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News & Views from Alchemis

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Call us for a chat on +44 (0)20 7836 3678 or Email Jim Piper or David Newman

Bucking the reported downturn in new business appointments


There have been some rather negative stats of late from the AAR in relation to the decline of new business pitches. Looking at their chart below, you could be forgiven for wailing “We’re all doomed” before retreating into a corner of self-pity and waiting for the world to end.

new biz apts

However, our experience so far this year has been pretty different from the picture painted above.  In fact, I would say it is much closer to the situation that Bill Brock, the founder of Analog Folk, describes in his article here.

We have actually seen an increase in the number of our clients winning new business this year (approximately twice as many wins as in the same period last year). I am certainly not disputing the AAR statistics – I spend half my working life hunched over spreadsheets pulling out stats, monitoring trends, spotting patterns (the useful kind for business, not the kind that look pretty). I know that disregarding proven data is a very foolish thing to do. It just seems to be that looking across our client base, a very significant proportion of them are bucking this reported trend.

One of the terms that Bill Brock uses in his article is “fly under the industry radar” and this is certainly one thing we have been talking about for years. In fact, one of our blogs from 6 years ago was discussing the same issue when the AAR had released  even worse new business stats at that time.

Anyone who has read a few of my previous blogs will know I love to use a proverb or two. So, just like there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is also more than one route to securing a new business win. Even if the stats want to tell you otherwise.

First impressions are crucial. This very first impression may be in the form of a cold phone call to a decision maker at a company that you’d love to work with. It may be in the form of an email. It may even be in the form of meeting somebody at a networking event. You can’t undo a first impression, so make sure you don’t screw it up. Alchemis can certainly offer you help and training to ensure that you maximise your chances here.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t be deterred if a prospective client offers you a project to start off with rather than handing you their entire £8m marketing budget across all mediums. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

And remember, the very nature of the marketing industry is that people will always look for fresh, innovative ways of doing things. The world does not stop turning and ultimately successful brands are not usually the ones that stand still. There will always be new business opportunities for agencies out there, it’s just a question of knowing firstly how to find them and secondly how to convert them.

As Del Boy would say: He who dares, Rodders, he who dares…

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