2018 marked a turning point for iD. We gave ourselves our own little business masterclass. A 25 year junction and a time for a fresh approach with three important, yet simple pillars.
- Being clearer on what work we want to do... which for us means more long term, commercially focused experiences. Less tactical, dis-jointed projects.
- Creating a more stable business plan by working with long term client partners only. Less of a new business 'black hole' to fill at the start of each year. So we won't have to pedal so hard.
- A new approach to biz dev. Turning off the cold tap.
This last part has been the biggest step change - in truth we had lost our 'new biz' way. We weren't quite sure what we were selling or who we were selling to, yet we had a database of 5000 'prospects'. We were doing telesales, hosting breakfast briefings, attending awards ceremonies and networking events, doing stunts. We were members of various industry associations, we did ezines and the occasional ad. We invested in PR.
As any agency owner will know, this comes at a huge cost - hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. And the feeling of wastage and inefficiency it generates is painful.
We literally turned the tap off. No new biz team. Minimal new biz budget. We have a simple website and we do a bit of social media, and we are focusing on getting our clear point-of-view across through social media with short, punchy blogs. We are spending more time thinking about our existing clients, and brands we really think we can help. We are in idea generation mode. And we have the time and resource for it.
It is of course a risk. So far, we are getting more qualified enquiries from big brands than six months ago, let alone two years . We aren't pitching nearly as much as before, but it's business on mutual terms, which feels a whole lot different, and costs a whole lot less. It's a very good feeling.