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DBA Members’ Forum | March Summary

In our March DBA Members’ Forum, we were delighted to showcase some DBA Members who are keeping on top of new business. Here’s a summary of the conversation.

One member focused on the development of new business in international markets:

  • A realisation that there are too many agencies in the UK competing for the same work led one member to ramp up their work with international clients that ultimately enabled them to open a London office.
  • The unique appeal of British design was noted as a valuable asset in international markets.
  • There are cultural challenges, and things can be lost in translation, pushing people to speak to each other has been key in overcoming issues. Though the increase in remote working has also meant building relationships from afar has been easier than it was pre-Covid.
  • The Department for Business & Trade have a wealth of resources and support and you can find out who to contact in each region here.
  • There was a question around how to overcome a lack or experience in the market you’re entering. Answers around going back to the problem they need to solve and showing your expertise. Also, highlighting the fresh thinking you can bring to the table. 

Some other points were made in relation to new business:

  • Investing in a dedicated marketing person has been key to one member being able to turn work away. If the marketing flywheel takes two years to get up and running smoothly, could a dedicated hire be the right way for your business to focus on marketing activity that will result in new business? There was mention of previously doing marketing in the gaps which presents all sorts of challenges.
  • One member shared that they’ve found marketing much easier now they’ve repositioned and become more strategic – having a clear proposition and a great team to follow it through has led to their success. 
  • This isn’t just something you do once and file it away, you’ll repeat this process of redefining your offer over and over. It’s also helped one member to have more confidence in their conversations with senior decision makers. 
  • The trigger for repositioning was the risk around having too much work tied up with one client – if that work walks out of the door it’s very bad news.
  • One DBA Expert suggested creating a marketing plan that you can sustain over time and that’s exactly what one member has done with their weekly newsletter that has a great reputation.
  • Rather than solely focusing on differentiation, emphasis should be placed on being relevant to target audiences, a strategy deemed more effective in engaging potential clients by one DBA Expert.
  • Re-watch last week’s webinar for expert advice on failsafe methods for new business success that Blair highlighted in the January Forum and you’ll find we covered emotional consistency in more detail. 

There was much, much more covered in the hour – you really had to be there. Do make sure you join us in our next DBA Members’ Forum on Monday 8 April at 4pm BST, look out for an email from me in a few weeks with more details. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

We’ve captured the conversation highlights from the all the Members’ Forums which have taken place and they can all be found here.


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