transformation is the theme and this will be taking place on Thursday 27 November 2014. A great line up and crowd are expected with the event being held at the Emirates!

What does transformation mean? It means adapting to changes in technology and understanding consumer behaviour. It means adopting new working practices and managing constant change. Most of all it means living in a world where consumers engage with brands on their own terms, in their own time, for as long as those brands remain relevant.

Guest speakers on the day will include the likes of American Express, Fujitsu, Macmillan Cancer Support, Google, AKQA and Paddy Power. Each will be looking explore the nature, pace and impact of rapid digital change.

Click here for further info and the agenda for the day. And get in touch if you are interested in attending, or meeting up on the day.

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The art of keeping up with consumer behaviour

Upfront was proud to partner with GADM to host a FMCG and Digital Marketing event at Google UK offices this week – the art of keeping up with consumer behaviour. The morning was packed with guest speakers that included digital marketing agencies Maynard Malone, Amobee and PrettyGreen as well as David Black, Director of Branding at Google, and Simon Miles, digital director at Coca-Cola.

First to the stage was Google UK director of branding David Black who gave the audience an insight into the future, giving us an exciting glimpse of the ‘Innovation at Google’  and the pace of change that is set to occur throughout the world over the next 20 years.

It was then time to look at how digital can be used at every point to build FMCG brands and positively influence every point of the purchase journey. Gavin Mackie Head of Strategy at Maynard Malone shared advice on how digital can be used to drive awareness, consideration, purchase and experience through “salience and meaningfulness”. Gavin also stressed the importance of  understanding “what digital means for a specific brand” and getting your mix right. This was brought to life with examples of campaigns for Ben & Jerry’s and Genius.

David Barker, Managing Director at Amobee, was next to the stage and emphasised the importance of “working with brands to place your brand in front of the right people at the right time”. Barker bemoaned that as many as 46% of the UK’s top 50 FMCG brands have no real digital presence, and made it clear that everybody must embrace collaboration in order to succeed in the digital world.

Mark Stringer from PrettyGreen was next up. Stringer was quick to dismiss the idea of what he called Low interest category syndrome in the FMCG marketplace, emphasising the point that some of the most innovative and successful campaigns in recent years (the likes of Old Spice) have come from sectors not traditionally thought of as entertaining

Then it was time to hear from Simon Miles, Digital Director at Coca-Cola. His message was simple, “Be relevant and in context.”It is too often the case that the enormous possibilities offered by digital marketing can become overwhelming and this can lead to over complication and difficulty in making the right choices for your brand.

For Coca-Cola the emphasis must always be on the shopper and not the technology. Does your digital marketing make things faster, better and easier? He advised the room full of digital marketeers to “become a part of the conversation” use simple ideas but through the new digital channels.

Much like the pace of change in technology, the rise of digital marketing is exponential. After the talk I spoke with representatives from brands as wide ranging as IBM and Danone.

Most were genuinely inspired and for some like Sarah from Burberry there was a clear sense of “affirmation that the direction we are headed in is the right one”

The most effective way of measuring the success of the event came when Damian Ryan, the GADM chairman, returned to the stage and a show of hands revealed that most, if not all had been inspired with at least one useful idea as a result of the talks.

It just goes to show that when it comes to digital marketing, individuals, brands and agencies are not afraid of sharing their ideas and the increasing demand for events like GADMs FMCG day demonstrate that collaboration in the digital marketing industry is mixing things up and coming together to help each other innovate and see positive results.

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GADM to host FMCG event

Upfront is proud to partner with GADM, who will be hosting an exclusive Digital FMCG Breakfast at Google’s HQ London on September 30th.

Consumers are increasingly looking for services that tie in with their changing needs. How can FMCG marketers achieve this personalised and timely approach to digital campaigns, whilst also conveying their overall brand message?

FMCG and digital marketing experts, including Simon Miles, Digital Director at Coca-Cola Enterprises and keynote speaker David Black, Director of Branding, Google UK will share thoughts on key strategies that will help you bridge the gap between digital campaigns and physical sales. They will be joined by speakers from leading agencies Maynard Malone, Amobee and PrettyGreen who will be providing expert presentations.

This is an exclusive event for GADM members and industry VIPs. And with over 100 leading marketers set to attend, this will be a great opportunity to network and participate in the discussion around the future of FMCG marketing. Click here if you’d like to attend or interesting in getting involved in other GADM events.

Key Notes:

Registration and breakfast
Welcome by Damian Ryan, author of “Understanding Digital Marketing” and chairman of GADM
Simon Miles (Digital Director, Coca-Cola Enterprise) – presentation title TBC
Expert Presentation – Gavin Mackie (Head of Strategy,  Maynard Malone)
Expert Presentation – David Barker (SVP and Managing Director, EMEA,  Amobee)
Expert Presentation – Mark Stringer – (Founder and CEO of PrettyGreen)
David Black (Director of Branding, Google UK) – “Innovation at Google”
Panel Discussion and Q/A
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Figaro Digital Conference highlights

Upfront was proud to be a partner of last week’s Figaro Digital Summer conference. The event was a fantastic success with a really good turn out. The theme of the event was growth which is what Upfront is all about – and the quality of the presentations was spot on throughout the day.

A number of our clients were speaking, including a great presentation from Branded3 on content marketing; and the importance of making sure this is useful. And some great tips from Five by Five on how to become an unstoppable launch machine!

There were some great brands involved too – and we really enjoyed presentations from the likes of Coke, Ticketmaster, Dulux, Oxfam and  the Post Office. There were also some good tips from James Kirkham, Global Head of Social at Leo Burnett as to how to remain creative in a post ‘always on’ world. Click here to watch them.


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