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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

Sep 8, 2022

The theme for this series has always been to explore how we can use a marginal gains thinking to improve agency new business and marketing performance.

That said, I’m conscious that in some episodes, when we do a deep dive into a particular element of new business and marketing mix, our reference to marginal gains may seem a little abstract.

So with September upon us and in keeping with that ‘back to school’ vibe, I wanted to dedicate an episode to practical examples of how this marginal gains thinking can deliver tangible results.

Joining me for this conversation is Joe Perkins, founder and MD of Chaptr. Joe started working through Gunpowder’s New Business & Marketing Bootcamp with me back in 2020 and shares his experience of the warts and all process and his top tips for applying this approach to performance improvement.

As always we have a book giveaway - Joe’s recommended read is Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord. Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn using #smallsparktheory for your chance to win a copy.

Also mentioned in this episode:

Agency Collective

Agency Hackers

Agency Local

The Trussell Trust New Business Trouble Shoot