Let me guess, during your agency’s annual planning meeting the decision was made to increase your business development efforts? You all decided that this is the year that you grow 15 percent and win four new AOR clients.
Now, you are all going to chip in a certain percentage of your time every day to reach out to new prospects and begin working those networks. And for the first month there’s momentum. Conversations are had and then Jim from Account Management has a breakthrough with a college buddy who runs marketing for a big brand and they want you to pitch.
Awesome! All of your team’s focus switches to pitch-mode 100 percent of the time. You stop that new business momentum that you were beginning to build because you don’t have time to pitch, manage clients and try to win new business. Clients take precedent.
Two months later, that momentum for new business still hasn’t caught back up because all your time as has been focused on current clients. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Marketing automation is a huge part of being able to create a repeatable process that keeps business development efforts running regardless of what’s going on within the agency.
Our goal with agencies we work with is to change the business development process from hills of high activity and valleys of low activity to a constant rising line of proactive business development.
So how does marketing automation ensure that constant activity in your business development process?
1. Automates time intensive processes
When you sit down to begin creating a process, immediately look for areas in your agency’s current process that are impersonal and take a large amount of time.
With a good automation system, things like introduction emails to large groups, social media posts and web visitor follow-up are items that you can still give a personal feel to, while doing mass outreach at the same time.
2. Creates a standard process
Having a true process that essentially runs itself allows multiple people to work on new business development at any given time. This means that even when the Biz Dev Director is out, the system can keep running and driving profitable conversations to your agency principals.
No matter who is posting or emailing, you can be sure that the agency’s preferred voice and message is consistently being delivered to your prospects.
3. Gives a clearer picture of a prospect’s total activity
When you are evaluating a prospect’s activity, marketing automation programs allow you to go beyond the typical “Did they open and click on an email?”
Instead, you can really dig in and start tracking all of their activity across multiple campaigns and on your website. This allows your program to intelligently customize what messaging prospects should be receiving, while saving you time throughout the process.
4. Allows you to broaden your reach to more prospects, while staying hyper-targeted
We often see agencies fall into the trap of trying to work off of ultra-targeted lists. This really reduces the pool of total prospects. It also reduces their ability to reach more prospects while increasing awareness for the agency.
Marketing automation allows you to retain these very targeted prospect lists and serve custom messaging, while still reaching out to a broader audience.
At the end of the day, your agency’s goal is to win more business. Marketing automation can help make your new business process more effective and efficient when it comes to reaching larger audiences.
This means that you can have more intelligent conversations with more prospects in order to win more!