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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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Host - Lucy Mann
Producer - Isabelle Jarvis

Jun 3, 2024

Small Spark Theory has always been about a mindset. When I started this podcast back in 2017 I wanted to harness the marginal gains thinking that was and still is, so prevalent in elite sport and apply it to an altogether different kind of winning - agency new business.

So when I heard Serotonin Co-Founder Clair...

May 5, 2024

Early on in my agency career I often used to hear the expression 'great creative work will sell itself', and its close cousin 'do great work and the clients will come'. Of course we know that in reality, certainly for the majority, these things are rarely true, but I'm still surprised by the number of agencies I meet...

Apr 8, 2024

Over the recent months, I have observed how agencies have been experiencing the impact of economic uncertainty - including the stalling of client decision-making, frozen budgets, disappearing pipelines, and everything in between.

In their recent BenchPress report, The Wow Company described last year as 'brutal'...

Mar 3, 2024

Over recent episodes we’ve referenced many of the macro issues facing brands which have in turn slowed down or stalled new business opportunities for agencies. 

But there’s an elephant in the room that we’ve yet to address; the growing trend of clients deciding to bring creative resource in-house. 

In this episode...

Feb 5, 2024

EP85:  Changing perception | Steve Garside | TMW           

Have you ever felt that your agency is pigeonholed by clients and prospects as being a specialist in just one thing, where in reality you have so much more to offer?

Of course being seen as a specialist of any kind is a generally a good thing – we have many...