How to make your agency stand out – be agile

On Tuesday 8th September, we held our fifth session in the The World of New Biz webinar series, which is sponsored by Just After Midnight. Joining us were three incredible panellists:

  • Anna Bravington, Digital and Community Engagement Manager at GAME
  • Sam Booth, CEO at Just After Midnight
  • Tish Mousell, Training Consultant

Our Founder, Katie Street lead the conversions to find out how agencies can stand out, what are brands looking for now and how important agility and creativity is in getting the attention of big brands.

Don’t market the mask

There is no getting away from Coronavirus and we’ve all seen numerous marketing activity that has included subtle nods or obvious statements about the changes that have happened in 2020 – but there’s a lot of fatigue going on.

Sam Booth, CEO at Just After Midnight, spoke about the importance of distinguishing between how things were and how things are without reminding people at every touchpoint about Covid.

“For the next little while at least there’s going to be this hybrid model, whatever we’re calling it, in terms of physical versus virtual contact. And we can do that without specifically talking about COVID”.

Anna highlighted that for GAME and other companies there have been opportunities for brands to connect people in new ways, and showcase that through their marketing. But to be careful that you’re not using the cliché’s of mask wearing etc that for large proportion of the UK with hidden disabilities would lead to them feeling alienated.

“Some people can’t wear masks, and if you start marketing too much towards the mask you’re alienating people when there’s already a stigma and people can’t wear masks and they’re being vilified.”

Top tips for giving a nod to Covid – without specifically mentioning it:

  • Highlight the positive aspects of Covid – there are some!
  • Avoid overused phrases, there are some really creative ways of acknowledging things are different without mentioning a ’new normal’


Coronavirus (sorry there’s no getting away from it) has changed the way brands work. Anna Bravington, Digital and Community Engagement Manager at GAME, gave some insight on how much the traditional playbook for research and timelines has become null and void.

“Brands like agencies that are quite agile they’re not stuck in one plan and not able to shift from that. Because at the moment out internal teams are shifting weekly on what we do just to keep up, so we need someone to go along with that and almost work with an agile methodology of two-week sprints.

Everyone agreed that being able to switch tactics quickly and react to the quickly evolving needs of a brand and their customers will lead to successful campaigns. Training Consultant, Tish Mousell, highlighted that whilst “the small sexy digital agencies have been far ahead of the big, perhaps more lumbering agencies but I think this has been a massive opportunity for everybody becoming more agile.”

Top tips for agile

  • Work outside of your comfort zone, everything is changing all of the time don’t be afraid to try something different to see if it works
  • Start small, don’t go for the big-ticket projects look at proof of concepts instead of long-term projects and if it works roll out larger scale projects off the back of it

Engage your prospects

With all of our webinars, creating an engaged prospect has been key and in this one in particular the lovely Tish shared some brilliant tips we’ve not heard before which then inspired more conversation about how to engage and hopefully avoid webinar fatigue – these are lengthy tips but all brilliant:

5-minute rule

You can’t talk at people for more than 5 minutes – you have to have something that will get and keep people involved.

Look into my eyes

You wouldn’t be in a physical pitch and stare at the carpet so look through your camera to meet the eyes of your audience (this feels weird at first but you soon forget that).

Speak to everyone

On one call you may have creatives and business people that often don’t speak the same language – make it easy for them to understand what you’re saying and where the benefit is for them. Make sure they understand that you’ve picked up on their individual needs and have taken the time to include them in your messages.

Use social media to showcase

This one is from Anna, great content attracts! As we spend more time on social media having really engaging content on LinkedIn or Twitter gets you on the radar for brands who may not need you now but will need you for future projects.

Physical meetings

If you don’t need to necessarily travel a long way to meet people, all parties are comfortable, and you can arrange a meeting that respects social distancing measures, now the right time to ask people if they want to grab a coffee. It could be great for getting some time back as a 3-hour attention draining webinar could be a 1 hour creative-blooming chat.

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

The New World of New Biz webinars take place on the first Tuesday of every month at 11am, you can sign up here to join the next one.

You can also hear more from our speakers in our podcast, Word on the Street podcast:

And make sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss out on future episodes!

By Michaela Dudfield
16th September 2020
4 minute read