3 Things An Ad Agency New Business Director Needs for Success

How ad agencies acquire new business has changed dramatically and that effects the knowledge and skills new business directors need to make it happen.

People who have done this job in the past are struggling. The tenure of a new business director is now two years or less. In a recent survey conducted by RSW/US, only 26% of new business directors were considered successful.

A 4A’s report sited that 90% of agency staff say they have to figure things out on their own due to the lack of training. This is especially true of those charged with business development.

I thought it would be helpful to share with you my thoughts on the Top Three Things A New Business Director Needs for Success, through Hubspot’s new Agency Expert Webinar Series. To be the first presenter for these new training sessions is an honor. We had over 900 agencies sign up.

Here’s my session on the top three things a new business director needs for success.

Here are some of the highlights of the strategies and tactics that make new business easier and more consistent.

  • Create a plan. If it’s not on your calendar it doesn’t exist.
  • Use the KISS principle. Keep your plan simple.
  • Set goals and objectives that are realistically achievable.
  • The biggest benefit of planning is knowing what to do every day.
  • Remember that a plan is just a plan until it’s implemented.
  • Every agency needs detailed methods and procedures.
  • Convert your plan into a game plan.
  • Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive.
  • “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson. Be prepared to revise and change.
  • The number one reason new business plans fail is a lack of discipline.
  • New business directors are like the rudder of a ship. They are responsible for keeping the process for new business moving even when the agency is busy.
  • Keep in mind that consistency is more important than perfection.
  • You are the one to maintain a focus for new business.
  • Leading new business at an agency is like herding cats. One of the best cat herding tools that I’ve used is Basecamp.
  • If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it.
  • Create a monthly new business report. Keep it to a single page.
  • Why is new business so tough? Agencies have no positioning. They look and sound just alike.
  • Agencies are afraid of positioning. All they can think about are possible missed opportunities.
  • A lack of positioning makes new business harder.
  • How to solve the problem of positioning. Create a platform for new business, a niche blog that lives offsite, specific to a highly defined target audience.
  • Small agencies can catch some really big fish. The riches are in the niches.
  • An example of a niche blog – Sound Marketing: Helping Music Brands Be Heard. www.sound-marketing.com.
  • Remember, social media is about people connecting with other people. Agencies try to lead with brick and mortar instead of people. Use your personal social media accounts to build an online community of prospects.
  • Community development should come before business development.
  • The battle for new business has moved online. Being found is now more important than chasing new business.
  • The person charged with new business is like the conductor of an orchestra. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done behind the scenes to keeping the program moving.

Email me at michael@michaelgass.com if you’d like a copy of my guide, Seven Steps for Fueling New Business Through Social Media.