– James Walls, Ecommerce and Digital Marketing Manager at Osprey Europe
– Jonathan Sands OBE, Owner and Vexillifer at Elmwood
– Holly Hall, Managing Director at BIMA
– Bam Bam Clause – not currently on LinkedIn
The importance of understanding the changes in agency and client needs
Holly kicked off the conversation by pulling out some amazing stats from the BIMA state of the nation report to help agencies and clients of all sizes better navigate the next 6-12 months, you can read the full report here but the headlines were:
For smaller agencies the data showed that a lot of work was going into pitches but they weren’t necessarily being won so make sure you’re qualifying those pitches and also take care of the mental wellbeing in the team.
Do your research
To many agencies try and get into a pitch situation without really knowing enough about the business, James talked us through his common sense top tips for things that simply have to be done before trying to get into a pitch to save time
The essence of good business development is keeping relationships alive and being understanding of the needs of the client. Jonathon commented that given that most of us are working from home and interacting largely over video it’s probably the easiest time for business development as that window into someone’s home gives you an opportunity to learn about your client as a human being instead of a person in a corporate setting.
A lot of brands are making social purpose and sustainability part of their brand purpose as part of your research look into what is important to that brand, are they working with a charity, and can you show that your values align with those of your client.
Webinar etiquette and building relationships
Now this one got the chat buzzing! What is and isn’t appropriate and Jonathan commented that to get it right you need to balance the real you and the professional you
✅ Comment on something in the background to help create a relationship – you may find a shared hobby, interest or opinion
✅ Laugh off some of the weird and wonderful things that happen at home, from doorbells, workmen and teenage tantrums
✅ There’s nothing wrong with a greenscreen if you need a better background than your homework offers you. And, if you are using a green screen can you personalise it to your client?
❌ Eating, especially if you’re not on mute!
❌ Messy backgrounds as you’re looking into someone else’s home they are looking into yours, don’t let them be distracted by an unmade bed or a mountain of laundry.
❌ Do your best to remain professional even with all of the distractions – especially if you’re in a pitch.
How do you get the attention?
James gave Katie his top tips to cut through the dozens of emails a day he gets and as much as he would love to read and reply to them all that’s would be a full-time job!
✅ Solid subject line – nothing extreme, but not dull
✅ Include links to relevant case studies
✅ Clearly communicate what makes you different
❌ Obvious template
❌ Gimmicks can be OK, but don’t focus on them
Don’t pitch and ditch
Katie James and Holly all touched on the need to keep nurturing your audience, with events, insights and content to keep them engaged and keep you front of mind. James mentioned that word of mouth will cut through the noise of lead generation emails because there’s trust and a maintained relationship.
Katie urged all agencies to get their content plans together for 2021. If you haven’t got decent marketing content and you’re not finding a reason to speak to your audience someone else will be and your potential clients will be listening to them instead.
Networking at events, yes even virtual ones, will really help you to win new business, before you show how you can help them solve the problem, they have you need to have already built that relationship.
WIBSCAT – not a typo
Jonathan talked us through an experiment he ran with his team to look back at all of the pitches they had over a 2-year period and as a result he identified 7 things you have to do every time to win a pitch and it’s WIBSCAT – he gave us an insight into 5 of those 7 must-dos
Cheerful and charming
You’ll have to listen to the podcast he’s on with Katie to find out what the A and T stand for! Elmwood also have a pitch panel to make sure that WIBSCAT is part of every pitch before they go to a client to test that each of the 7 ingredients are included.
If you want to watch the full webinar here’s the recording:
We’ll be back in 2021 with a brand new series and we want to hear what you’d like to learn more about – drop our founder, Katie Street an email with your suggestions.