Thursday, 23 September 2010

Finding new business

Are you keeping an eye on how your company gets its new business? Well, if not you, is someone doing this? All you need is an analysis of the projects you landed over the last year according to some categories like; won pitch/tender, recommendation, through the door (meaning they just came to you), reputation, niche market leader, repeat business, and so on. Some may fall across certain categories but that doesn't matter. You just need to understand how the business is coming in so that you can plan where to place your efforts to increase your chances of winning new business.

Actually, a chart across a few years would be best because you can better see any shifts in how you landed business. You may find that your company's perceived talent has shifted. Is the business happy with that? For example, you may have been landing business because you were the top creative company at one time but now much of your work is repeat business. There's nothing wrong with that if that's what the company wants and business is very healthy. The risk increases though that some clients will decide to revamp their media image and feel that they need to break with tradition and try a different company. You may need to look at why clients have moved on over a number of years to complete your analysis.

So, on a brighter note, can you do anything about unwelcomed shifts in business? Yes you can, that's the value of analysis.

Although the quote below isn't aimed at our line of business, iMedia, it has relevance and if you read the article, try to apply the general rather than the specifics to yourselves.
In summary, our top tip to help you grow your business and save money is; understand why people do business with you and who your customers are. With that knowledge you will increase the opportunities to attract potential new customers to your business.
From How knowing your customer can help you find new business, NXO, Forum for Private Business, 16th September 2010.

Understanding the shifts in consumers may drive your own clients to decide to change their products/image. Will you be in tune with them about their changing business needs and be able to suggest media solutions? Perhaps it would be good for you to keep abreast of consumer trends especially if your clients are from the retail and consumer base. Trendwatch.com may provoke some stirring in your brain cells – and that’s good even if you reject the suggestions (See trendwatching.com/briefing ).

Finally, your clients may start using social media against you! Have any of your prospective clients started asking for the Twitter names of the team planned to work for them at a pitch? That's what happened to Nigel Sarbutts recently and he explains in MetaPR - the implications for recruitment and new business, September 14th , at Brand Alert. Certainly food for thought - what information will you trust?

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