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Small Spark Theory: a marginal gains approach to new business and marketing

New business is one of those subjects guaranteed to get a reaction from agency owners everywhere. Many will have a nagging feeling they should be doing a bit more, wonder how other agencies manage to land the accounts they covet, have moments of wild inspiration and energy then falter because the day job just, well gets in the way.
Gunpowder’s Lucy Mann has worked in agency new business for over 25 years and has witnessed these scenarios, and many more like them, as an outsourced new business telemarketer, a new business recruitment consultant, in house new business developer, in house head of marketing, and new business mentor across multiple disciplines and agency shapes and sizes.
Regardless of size and discipline, many agencies encounter the same new business challenges, and more and more, the solution is not necessarily an ambitious marketing plan, or expensive sales resource, but instead a forensic application of process and a marginal gains approach to performance improvement.
Gunpowder’s podcast, Small Spark Theory® explores the small changes we can make to our sales and marketing process to achieve better new business results. With contributions from a range of experts, each episode will examine a single element of the process in detail, providing manageable tips for improvement.

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Music from Jukedeck - create your own at
Host - Lucy Mann
Producer - Isabelle Jarvis

Mar 13, 2023

The recent acquisition of new business agency Future Factory by their leading competitor Ingenuity has been headline news in the new biz community. For me it was the perfect opportunity for a long overdue catch up with co-founder Alex Sibille.

In this episode we discuss the expanded new business and marketing services...

Feb 5, 2023

Any regular listeners to this podcast will know that I love agencies. I have a deep fascination for the dynamics of what are often small businesses, almost always servicing larger organisations and adapting to the continually shifting sands of markets, consumer behaviour, the economy, competitors – and of course,...

Jan 11, 2023

How do you feel about the year ahead? Confident? Concerned? Uncertain?

Wherever you are on this spectrum, one thing we must be, is ready

I particularly like the work that Steve Parks does at Convivio because he focuses heavily on the macro issues facing clients and prospects and encourages agency leaders to use this...

Dec 4, 2022

Whichever way we cut it, 2022 has been A LOT.

The last few years have seen so much change; for individuals, businesses and our industry. Many of us are still adapting. Whether we are recalibrating, reinventing, surviving or thriving, we’re doing it all against a backdrop of relentless economic and political turmoil and...

Nov 7, 2022

It’s been a little while since we had a client perspective on this podcast, and given the current economic wobbles, now feels like an excellent time to remedy this.

So I’m delighted to share this conversation with Gareth Turner. Having enjoyed a stellar marketing career with brands such as Johns Smith’s, Bulmers...