There’s been a lot being written about the recession and its impact on marketing, and whether or not to invest in new business development if you’re a marketing or creative communications agency.
I can only write about what we’re experiencing here at Alchemis, a business development consultancy with over 23 years experience in this marketplace.
Yes, the market’s tougher than it’s been for years; yes, it’s more difficult to get through to decision makers and yes, it’s more difficult to convert these decision maker conversations into good quality appointments. However, when we do set up a meeting for our clients, there is a reason for the meeting and the prospect is genuinely interested in what our clients have to offer.
Our experience at the moment is that prospects are looking for quicker, more cost effective and more creative and innovative routes to market and are therefore prepared to meet with small-medium sized agencies in particular, and with any agency who can demonstrate a flexible and pragmatic approach to problem solving.
This agency profile is ideally suited to the current climate as evidenced by the success we’re having setting good quality meetings with prospects looking to maximise their threatened marketing budgets (most of our clients are small-medium sized agencies).
You need to be flexible enough to probe to identify their real pain and then offer what they need to help solve their issues. Going in with a pre-conceived solution is not always going to cut it in this market – challenge their current strategy or their creative by all means but be prepared to offer alternative solutions.