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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

Mar 13, 2023

The recent acquisition of new business agency Future Factory by their leading competitor Ingenuity has been headline news in the new biz community. For me it was the perfect opportunity for a long overdue catch up with co-founder Alex Sibille.

In this episode we discuss the expanded new business and marketing services offered by this combined new business powerhouse, Alex reflects on how new business performance has fared through changing economic conditions and shares insights and best practice for agencies either looking to hire a new business agency or undertake their own outreach activity.

Just to mix things up, this month we don’t have a book recommendation, but instead, content to follow on LinkedIn, specifically Tina Fegent and her weekly #TinaTells posts.

Also mentioned in the episode are Future Factory training courses and our previous conversations on the pod in EP24: The new business email and EP5: Lead generation.

This episode is sponsored by E2M, the #1 white label digital agency partner. Visit to enjoy 20% discount on your first month.