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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

Jul 1, 2022

Over recent episodes we've been taking a deep dive into some very specific elements of agency marketing and prospecting. 

We revisited agency positioning with Roland Gurney at Treacle, really got to grips with thought leadership with Mark Wellings at Grist and in the last episode on relationships, Trenton Moss talked about the prospect communities he created and how they translated into billing clients. 

So for this episode I wanted to showcase an agency founder who has brought all of these elements together to really demonstrate how ANY agency can implement these ideas. 

Kelly Molson is co-founder of Rubber Cheese  a web development agency focussed on supporting the visitor attractions sector. We talk about the road to specialisation and positioning, and how immersing yourself in the challenges of your audience builds community, grows relationship, and in turn, your new business pipeline. 

For anyone who has found the strategies we discuss on this podcast interesting but perhaps inaccessible - maybe due to a perceived lack of time, resource or confidence, I urge you to listen to this episode and take inspiration from Kelly's experience. 

Kelly's recommended read is the evergreen How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. We will of course be giving away a copy - listen in to find out how to win. 

For any visitor attraction owners or marketers listening, you can access the Rubber Cheese Visitor Attraction Website Survey here

Want to see how you can refine your new business strategy? Contact Lucy.