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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

Dec 6, 2021

There has been much written on the subject of agency new business, but I’m not sure there has been a book which has resonated so deeply with agency founders and new business practitioners alike, as the Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns.

So as we come to the end of another extraordinary year and the final episode of 2021, I wanted to chat with Blair about his reflections on the Manifesto, over a decade from its publication and his outlook for the year ahead.

Do the proclamations set out in the book still apply in these altered economic times? And can we still gain traction with the value pricing approach in Pricing Creativity?

Join us as we explore the challenges and opportunities ahead, and tackle a few listener questions!

This episode marks the 5-year anniversary of Small Spark Theory. So a heartfelt thank you from me to all of the listeners and guests who have been along for the ride so far. We’ll be back in the New Year with more guests and more marginal gains. In the meantime wishing you all a wonderful festive break.  

Also mentioned in this episode


Four Regrets You’re About to Have

Win Without Pitching