Having grown up in a family with both my parents pioneers in the US Direct Response and Marketing Industry, and having watched and learned all about the benefits, strategies and tactics used to increase response levels, pinpoint target audiences, use of compelling OFFERS, selecting the best lists and using the most cost-effective media as well as having great creative delivered at the best time.

I sure understood the importance of always tracking, monitoring and analyzing results from every inbound or outbound campaign.

BUT, before I start to explore even more and deeper, I just wanted to clearly define the terms: inbound marketing and outbound marketing first.

Here are my definitions for both:

1. Inbound marketing, which is less costly and provides two-way interaction with customers, is proving to be an effective way to generate customer leads and increase sales. Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and more.2. Outbound marketing tends to find consumers by using advertising, and the marketers don’t aim to educate consumers. Outbound marketing refers to things like: cold emails, cold calls, billboards, print ads, radio ads etc. These are traditional methods that, thanks to increased saturation and changing consumer habits, are not as effective as they used to be.

Over the past 10-15 years, many savvy marketers are quickly coming to the realization that the age of outbound marketing, which traditionally included TV and ads (DRTV), direct mail, and telemarketing, has been declining in many industries, primarily because ‘smarter marketers’ have been shifting their marketing dollars to online marketing programs to improve their ROI and increase their effectiveness and cost-efficiency.

Additionally, many of the younger, more tech literate Advertising Agencies and Consultancies even budget to spend on social media and blogs and now say their company blog are ‘critical’ or ‘important’ to their business. Importantly, the better agencies today acquire customers through their LinkedIn accounts and company blogs. Facebook and Twitter are highly used and recommended too. I personally believe, the best Advertising, Digital, PR and Communications Agencies all understand that ‘content is king.’

I am here to tell you the winners in New Business, Growth and Leadership will be the TOP 1% who understand, success in 2018 is all about – always having a “full pipeline” of both inbound and outbound new business leads – 24/7/365 in 2018.

As I have often stated before, most ‘creative’ and ‘brand’ agencies still have the belief that a ‘Great Agency Showreel’, is the best tool for winning New Business.

This 1970’s attitude still seems to be commonplace and is why most of the major groups have been losing revenues and opportunities in this ‘Digital, Mobile and Social Media Era’. This is NOT an effective inbound marketing program in 2018 and beyond!

The days of hoping clients will call you directly about needing Agency help are long gone! BUT, I am still stunned when I hear Agencies in New York City are still waiting around for their phones to ring!

Don’t kick off in January 2018 for a few months or going into a full press after losing a highly valued account or brand mid-year. Its critical you focus on GROWTH and New Business now. Importantly, the best New Business and Growth Experts will all tell you success today is all about: CONSISTENCY, NECESSITY, FOCUS, HAVING DETERMINATION, PRODUCTIVITY, PASSION and the ability to GRIND HARD UNTIL COMPLETION.

How to immediately improve your inbound and outbound new business pipelines:

1. Exploit social media marketing (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, LinkedIn,YouTube, etc.) to push out more Press Releases on account wins, creative awards, breakthrough creative and media campaigns, senior appointments, and highlight all major research that agency has performed, etc. Video is highly effective too. 

‘In 2018, we’re moving towards more live videos and video content on social media and adapting our approach to be less ‘in-your-face’ and more subtle to acquire conversions.’ ~ Geoff De Weaver 

2. Business Development must regularly email databases of prospects interesting research, account wins, etc. This emailing “sows the seeds”and creates top of mind awareness again for the agency/company.

3. Speak at Conferences locally, nationally and internationally every opportunity you get! And, capitalize on the Agency website and blog weekly.

4. Prospects are looking for results and expertise. An inbound approach allows you to establish a positioning of expertise quickly. This kind of positioning allows you to charge a higher premium.

5. I have even found, an inbound approach allows you to control the agency/client relationship from the start. When a targeted prospective client calls on you, the ‘dynamic’ of the relationship is far different than if you’re chasing them.

6. Build an ‘A-Level’ highly targeted prospect list. Establish selection criteria and use your experience, passion and research. I must reiterate, it is vital to consistently update, rinse and review all your contacts as approximately 20%- 25% of your marketing database change as they move from one company to another, opt-out of your email communication, or abandon that old AOL address. So, consistently wash, rinse and clean your lists. 

7. Inbound marketing is great for all agencies in 2018 because over 90% of all people look online and do research before all major purchases. So, the Internet plays an important role in determining where a client decides to take their business. If someone looking for information finds it on your website, they are going to be more likely to get in touch. 75% of B2B buyers finding buying more convenient online too! 

According to Adobe, email has an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent. That beats organic search and paid search combined!

8. The most successful Ad Agencies in 2018 will combine both inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. For example, using email marketing lists that you’ve built organically and your company social media profiles to send out trade show booth invitations and RSVPs ahead of an upcoming trade show is a great example of the lethal combination! Additionally, this is a must in 2018 – monitor social media profiles of brands or companies you meet at trade shows to collect intelligence and provide clues for when you should follow up by phone, like around an acquisition or round of funding.

I’ve always thought that there are three types of desirable clients: Those that pay well (that means they are profitable); those who demand great work; those who are famous and enhance your reputation. Luckily, over the years, I’ve had clients like: IBM, Unilever, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, E*Trade and P&G had all three!

On new business, leadership and just being successful in life, I have always stated:

‘Today’s Winners and Leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem & 95% of their time on the solution. E.g. winning more business and driving more revenue into the company. The best of the best, just get over the problems and issues and crush it daily. End of Story. ‘

Besides having both your inbound and pipelines fully functioning every week of the year in 2018, I would additionally like to say you must always develop plans that include a plan to build a Growth of New Business Plan or System that finds you targeted new leads including:

  • Hire specialist PR Group. This is great for growing awareness BUT, not as effective for building trust, loyalty or building long-term relationship.
  • Constantly monitor all company Mergers, Takeovers, major new appointments, company restructures, supplier reviews, IPO’s, International Expansions, all financial news and more
  • Successful new business companies in 2018 will have all incorporate HR, Finance, New Business, IT and Marketing into the New Business Development platform.
  • I am a huge believer of building deep and meaningful relationships with top tier Management Consultants like: Select Resources International, Pile and Company, AAR Partners, The Bedford Group, Ark Advisors, Hasan + Co. and others.

Most of these mentioned are very good and have a deep understanding of the ‘players’ in the market and all, have a deep understanding of Agency Search, Agency Performance Evaluation, Agency Compensation, Organizational Consulting, Executive Search and more. This is a must today!

I would like to highlight the critical importance of building and consolidating on every piece of business you currently have and hold. Nothing is more important than loving them tightly and immensely – just like going on your first date or when you first get married.

You must never become a ‘Revolving Door Agency or Partner’. This has been the single biggest sin for many major Multinational Agencies over many decades!

Conclusion: Having been personally involved in New Business and Agency Growth for most of my 25 year career, I know new business is highly complicated, always changing and evolving and too important not to plan for, generate a business plan, set up systems to automate and get results. Generate a steady stream of qualified leads is the ‘lifeblood’ of any successful New Business or Growth program.

Would you like help combining inbound and outbound marketing to get a steady stream of leads? I’m happy to have a first conversation to see how this might work for your business!

If you recognize you need to upgrade or revise your existing strategies or plans for 2018, please reach out and call me today. Isn’t it time you had an established ‘rainmaker’ helping you become even more successful and have a full business pipeline in 2018.


More About Geoff De Weaver:

Since 1985, Geoff has helped pioneer the use of inbound/outbound marketing, content marketing strategies, leadership, digital, PR, innovation and social media marketing specifically for agency new business.

Geoff is one of the Advertising & Digital industry’s leading agency New Business Thought Leaders. His extensive cross-cultural expertise spans five continents, multiple languages and hundreds of companies. 

Geoff can also access hard to reach brands and clients, fully examine and target your exact needs and requirements in all channels. I can even pitch on your behalf and happily be the extension to your company’s new business team.

Proven, in-depth expertise in Internet Marketing, leadership development, organization design, performance management, training, ideation process and communications. Areas of focus are leadership, innovation, agency profit and loss, global business development and executive coaching. 

Give me a call and let me show you a better way, +61 411 224 961 or send me an email:


Global Brand Management & Operations, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Advertising, Sales, Training, New Business, Consulting, Management, Strategic Planning, Leadership Coaching, High Performance, Team Building, Operations, Developing Strategic Business Development & Marketing Plans and Ad Agency Growth.




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