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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

Jan 10, 2022

So here we are in 2022.

I’m not really one for resolutions, but there is something about a new year that makes me want to clear the decks, remove distractions and create a renewed sense of focus. A new notebook and a tidy Dropbox tend to help but I find data the most useful tool. Whether that’s marketing data, new business pipeline analysis or attributing the source of new client wins, good data removes emotion and really allows us to identify marginal gains.

With this in mind I wanted our first episode of the year to focus on agency performance data – and who better to talk to than The Wow Company.

This year, Wow launches the 10th annual BenchPress report, the largest survey of independent agencies in the UK, so I invited Rory Spence to join me to pick through a decade of statistics and uncover the insights that can give us confidence – or caution – for the year ahead.

Spoiler alert – you might need to increase your prices!

Whatever your agency plans are for this year I hope you are feeling refreshed, energised and inspired. Let’s make 2022 one to remember.

You can find all the previous BenchPress reports here and contribute to the 2022 report here.

Rory’s recommended read is I’m an Agency Owner, Get Me Out of Here by Jonathan Leafe.