We are currently living in unprecedented times.
Covid-19 has caused the worst economic dip for at least a century and the effects of this disruption are being felt across the entire planet.
For some agency owners, this difficult environment may have them thinking that the best thing to do is focus solely on their existing client base and cut back on their sales costs. However, now is actually the time when it is vital to build a strong new business pipeline.
Week after week we are hearing about more household name companies laying off staff or going into administration. There will be a lot of agencies losing key client accounts through no fault of their own.
But, conversely other market sectors will see growth as people adapt to “the new normal.”
Many companies and brands will be looking to diversify and/or innovate to win new customers and fill gaps in the market. Agencies with their fingers on the pulse will be in the best position to reap the rewards of this.
Whilst lockdown (and its subsequent easing) has seen vast changes in the way people are managing their businesses, we know from our own experience that there are still opportunities and briefs being picked up by our clients week after week.
Spending a bit of time and effort on researching current market trends would not go amiss at a time like this, particularly if your existing target market is stagnant.
To use just one example, a recent blog of ours looked at factors to consider when engaging with senior marketing prospects that are working at home.
With this in mind, it is essential to have a robust contact management strategy in place for lead generation. Are you calling the right people at the right time? Are you ensuring you follow up all leads and callbacks effectively? A decent database or CRM system can help massively with this and when used correctly will be a worthwhile investment if your current methods could do with an upgrade.
You will need to be particularly pro-active at this time to keep up momentum on your new business campaign. Just because a lot of senior marketers are working from home, it doesn’t mean they are uncontactable. One school of thought is that they may actually have less distractions than in the office and our own experience has shown we are still able to contact these decision makers whilst they are working remotely to discuss their marketing plans.
Prior to March this year, it would be the norm for an agency chasing new business to meet in person with a potential client to discuss a project. However, lockdown has seen a massive surge in people using video conferencing platforms. One positive outcome from this is that it enables you to expand the geographical regions you would usually target (without incurring travel costs or time). So now is an opportune time to cast the net wider when working on your lead generation strategy.
Look at any points of difference you may have against your competitors. What could you offer a potential client that their incumbent doesn’t? Whether that is simply a cost reduction (which may well be a factor in the current climate), technological innovation or a brand new way of doing things with proven results you should exploit these themes as much possible.
Structure, focus and tenacity are three key elements that all agencies need to keep in mind as they navigate the situation we all face at the moment.
Don’t take your eye of the new business prize!