Last week, we sent our brilliant new Marketing Exec, Anna Ker, to a new business conference held by The Drum. Here's the lowdown from Anna:
As the newest addition to W+K’s Marketing Department, I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend The Drum’s inaugural ‘Brief Encounters’ conference last Thursday, which promised to help create ‘more happy endings for the new business process’. Armed with my notebook, pen and pinstriped blazer, I crossed town to join over a hundred other marketing professionals for a day of discussion and debate on prospecting and pitching, led by UK industry leaders.
With sessions titled ‘What Clients Really Want’, ‘Best Practice Post Pitch Feedback’, and ‘Growing Faster by Doing Less’, presented by speakers from McCann, We Are Social, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, the day provided much food for thought, including the following insights:
- First, know thyself. The pitch process should spring from a solid knowledge of agency identity, strengths and culture.
- Next, know who you’re looking for. Having a clear set of criteria for the kinds of clients you want to work with will drastically increase your chances of attracting them.
- Then be inventive when prospecting. Forget email – the best kind of attention is gained through having a clear point of view, and getting that across in an original way.
- Rethink your creds. Awards and global maps of agency offices are nice, but tailoring your creds deck to what the client needs is crucial.
- Don’t be shy. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Showing genuine enthusiasm for the client’s business, and the desire to work with them, is essential to gaining their respect.
[Tom Ollerton from We Are Social ponders the question 'To Pitch or Not to Pitch?' Photo by Richard Draycott.]
Overall, I came away from the conference with several follow-up questions, a few more connections, and the feeling of having consolidated everything I have learnt about new business during my first six weeks at W+K.
A happy ending to an exciting beginning indeed.