Fish where the fish are…

Fish where the fish are…

Having spent almost three decades on building independent and international advertising, direct and digital agencies, driving business development and new business – I would like to share some of my business philosophies and how to succeed in new business, driving revenue, improving EBITDA and strategic thinking in 2017.

In fact, after recently reading in Ad Age magazine, I was stunned to read the following comment – Nearly two-thirds of leading U.S. advertisers are planning for creative agency reviews in the next year, according to a new report.’ Plus, ‘Almost as many, 64%, will review media shops, and 61% are prepping to review digital agencies’

I think the most important point in this article is always focus on the areas with the greatest potential to win new business. “Fish where the fish are”. This is the fastest, most cost efficient and effective manner to grow and improve profitability. Additionally, make sure you also try several fishing spots to test your lists, offer, creative and timings. AND, have the ‘mindset’, that wherever the fish are, that’s where I go and recommend you do to.

Although the Director of Business Development role is not charged with growing existing clients in many cases, it is proven that it is 5 to 9 times more expensive to win a “new client” than to cross sell and or upgrade existing clients. Therefore, I propose going forward, we have Quarterly management brainstorming sessions to “brainstorm” new ideas/concepts to assist existing clients grow and prosper AND, cross-sell with a priority.

Chemistry wins new business. It’s not the creative that wins, or the strategic planning or even the great interactive tactics – it is the chemistry. So, talk, meet and spend as much time in face-to-face situations, meeting and networking.

Marketers today, more than any other time in history are demanding, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and data that are the underpinnings of a strong formal marketing/advertising relationship because it offers marketers and brands, transparency into strengths or weaknesses based on facts rather than complaints.

Always, target the low hanging fruit – e.g. cross sell and upgrading existing clients, cross-selling clients/brands in sister offices/network, network with ex, network with senior staff and partners, etc.

The most successful agencies and business in 2017 will all do these three things exceptionally:

  • Build a client retention culture 
  • Make sure management team knows how to maintain a strong bond with clients
  • Upgrade their account team(s) and help them manage the relationship with clients, not try to control clients. But, always adding extra value.

A few more tips for a super success in 2017:

  • More Press Releases on account wins, creative awards, breakthrough creative and media campaigns, senior appointments, research your Agency/Company has performed, etc.
  • Business Development regularly emailing databases of prospects interesting research, account wins, etc. This emailing “sows the seeds” and creates top of mind awareness
  • Speak at Conferences, trade-shows, industry events or write and put out white papers.
  • Ensure you develop and use ‘buyer personas’ and get your clients to approve and agree.
  • Always build and set a New Business Development Directors compensation plan from day one to orient their focus and direction to ensure greater success.

I also think you MUST differentiate your agency or company immediately, and highlight what makes you critical, unique and a leader.

Today, I see too many agencies or consultancies fighting to fill these four generic profiles in the ‘traditional’ agency space.

The four broad categories are:

  1. The Agency – “We’re Full Service”
  2. The Process – “We Understand Your Customer”
  3. The Work – “We create customer experiences. Our campaigns are fully integrated.
  4. The Results – “We provide solutions”

If you want to catch more fish, fish where the fish are today and now! 

If you are serious about your new business results in 2017, contact me now as developing and implementing the perfect new business strategy and plan.

Contact me directly at: or via Twitter at:  0r hit me on skype: gdeweaver

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