It is absolutely essential that agencies have a plan for their new business development initiatives.
I recently spoke to a group of ad agency owners. I was amazed to learn that none of them had a written new business plan. That’s inconceivable to me. If you have no plan you can’t measure what you’re doing, there’s no real strategy behind your new business activities, no focus or direction.
“He who fails to plan, is planning to fail” – Winston Churchill
If you want to build a consistent pipeline for lead generation and new business opportunities for your agency you must have a game plan in place.
Here are my 10 tips for creating a game plan for your agency’s new business:
- It might be a helpful exercise to create a SWOT analysis of your agency: it’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Set realistic new business goals. I can’t tell you how often I hear “our goal is to take the agency to the next level,” but they have no clue what that level is or what it looks like. In my opinion new business goals should be obtainable.
- If your goal is to double your RFP responses or double your pitches, you also must have the processes in place to handle the additional workload if those things are to come to fruition.
- Identify your top category and audience you are going to target. You must have an identifiable target.
- Know who is your primary competition and create a strong point of differentiation from them.
- Follow the KISS method. Keep everything simple as possible including the plan. A one page plan can easily suffice.
- Outline the new business plan through specific strategies: Public Relations, Social Media, Direct Mail, Digital, etc.
- Establish benchmarks for the things you can measure. Have a review, update, make changes and refocus your efforts once a month.
- Use a program such as Basecamp, an excellent, inexpensive online tool to help implement your plan. Set milestone dates, create an actionable To-Do List for keeping track of who is doing, what, when, etc.
- The person charged with new business should be empowered to implement the plan as if this was one of your agency’s client accounts. The new business person must be like a rudder of a ship to keep the process moving in the same direction, no matter how the wind is blowing.
Additional agency new business articles that may be of interest:
- Ad Agencies: Three Things a New Business Director Needs for Success
- 10 Advantages When Ad Agencies Focus New Business Efforts on Their “Sweet Spot”
- Add A Fact Sheet for Ad Agency New Business
- The Changing Role of Ad Agency Rainmakers
- 6 Practical Tips for Ad Agency RFP Responses