Is it the role of the agency New Business Director?
Why the poor performance? Two-thirds of agencies feel that their new business execs don’t have a solid methodology, while a quarter of respondents said their business development leaders don’t understand the agencies they’re selling.
Noreen O’Leary of AdWeek (Archive) has written that the tenure for the role is one with a very short shelf life if less than two years and is very stressful. This limited and single dimensional view of new business fails to address the broader, more important issues.
New business is not about a person or a job title. It is an attitude. And a business attitude.
The most successful operators embrace the all the requirements across the business, and don’t view new business development as a task solely for a single individual or team. New business encompasses authority, responsibility and delivery.
Every single agency employee is responsible for new business and the new business lead, alongside with the management team, creates the environment where this individual scope and depth of this responsibility is fully understood – be it in the recruitment process to internal employee comms. This collective responsibility works best when the agency management team reinforces the internal view that new business is as much attitudinal as it is an assigned a job role. Agencies get together for pitches, as they get together for the wins. The best agency people (and not just agency size) deliver when all individuals deliver against their assigned responsibilities.
To illustrate the roles and responsibilities, agencies need to consider all points of interaction. And this is broad. Front of house equates to user journey and user experience. How is a client managed when visiting the agency or calls the switchboard? The agency digital footprint and content should be both consistent and optimised – just as an agency would do for a client. The creative, planning and client service teams all provide valuable insights and market intelligence for new business.
The agency new business director role is neither dangerous nor always destined to be a short term stint. Clients value stability and the road to conversion can be a long one, so meticulous business planning, agency employee engagement, positioning of the role, agency management involvement and then delivery all play an integral part of success – these require the right attitude and not the wrong focus on a single job title.
Navigating the emerging landscape
#typed notes explores the emerging landscape from an insiders perspective, commenting on futurology, social media, brand planning and anthropology. And inspiration
He is Founding Partner at Metropolis Partners