The pandemic shift – the importance of partnerships and collaboration

In May we launched Street’s new webinar series The New World of New Business to help agency owners and those responsible for new business and marketing with ideas on how to cut through the noise.

Street Agency | The New World of New Biz Webinars

Each month we are joined by three panellists, two from agency side and one from a brand, this allows us to have different views and perspectives and help drive ideas for our audience during the discussion.

Joining us for the first event in our new series we had:

  • Our wonderful client, still smashing it and getting lots of opportunities in Jamie Willey Business Development Director Tribal Worldwide London.
  • The incredibly inspirational Linda Davidson previously Head of Digital at The Jamie Oliver Group and EastEnders star Mary The Punk, now Leading Tech, Ops and Transformation for one of the world’s biggest agencies.
  • And to give a brands POV Kenny Hyslop, the awesome Head of Marketing at Pernod Ricard.

The panellists were joined by our founder Katie Street, who grilled them on how things have changed since the pandemic, what tried and tested methods have worked as well as tips for virtual pitches.

Pandemic shift

Katie said we’ve experienced 4 stages since the pandemic,

  • Shock – a lot of change happening at one, disbelief, and suddenly all working from home
  • Adaption – starting to think about what needs to change in this new reality, and respond to customers’ needs
  • Rebirth – how do you make up losses, monetise what you can, revisit your marketing (quickly)
  • New world – is your offer still relevant? And understanding to your customers’ needs

Katie also mentioned that the “tactical changes that people need to make are going through much more quickly and clients still have budget but have just moved it”. Clients need to adapt and change, and agencies need to be strategic but need to act quickly for their clients. Katie also suggested that you need to remember what your customers’ needs are and map back to this, however your customer’s needs may have changed, so you might need to revisit your value proposition.

Business Development Director Tribal Worldwide London, Jamie Willey said “Marketing has had to shift, original plans went ahead but the engagement on those campaigns didn’t do as well as the campaigns we’ve quickly developed”. Jamie also mentioned that strategy and the longer-term view is the number one priority for clients so agencies need to pitch at this level for clients.

Linda is responsible for operation transformations rather than generating new business but has been very busy solving solutions for their clients.

Kenny Hyslop, Head of Marketing at Pernod Ricard, said that 25% of customers closed instantly overnight having a huge effect on P&L, however consumption of alcohol is on the increase though due to the pandemic.

Tried and tested methods

Katie asked the panellists what tried and tested methods have worked over the past few weeks since the pandemic:

  • Doing research
  • Having conversations with clients and understanding their challenges
  • Identifying the destroyed spend and delayed spend
  • Managing pipeline accordingly to sustain success in new business
  • Focusing on long term strategic relationships rather than short term
  • The need to work on your pipeline to be front of mind for when clients looking for a new agency partner in 6/12 months’ time

Kenny shared the best approached he’s had from agencies are the ones who approach him with solutions that are relevant now e.g. ecommerce.

Linda suggested not sending insights to clients cold, “you need to communicate with the brand first”.

Everyone was in agreement that agencies should “solve not sell”, this was a running theme during the webinar. Don’t send cold emails, send something of interest that will help them e.g an invite, a piece of research, a podcast etc.

Partnerships and collaboration

The panel discussed how important collaboration and partnerships are,

Jamie spoke about the opportunity to collaborate, “for the last 3-4 weeks I have been collaborating on opportunities with other agencies around my network, we’re now sharing pipelines and collaborative pitches”. Making for a much better culture working together and has helped cashflow, but it’s a skill and you have to invest time.

Katie discussed how partnerships are important, and you have to commit to it, whether it’s tech partnerships, other agencies etc. Katie also talked about the networks that are available to people such as BIMA, Pimento, and The Drum.

Virtual pitch tips

It’s no surprise the virtual pitches are now a thing, and they are going to be with us for a long time if not indefinitely with it saving money on travel expenses. The panel suggested the following tips for pitching digitally:

  • Be prepared for these types of meetings
  • Invite the right people to the pitch!
  • Use technology to your advantage, make your content more dynamic
  • Make use of personalisation capabilities
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with the platform you’re using
  • Keep slides light
  • Don’t write lots of content, use it to guide you through
  • Rehearse and be prepared
  • Practice, this leads to more a slicker presentation
  • Be empathic as some people can be nervous so be there to pick the ball up if they drop it
  • Encourage the clients to keep their video on so you can try and read the room

Final thoughts

Katie delivered some closing thoughts for the audience:

“It’s more important than ever to make sure you notice the opportunities when they arise, and don’t wait, start to get ready for a post pandemic world now! Do everything you can to come out stronger.”

If you weren’t able to make it or you’d like to watch it back, here’s the video:

Katie asked the audience to take part in a poll during the session, asking the following questions:

  • How many new business opps have you had this past month?
  • What sales and marketing activity have you been focused on in the last month?
  • Where are you seeing your success/ where are your leads coming from?
  • What training are you most interested in?

Each month we go through the answers from the previous poll results, so join us next month if you can!

The New World of New Biz webinars are held on the first Tuesday of each month on Zoom at 11am, click the link to join us.

Street Agency | The New World of New Biz Webinars

By Katie Street
20th May 2020
4 minute read