The Real Winners: Top Super Bowl 2024 Ads

When it comes to “the big game” AKA, the Super Bowl, there’s an entertainment component that often shares the spotlight— Commercials. These carefully crafted ads have become as much a part of the annual event as touchdowns and halftime shows. 

For marketers, the Super Bowl 2024 presents an especially golden opportunity to captivate a massive audience and leave a lasting impression. The Kansas City and 49ers game had 123.7 million viewers– making it the most watched program in the US, ever. And advertisers did not disappoint. Join us as we celebrate the creative agencies and advertisers who we are dubbing as the “winners” of the Super Bowl ad game this year and why. 

Pssst- Want the opportunity to connect with brands spending big bucks on advertising for the Super Bowl and more? Check out our sister company, Winmo’s free list of 78 top spenders. And if you need the new business team to go after these spenders, Catapult can help.

1. Uber Eats: Don’t Forget Spot

The Uber ad for the Super Bowl created by creative agency Special US stood out as impactful and exciting for several reasons, each contributing to its overall appeal and effectiveness:

  • Star-studded appeal: Featuring celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, the Beckhams, Jelly Roll, and USHER, the ad capitalizes on their massive fan bases and high recognition value. 
  • Creative concept: The idea of having these celebrities forget their most iconic roles or achievements to highlight the convenience and range of Uber Eats is both clever and humorous. This creative approach makes the ad memorable and engaging, ensuring that the message sticks with the audience long after they’ve watched it.
  • Humor and nostalgia: By using humor and playing on nostalgic elements (like referencing “Friends” and the Spice Girls), the ad connects emotionally with viewers. This emotional resonance is a powerful tool in advertising, making the message more impactful and the service more appealing.
  • Timely placement: Airing the ad just after the halftime show, during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, ensures it captures a massive audience when engagement levels are high. The Super Bowl is known for its high viewership, and securing a spot in this prime time frame maximizes visibility.
  • Immersive campaign experience: Beyond the ad, Uber Eats enhanced the campaign’s impact by creating an immersive experience at the Super Bowl Experience in Vegas. The “Get Almost Almost Anything Shop” brought the campaign to life, allowing fans to interact with the brand in a tangible way. 
  • Strategic messaging: The ad cleverly emphasizes the wide range of items available for delivery through Uber Eats, reinforcing the brand’s value proposition. By suggesting you can get “almost, almost anything” delivered, it communicated versatility and convenience, key factors in the competitive delivery service market.

2. Verizon: Can’t B Broken

This Verizon Super Bowl ad created by Ogilvy is impactful and exciting for several reasons:

  • Celebrity presence: Beyoncé is one of the biggest names in the music industry, known for her immense talent, influence, and dedicated fanbase. Her appearance in a commercial during the Super Bowl adds star power to the ad and attracts attention from a wide audience.
  • Engaging storyline: The ad presents an intriguing storyline where Beyoncé is challenged to break the unbreakable, Verizon’s network. This creates anticipation and excitement as viewers wonder how she will accomplish this feat.
  • Creative elements: The ad is filled with creative elements that showcase Beyoncé’s personality and brand. From the Beyoncé lemonade stand to the surprise album drop and her own AI, the ad is entertaining and visually captivating.
  • Teaser for new music: The ad serves as a teaser for Beyoncé’s new music, generating excitement among fans who have been eagerly awaiting new releases from the artist. The cryptic message at the end of the ad, followed by the announcement of “Renaissance: Act II” and the release of two new songs, builds anticipation and drives engagement.
  • Evolution of Beyonce’s artistry: The ad hints at the evolution of Beyoncé’s artistry, with “Renaissance: Act II” rumored to be a country album. This shift in genre and imagery from her previous work adds intrigue and showcases Beyoncé’s versatility as an artist.

3. Cetaphil: Game Time Glow

This Super Bowl ad from Cetaphil created by Prompt is impactful and emotional to watch for several reasons:

  • Capitalizing on the Taylor Swift craze: The ad cleverly incorporates elements associated with Taylor Swift, such as the numbers 13 and 89, friendship bracelets, and references to her status as a famous football fan. This instantly grabs the attention of Swift’s vast fan base and creates a sense of familiarity and connection.
  • Subtle references: While the ad doesn’t explicitly mention Swift, her boyfriend Travis Kelce, or the Kansas City Chiefs, it subtly alludes to them through the use of familiar symbols and scenarios. This allows the ad to leverage Swift’s popularity and association with the team without directly using her likeness or music.
  • Emotional storytelling: The ad tells a heartwarming story of a father and daughter bonding over their shared love for football and admiration for Swift. The moment when the father surprises his daughter with matching jerseys and friendship bracelets adds an emotional layer to the narrative, resonating with viewers on a personal level.
  • Real-life connection: The ad’s tagline, “Real Father and Daughter, Living in New York,” emphasizes the authenticity of the story and reinforces the idea of familial bonds and shared experiences. This authenticity enhances the ad’s relatability and makes it more compelling to watch.
  • Social media buzz: The ad has sparked discussion on social media, with many users noting its clever use of Swift imagery and its ability to capture the essence of father-daughter relationships. This buzz generates additional excitement and spreads the shared impact of strong emotions, further increasing its reach. “Yep, now I’m crying,” shared a commenter. “I love that dad’s & daughters are now experiencing this together. It also reminds me that these days with my Daddy are coming to an end soon. I’ve got to call him now & tell him I love him & thank him for all of the games he watched with me.”

4. Dunkin’: The DunKings

This year’s Super Bowl ad from Dunkin’ created by Artists Equity, features Ben Affleck and promises to be both impactful and exhilarating for viewers, thanks to its star-studded cast and innovative expansion of the BADCU (Ben Affleck Dunkin’ Cinematic Universe).

  • Star-studded cast: The ad features a powerhouse lineup of celebrities including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Tom Brady, as well as popular artists Jennifer Lopez and Jack Harlow. This ensemble cast adds excitement and star power to the commercial, appealing to a wide range of viewers.
  • Creative concept: The ad introduces the concept of the DunKings, an exclusive group of Boston’s coffee lovers comprising Affleck, Damon, Brady, Lopez, and Harlow. This unique premise sets the stage for an entertaining and memorable commercial experience.
  • Meta storytelling: The ad takes a meta approach by incorporating elements from Affleck’s real life, such as his appearance at the 2023 Grammys and his desire to create music. This adds depth to the narrative and allows viewers to connect with the characters on a more personal level.
  • Entertaining scenes: The extended cut of the ad features entertaining scenes, including a spirited dance routine by the DunKings and humorous interactions between Affleck, Brady, Damon, Lopez, and Harlow. These moments captivate viewers and keep them engaged throughout the commercial.
  • Potential expansion: The ad hints at the possibility of a BADCU (Ben Affleck Dunkin Cinematic Universe), sparking speculation and excitement among fans. This opens up opportunities for future collaborations and creative storytelling, extending the impact of the ad beyond the Super Bowl.

Dunkin’s ad featuring Ben Affleck and a star-studded cast lingers in our minds like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. With its clever blend of humor, celebrity cameos, and unexpected twists, this commercial doesn’t just entertain—it leaves an indelible mark on our collective consciousness. Whether it’s the infectious energy of the DunKings or the playful nod to Affleck’s real-life endeavors, this ad reminds us that sometimes the best moments of the Super Bowl aren’t found on the field, but on our screens during the commercial breaks.

5. State Farm: Like a Good Neighbaaa

State Farm’s Super Bowl ad created by Highdive not only reunites iconic actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito but also wins over audiences, securing the top spot in the Super Bowl 2024 Ad Meter with its humorous and unforgettable storyline: 

  • Iconic reunion: The ad brings together two beloved actors, Schwarzenegger and DeVito, who previously starred together in the classic film “Twins.” 
  • Humorous concept: The ad’s premise revolves around Schwarzenegger’s character struggling to pronounce the company slogan correctly, adding humor to the commercial. This comedic element engages viewers and keeps them entertained throughout the ad.
  • Cliffhanger teaser: The ad was teased in advance, leaving viewers curious about how Schwarzenegger’s character would resolve the pronunciation issue. This anticipation builds excitement leading up to the Super Bowl, encouraging viewers to tune in to see the full commercial.
  • Creative solution: By bringing in DeVito to say the crucial line correctly, the ad cleverly resolves the protagonist’s dilemma. This unexpected twist adds an element of surprise to the commercial, delighting viewers with the reunion of these two actors and their dynamic interaction.
  • Positive relationship: Schwarzenegger and DeVito’s real-life friendship and professional admiration for each other add authenticity to their on-screen chemistry. Their mutual respect and enthusiasm for working together again resonate with viewers, enhancing the ad’s appeal.

6. CeraVe: Michael CeraVe

One of the standout moments from this year’s Super Bowl was undoubtedly CeraVe’s collaboration with actor Michael Cera, created by Ogilvy. This unique partnership had been highly anticipated by fans and skincare enthusiasts alike, who were eager to see the hilarity and creativity that CeraVe and Cera delivered on game day.

  • Humorous concept: In the commercial, Michael Cera delivers his ad pitch in a humorous way similar to typical, exaggerated skin care commercials. He humorously portrays himself as the developer of CeraVe’s moisturizing cream, emphasizing his passion for “human skin” and delivering lines such as “Let my cream hydrate you” with deadpan hilarity. This playful twist on the brand’s name adds humor and intrigue to the commercial, making it stand out among other Super Bowl ads.
  • Viral potential: The ad’s tagline, “Developed with Michael Cera, Ve,” has already gone viral on social media, generating buzz and attention for the brand. Additionally, CeraVe’s decision to feature an image of Michael Cera with an X on his face and the disclaimer “Not Michael Cera. He’s not a Dermatologist” further fuels the viral potential of the ad.
  • Celebrity appeal: Michael Cera’s involvement adds star power to the ad, attracting attention from fans of the actor as well as skincare enthusiasts. His quirky persona and comedic timing make the commercial entertaining and memorable for viewers.
  • Clever marketing: By capitalizing on Michael Cera’s name and embracing the confusion surrounding it, CeraVe creates a memorable and engaging Super Bowl ad that effectively promotes its brand and products. The ad’s humorous approach and viral potential ensure that it will be talked about long after the game ends, solidifying its impact and success in the advertising landscape.

As the Super Bowl excitement settles, CeraVe’s ad with Michael Cera remains a hot topic among fans. Highly anticipated and met with immense laughter, this collaboration is sure to be remembered and discussed for a long time to come. Its clever humor and witty execution have left a lasting mark, ensuring that it will be remembered as one of the standout moments of the game. The ad was recently recognized as the games best ad, winning the Super Clio award

7. e.l.f.: In e.l.f. We Trust

e.l.f. Cosmetics’ ad has emerged as a standout moment, seamlessly blending legal drama with makeup finesse. Created by Shadow, this ad has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on viewers.

  • Star-studded cast: The ad brings together familiar faces from the hit show “Suits,” including Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman, and Sarah Rafferty, along with iconic figures like Judge Judy Sheindlin. The inclusion of celebrities like Meghan Trainor and HeidiNCloset adds to the excitement and anticipation surrounding the commercial.
  • Cultural zeitgeist: By leveraging the popularity of “Suits,” “Jury Duty,” and the resurgence of Judge Judy, e.l.f. Cosmetics taps into the cultural zeitgeist of courtroom drama. This timely theme is sure to resonate with viewers and keep them engaged throughout the ad.
  • Clever concept: The ad defends e.l.f.’s case for quality and affordable cosmetics in a creative and entertaining way. With a mix of scripted humor and unscripted charm, the commercial promises to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression.
  • Viral potential: With its star-studded cast and timely theme, the ad has the potential to go viral on social media. The buzz generated by the ad’s clever concept and celebrity cameos will ensure that it’s talked about long after the game ends.
  • Brand promotion: By capitalizing on emerging cultural insights and leveraging the popularity of its cast, e.l.f. Cosmetics solidifies its brand as a water cooler conversation topic. This clever marketing strategy ensures that the ad effectively promotes the brand and its products to a wide audience.

E.l.f. Cosmetics’ innovative Super Bowl ad has undoubtedly captured the attention of audiences far and wide. With its unique approach and memorable execution, this ad is poised to make waves in the advertising world and solidify e.l.f. Cosmetics’ position as a creative powerhouse in the industry.

Conclusion: Get in Front of Big Fish Advertisers 

As we wrap up our exploration of the captivating world of Super Bowl advertising, it’s clear that these commercials are more than just brief interruptions during the big game—they’re cultural phenomena in their own right. From clever concepts to star-packed casts, the ads showcased during Super Bowl 2024 left a lasting impression on viewers, sparking conversations and capturing our imaginations.

At Catapult, we understand the power of creativity and innovation in advertising, which is why we’re committed to helping agencies in this ever-evolving landscape. Our team provides the tools and resources needed to connect with big-name clients like the advertisers featured in this year’s Super Bowl, enabling you to land exciting opportunities and elevate your new business to new heights. See how Catapult can help today.

 

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4 Trends New Business Pros Should Prepare For in 2024

From figuring out this whole AI thing, keeping up with the ever-growing demand for integrated tools and strategies, and the big one, consistently adding value to our client relationships– there are a variety of areas sellers need to navigate in the new year to remain competitive.  

That’s where this blog comes in – think of it as your friendly guide to help you prepare to navigate what’s on the horizon in 2024. We’ll dive into the trends that are reshaping our industry, like understanding why brands might be breaking up with agencies more often, and how the rise of AI in marketing is changing the game. 

What to Expect from Brand Marketers in 2024

1. Brands Will Be Replacing More Agency Partners 

A new marketing relationship survey indicates that a rising number of brands are unsatisfied with their existing agency partners.The report indicates that 55% of brand marketers who responded are considering a change of agency within the next six months. Why? According the the survey, top reasons including:

  • Dissatisfaction with value: Brands are increasingly dissatisfied with the value provided by their current agencies. This dissatisfaction is a primary factor driving brands to consider changing their agency partners.
  • Issues with delivery: Brands are also unhappy with the delivery of services by their agencies. This includes aspects like the timeliness, quality, and effectiveness of the services provided.

  • Agency-client disparities: There is a significant disparity between the perceptions of brands and agencies regarding the reasons for ending agency-client relationships. While brands cite dissatisfaction with value and delivery as top reasons, agencies underestimate these factors.

  • Changes in strategic needs: While agencies are recognized for bringing strong strategies, they are perceived as overcharging for their services. Brands are seeking partners who can offer both strategic excellence and cost-effectiveness.

  • Chemistry and professionalism: For brands looking to select a new agency partner, chemistry and professionalism have emerged as important aspects. This indicates a need for agencies to align more closely with the culture and values of their clients.

  • Demand for specific services: There is an increased demand for specific services like content creation and video production, suggesting that brands are looking for agencies with particular capabilities in these areas.

2. Acquisitions and Consolidation Will Increase Pressure

Boutique and niche service offerings might run into a bit of more competition going into the new year as agency holding companies continue their acquisition spending sprees. This gobbling up of the market share has been inspired by a multitude of factors, including:

  • Client demand for integrated services: The consolidation trend is largely driven by client demands for integrated, simplified service offerings. Agencies are responding by creating larger, more comprehensive entities that can offer a range of services under one roof, making them more attractive and efficient partners for brands.

  • AI and tech integration: Agencies are heavily investing in AI and technology, focusing on measurement and insights. This trend is driven by advertisers’ demands for more robust analytics and validation of their campaigns’ effectiveness. Major acquisitions, such as Omnicom’s purchase of Flywheel and Stagwell’s acquisition of Left Field Labs, emphasize the growing importance of digital commerce solutions and AI in marketing.

  • Influencer and social marketing emphasis: There’s a notable shift towards integrating influencer and social marketing capabilities. With the influencer market and social media spending growing rapidly, major holding companies are acquiring specialized agencies in this area. These acquisitions, such as WPP’s purchase of Goat and Stagwell’s acquisition of Movers+Shakers, show that a strong social and influencer presence is essential for modern advertising campaigns.

  • Streamlined financials and full-service models: Brands are demanding more streamlined, integrated agency models. This has led to mergers aimed at simplifying structures and offering comprehensive services. Examples include WPP combining VML, Y&R, and Wunderman Thompson into VML, and M&C Saatchi’s restructure to combine multiple subsidiaries. This consolidation aims to make agencies more appealing and easier to work with for large clients.

  • Increased focus on detailed reporting and campaign measurement: Recent acquisitions indicate a future trend where advertisers will demand more detailed reporting and precise campaign measurement. The emphasis is shifting from creative novelty to data-driven insights and analytics.

  • Adaptation to the creator economy: The integration of influencer and social marketing arms within agencies reflects an adaptation to the creator economy. This approach allows brands to engage with audiences in more authentic and creative ways, leveraging the influence of social media personalities and platforms.

3. More Project Work, Less Traditional Pitches 

In 2024, we anticipate that more and more brands will be leaning toward more project-based work and run fewer traditional agency searches. We have several reasons for this prediction:

Going into 2024, brand marketers are being asked to do more with less spend. These stats coupled with the increasing amount of resources like Wripple, that make it easy for them to get matched with agencies who can quickly start executing on projects, makes us believe that in the new year, many brands will ditch the traditional pitch and look for faster means of completing project-based initiatives. 

4. The AI Revolution Will Continue to Grow

Marketers will continue to focus on leveraging AI in 2024 due to its transformative impact on various aspects of marketing. Primary areas of focus will include hyper-personalization, content creation, and predictive analytics. This will enable marketers to create highly targeted and personalized campaigns by analyzing vast amounts of data, thus offering customer experiences at an unprecedented scale.

The challenge will be balancing this personalization with consumer privacy concerns. AI’s integration into marketing and technology software will impact all facets of marketing, offering both opportunities and challenges. Marketers will search for solutions that help them maintain content authenticity and originality. 

AI’s role in predictive analytics will also be significant, aiding marketers in foreseeing market trends and consumer behavior. Overall, the integration of AI is expected to drive marketing towards more efficient, responsive, and customer-centric approaches.

What These Trends Mean For Sellers in 2024

With these expected trends, ad tech sellers, sponsorship sellers, and ad agencies need to focus on aligning closely with client needs, specializing in high-demand services, adapting to market consolidation, leveraging AI and technology, and being flexible and responsive to project-based work demands. This presents several areas for new business leaders to focus on in the new year:

1. Consistently Add Maximum Value

Acquiring a new client costs 5x more than retaining an existing one. To ensure you’re not one of the agencies on the chopping block, take a look at your existing accounts to ensure your team is offering as much value as possible to secure the relationship for the long-haul. A few ways to do this include:

  • Develop customized solutions: Move beyond generic service offerings. Tailor your strategies and solutions specifically to each client’s unique needs and business goals. Show that you understand their specific market challenges and opportunities.
  • Have a results-driven approach: Focus on delivering measurable results. Utilize data analytics to track campaign performance and make data-driven decisions. This approach will demonstrate your commitment to achieving tangible outcomes for your clients.
  • Have regular communication and transparency: Establish a clear and consistent line of communication. Regularly update clients on progress, challenges, and successes. Transparency in your operations builds trust and shows your commitment to their success.
  • Always educate and inform: Build a culture that prides themselves on going the extra mile. Always strive to provide clients with insights and knowledge about the latest marketing trends and how they can be leveraged for their benefit.
  • Strategic partnerships and network utilization: Always remember that there’s enough success for everyone to go around. As agency conglomerates continue to expand, boutique shops need to find creative ways to offer omnichannel solutions that drive results. If you can’t execute a capability, leverage your network to offer clients additional value through strategic partnerships, expanding their reach and resources.

2. Now’s the Time to Start Proactively Reaching Out to Marketers: 

With this many brands suggesting they are looking for new partners, now is a great time to start building relationships with brand marketers. Getting started can be challenging if you don’t already have an outreach strategy. But here’s our best tips to get going:

  • Research and identify prospects: Success always starts with your list. You have to be contacting the right people. Conduct thorough research to identify brands that are the best fit for your agency’s expertise. Look for brands that may be experiencing challenges your agency is uniquely qualified to solve. Not sure what kind of brands to go after? Start by looking at your agency roster and identify right to win clients.
  • Personalized communication: No, we don’t mean adding their first name to a mass email. After conducting thorough research, reach out with personalized messages that demonstrate your knowledge of their brand and industry. Avoid generic sales pitches. Instead, focus on how your agency can address their specific challenges or goals.
  • Develop a must-try offer: Whether you’re providing a service or a software, provide something complimentary to get your foot in the door. This could be a free trial or a free brand audits or consultation. This can be an effective way to demonstrate the value you can bring to their business while also building trust with the potential client.
  • Get comfortable with following up: Email cadences are your friend. If you think you’re being annoying by sending 7 emails over a few months– you’re not. It takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting with a decision maker. So strap in… and get comfortable with following up regularly until they book the call or tell you to go away.

3. AI Won’t Replace You. But It Can Help You Sell More & Should Be Used Correctly.

AI isn’t going to steal anyone’s job in 2024. It is still very much in its beginning stages and is merely a tool that needs to be utilized in your toolkit. But it’s an incredibly powerful tool that should be leveraged both as a selling proposition, and internally to improve your sales processes. 

Using AI as a unique selling point:

Brands are going to continue looking for partners who can use AI to reduce costs and streamline processes and help solve problems quickly. AI innovation will be a unique selling point in 2024 and something partners will get public recognition for. For example, this year Adweek announced the first-ever AI award to MediaMonks for their use of AI in both internal operations and client work. There will be an increased focus on how partners can use AI in meaningful and creative ways for clients.

A few ways you can utilize AI as a unique selling proposition to brand marketers include:

  • Predictive analytics for targeted campaigns
  • Personalized customer experiences
  • Automated content creation and optimization
  • Streamlined production 
  • Enhanced ROI measurement and analytics
  • Combating social injustices and stereotypes through brand messaging 
  • Voice and visual search optimization 
  • Programmatic advertising
  • Interactive and immersive experiences
  • Inclusive and purpose driven advertising

AI is still a new territory– and in many cases, it isn’t quite living up to where marketers are hoping it can be.  So it’s important that whatever you are providing brands delivers on the promise you sold. 

Using AI to enhance your internal sales process

At Catapult, AI has been a major topic among our clients and how they can leverage it to enhance their internal sales processes.

Dixie Gilbert, Director of Partnerships at Catapult  commented, “I was just having a discussion about AI prompts and how AI is messing up good content because everybody’s using the same AI cadence.” She goes on to explain that the most important thing to know about AI is that you really have to learn how to prompt AI and then craft your messages around it. It should be a creative assistant. Prompting really holds a key for creative collaboration.” 

Remember, AI is a tool, not a replacement. So when crafting scripts, decks, email cadences using it– remember to proofread and add a human element to everything it produces. 

Conclusion: Close More Deals in 2024

One thing brands, agencies, sponsorship sellers and adtech providers alike share– the economic state of 2024 is unpredictable, yet we are being asked to hit higher and higher quotas.

Right now, expanding your sales budget for tools and adding to overhead may not be an option. But you need senior level sellers out there getting your products and services in front of brand marketers.

If this resonates with you, outsourcing your sales operations may be a great solution. 

Catapult is the industry’s leading fractional new business development firm for agencies, sponsorship sellers and adtech providers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you close more deals in 2024 and beyond.

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Catapult and Wripple Partner to Solve the Broken Agency Pitch Model

Catapult New Business, the leading fractional new business development firm for agencies, today announced a new partnership with Wripple, a top on-demand talent platform where brands are matched in real-time with agencies and freelancers for project-based work. Using a combination of technology and a human touch, the platform offers greater speed, flexibility, and transparency to its clients and talent members.

Catapult and Wripple plan to connect more agencies with brands in need of their services using the on-demand talent platform. This platform allows agencies to create a profile within the portal to attract companies actively searching for a specialized partner.

Catapult has two decades of experience proactively winning new business for agencies, and has seen the current shift away from traditional AOR relationships and pitches take place slowly over the years.

“We see more and more agencies winning new business through non-traditional methods like project-based work, and it’s exciting to partner with Wripple, which frees agencies up to find these opportunities easily,” said Matt Chollet, President of Catapult New Business. “The basis for new business is and always will be relationship-driven, and what we’ve seen is that the traditional pitching and review process is not supportive of ongoing relationships with potential and current clients.”

Brands are leaning more toward project-based work compared to traditional AOR relationships and expensive pitching processes. Winning new clients using a project structure – from resourcing on the agency side to building a relationship with the client for a long term partnership – changes how agencies source new business and grow accounts. This is going to be especially true for those agencies that have dedicated resources primarily to these hefty pitching processes.

Brands are “ditching the pitch”

According to recent market research from firms including the 4As and Forrester, the cost to pitch is now upwards of $1M with brands footing most of the bill. This is not an ideal scenario for either party involved.

AdAge reported earlier this year that agency pitches brought in thirty-five percent less revenue as compared to the year prior. In other words, the new business pool shrunk almost in half after the pandemic.

This is not a surprising statistic knowing that Forrester released a report to brand marketing leaders in 2022 declaring that brands need to “ditch the pitch for paid projects instead”. The cost savings for brands to nix the pitch puts hundreds of thousands of dollars back in their pocket.

Small to mid-size agency advantage

The cost to pitch on average runs an agency $200,000, according to 4As. This cost pushes small to midsize agencies out of the process, and with more brands looking at project based work to bring on new partners, the opportunity for agencies to compete for business against major agency holding companies is rising.

“Wripple was founded by agency veterans who understand the challenges of the traditional pitch process. We built our platform to level the playing field and significantly reduce friction in the end-to-end BD process,” said Ray Samuels, Wripple’s COO. “Our partnership with Catapult provides agencies with an additional innovative new business channel that is free for agencies to access, surfaces only qualified opportunities with top brands, and greatly extends the reach of smaller agencies beyond their existing geo and networks.”

 

About Wripple

Wripple is a pioneering on-demand talent platform that transforms how companies build a modern marketing workforce with greater speed, flexibility, and efficiency. With advanced proprietary software, Wripple’s private talent marketplace matches brands with vetted freelancers and small to mid-sized agencies, in real time. Clients can hire individual experts for short and long-term staffing needs as well as cross-discipline teams for deliverable-based projects. Wripple’s freelancer management software handles operations (contracting, compliance, payment) and enables companies to manage ongoing freelancer relationships all in one place. Learn how Wripple is reshaping the future of work at www.wripple.com.

 

About Catapult New Business

With over $1 Billion in new business opportunities uncovered, Catapult has been successfully growing agencies and delivering exceptional results for our clients for 20 years and counting. We provide the market with an outsourced solution for agency growth. Our team of expert advisors works alongside you to implement a results-driven sales and marketing strategy that identifies and generates consistent new revenue.  Learn how Catapult proactively win new business for its clients at www.catapultnewbusiness.com.

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On-Demand Webinar: Unlocking the Potential of Mergers and Acquisitions

Check out our latest workshop where we delve into the key to agency success:

Unlocking the Potential of Mergers and Acquisitions

This workshop provides insightful guidance and actionable resources to inform your pre-letter-of-intent and due diligence considerations to set the stage for successful post-merger integration. So join us and avoid the costly mistake of merging with the wrong firm. If you decide not to pursue a merger, you’ll still find these insights valuable for strengthening your own agency.

Nail Your Agency's Positioning in 30 seconds for New Business Success

 

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The Benefits of Outsourcing Sales Operations

Catapult’s mission is to identify, engage and help win new business with the brands that can most benefit from your solutions. Marketing agencies and AdTech companies partner with us when they’ve made the commitment to grow and need a proven, viable and scalable way to do so – with a resource that is focused on proactively creating new opportunities on your behalf. 

Reactive new business teams are always one step behind. Simply responding to a situation – whether an inbound inquiry or a Request for Proposal – without a strategy to arrive at a desired outcome will never propel the business forward. If the team is only prepared to respond to situations rather than create their own opportunities, they may get easily discouraged when a prospect takes too long to respond or make a decision. 

Even worse, waiting for the perfect client can lead to wasted time and effort by responding to prospects who aren’t a great fit. When taking a proactive approach, the team is able to guide the pace of the sales process and better serve the potential client. This also allows the team to ensure they’re meeting with the decision makers who care about the outcomes from the work, resulting in more closed-won business. 

Unlike other lead generation and business development companies, Catapult is backed by two decades of experience serving the entire spectrum of the marketing communications industry from advertising, media, branding, and digital to market research and technology agencies. 

Why Catapult?

Catapult is powered by the most recognized sales intelligence platform in the industry, Winmo. And partners with the premier agency search consulting firm, AAR Partners. These in-house teams of ours provide reliable, accurate sales intelligence and play a pivotal role in our ability to deliver qualified opportunities for our clients

When working with clients we take a prescriptive approach to launching a successful sales development program. Catapult ensures in the first 90-days of activating your new business sales team, you have:

  • Established a resourcing plan to prioritize a proactive sales approach.
  • Activated a Go-To Market strategy with competitive insights and positioning. 
  • Launched a fully operational business development tech stack. 
  • Opened access to sales intelligence through Winmo, which is now used to create targeted prospect lists, track new business triggers, and more.

The benefit of being in-market with messaging within 90-days is that you’ll discover your Right to Win faster. A place where your positioning perfectly matches the needs of your target market and you’ll win more business. 

Having takeaways like this to steer the business development team in the right direction is crucial, especially if timing is a factor in the GTM. 

Are you ready to take the next step in catapulting your sales pipeline growth? Contact Us

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The 5 Types of Software Every Business Development Team Needs

There’s a sea of software vendors to choose from, but to get started, there are five core types needed in a new business tech stack no matter the size of the team.

Sales Engagement

A sales engagement platform is a tool that allows the new business team to engage directly with prospects and keep them engaged. As any business development professional will tell you, prospects can be slippery creatures – fully engaged in one moment and complete radio silence the next. 

A tool that helps manage this supports reconnecting and meeting prospects wherever they are in their buyer journey. The tool should be able to seamlessly re-engage and respond to prospects through coordinated outbound activities like email, LinkedIn, phone calls and even web chat. Many are able to automate aspects of this outreach too. The advantage of having one in your tech stack is that sales engagement tools will streamline your sales process, making the team more effective.

Marketing Engagement

More commonly referred to as marketing automation, a marketing engagement tool enables inbound lead generation and supports proactive sales outreach. The core feature of a marketing automation tool should include email marketing, social media marketing, and managing ads. 

When evaluating different technologies keep in mind some platforms are great at activating marketing content through content management and even campaign management features. Having one in your tech stack will allow the team to manage and nurture leads through their buying journey. Tracking engagement through emails, website visits, ads, content downloads and social media gives you a more holistic view into the prospect’s business needs and what led them to a sales conversation.

Research Insights

Getting critical insights and updates about your industry is important. The new business development team needs to make decisions that are informed and measured, and having this information will be able to guide them down the right path. There are several platforms that can provide insights, but first, find out what would be most useful for the team. These are the types of insights most new business development teams use: 

  • Advertising Spend 
  • Advertising Placements 
  • Buyer Intent Demographics 
  • Industry News Personnel
  • CMO Shifts 

Contact Data

Not all data is created equal, and it can be hard to find contact and company information that is accurate. When evaluating these tools find out the method they are sourcing their data from and whether this will give you the right types of contacts. 

Some teams choose to take an account-based approach, and that will affect which contact data provider you choose. For Account Based Selling (ABS), you’ll want a data provider that connects the dots between brands, agencies and executives – knowing the entire buying committee is key. Supplementing this data with insights will also help narrow down the right target accounts to include. 

On the flip side, if you’re taking a more traditional approach, you will want to identify as many contacts in your Right to Win zone as possible. Having a data provider with a large volume of accurate contact data is a must. 

Have you considered Winmo to power your sales pipeline? Marketing agencies, ad tech companies, and media and sponsorship sales teams partner with Catapult when they’ve made the commitment to grow and need a proven, viable and scalable way to do so – with a resource that is focused on proactively creating new opportunities on your behalf.

CRM

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform will serve as the team’s one source of truth. When all the technology is connected to the CRM, nothing falls through the cracks and all touchpoints are tracked here. 

Many business development teams agree to a process around lead management inside of a CRM, using features like workflows and lead routing, customizable dashboards and reports, and updating contact data based on the sales qualification and closing process. A good CRM will fit your team’s needs, but should at minimum allow for lead routing, lead tracking and reporting. 

The framework of a successful program is built on industry-leading technology and accurate contacts to communicate with. Catapult is powered by Winmo to help win more business on your behalf. All clients receive a custom technology stack to enable their team to catapult their sales pipeline. Ready to get started? Contact Us

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Five Steps to Creating a Go To Market Strategy That Works

Once there is a resource plan in place, creating a strategy to activate the new business development plan is crucial. Building out a Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy will guide the team to success and reduce common pitfalls like misuse of budget and missed revenue or profit projections. So what is a GTM? It’s a comprehensive action plan that outlines the approach and steps to attract and win new clients, enter new markets, increase market share, and achieve projected sales targets and revenue. Five questions that should get answered in a GTM include:

  1. What are we hoping to achieve? 
  2. How will we track progress? 
  3. What does success look like? 
  4. Who are we selling to and why? 
  5. What tools do we need to enable the team? 

Thinking through these “why” and “how” questions will force the team to delve into the details. A GTM will clearly define positioning, analyze the competitive landscape, and establish an initial offering that will gain credibility with the marketers you intend to sell to.

Right to Win 

Starting with the end in mind, bringing new clients onboard that the business is well suited to solve problems for is the main goal when designing a new business development strategy. 

Imagine you’re at a business conference. You get into an elevator along with two senior marketing decision-makers from a company that you would love to do business with. You overhear their conversation about one challenge that they are experiencing and you happen to be uniquely positioned to solve it. What is their challenge? And try to keep this answer to less than 50 words. This will force you to zoom in on your Right to Win. 

Your Right to Win should be firmly rooted in your ability to articulate value to the types of prospects you want to pursue. Questions around the problems you’re capable of solving or how you structure your fees all play a role into the type of clients the business is positioned to win. Once this is outlined, the most important question to end on is whether these answers will hold up to a prospect that doesn’t know you. 

Gathering enough information to tell a compelling story and arm this newly established business development team will be the first step before creating a list of dream accounts you’d love to work with.

Positioning 

The reality is, your position cannot speak to all people. It needs to be narrow enough to demonstrate your expertise, while also being broad enough to gain market share. Examples of narrow, yet broad positioning revolve around:

  • Service/Capabilities
  • Category Expertise
  • Demographic Solutions
  • Intellectual Property

Competitive Landscape 

Everyone has competition. It’s important to keep track of where your clients are going when they leave or why you lose a deal. It’s painful, but it will allow you to better understand your position and why you win the type of work you do. 

In a GTM, you’ll want to look at your competitors’ positioning and what you’re offering that they can’t. When comparing, think about who they are trying to sell to and why, and what kind of technology is used to enable their business development efforts. An effective competitive analysis should have two primary outcomes:

  1. What are the market barriers?
  2. What are the market opportunities?

Initial Offer 

The initial offer is a compelling insight that can convey to a prospect that you understand their business and can provide solutions to the challenges they are evaluating. The initial offer is most compelling when you raise awareness to a business need or opportunity. Examples of this include proprietary, vertical specific research, a creative lab intended to provide a brainstorm around a specific need, or presentations that frame their problem and offer guidance. 

With a GTM strategy to guide your team, you will be able to put them into action.

Ready to catapult your sales pipeline? Contact Us.

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10 Must-Do Activities to Catapult your Sales Pipeline

Marketing team’s are strapped with projects and plans from digital transformations to staying ahead of the evolving marketing shifts, and on top of this do their day-job. There’s more than $100 Billion in marketing spend every year. That’s a lot of money and not a lot of time. 

After a full day of being asked to prepare, present, and solve business problems, corporate and brand marketers rely heavily on partners coming to them with solutions. Awarding business to proactive and thoughtful partners is a marketing professional’s favorite part of their job. So how do you get in front of them in a way that feels authentic?

The activities needed to attract, attain, nurture and win new clients can vary, but every successful new business development plan has one thing in common: It takes a team to make it work. A team based model to business development focuses everyone’s activities around increasing the visibility of your expertise. The first step in resourcing a new business development plan is identifying who will be responsible for the following types of activities: 

Research

Which markets should you pursue? Who should you reach out to? And when would it be most effective? These are the types of questions researchers should be finding answers to. This team member will support prospecting efforts and provide critical information to others when a qualified business lead wants a meeting. 

Strategize

Analyzing where you have a Right to Win and what gives you a competitive advantage whether through positioning or your offer is key. Even better, document your strategy and have it vetted by team members with experience in Go-To Market strategy. 

Promote

With a digital-first economy, it is important to have someone with specific digital expertise such as search engine optimization, website management, marketing automation and analytics to support inbound marketing activities. Depending on your business, this activity can play a crucial role or it could play a supportive role in the overall program. 

Enable

Creating a sales process that uses a tech stack, content, email assets, call scripts, and capabilities deck will enable your new business team to produce qualified business opportunities. These activities fuel sales and help prospects easily understand what you can do for them.

Expertise

Becoming a member or sponsoring organizations where other subject matter experts in your domain share ideas is a first step toward this. Then, you can move onto submitting work for awards, pitching subject matter experts for interviews or byline articles, and participating in speaking opportunities. All of which will help validate your credibility as an expert. 

Write

Compelling content that demonstrates expertise will get used by almost every team member and will most definitely have reached your prospects before anyone else has. This activity is the fuel for enabling sales and promoting your business to prospects. 

Guide

New business development is a journey, and on every great journey you have a guide. Having a clear understanding of the strategy and the ability to navigate day-to-day organizational challenges will be important to steer the team in the right direction. 

Respond

The MVP on the team plays this role. Closers will typically excel in presentations, thinking on the fly and have deep knowledge of your business. A team approach to closing business can be very successful, especially when paired with a networker and subject matter expert.

Win

Taking a team approach to close a deal is a winning strategy. Creating a capabilities deck and customizing it to the prospective client’s problems will get you into negotiations.

Network

This is an age-old activity required for new business development. In-person or on social channels, this is something that will help expand your circle of influence.

Connect

Creating new opportunities for the business proactively requires dedication. Prospecting, qualifying potential clients, preparing the closing team to win, and facilitating conversations with the team in order to keep everyone on task – growing the business – takes dedication to drive everyone toward that winning opportunity. 

When you’re building out a resource plan for outbound sales efforts, it’s important to focus on the activities around researching, strategizing, and connecting. Hiring a 3-5 person team with these skill sets will open doors for you proactively. 

Ready to catapult your sales pipeline? Contact Us.

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Insights: Sales Growth in an Economic Downturn

In the beginning of 2022, brands struggled with their supply chains and what was thought (at the time) to be temporary inflationary pressures stemming from the war in Ukraine. Now we know that inflation and consumer spending changes will continue to be a challenge going into 2023. So where will the opportunities shift in an economic slowdown?

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands are not slowing down in terms of growth, but inflation and consumer spending shifts are still major challenges. This combination leaves the industry primed for opportunities to double down on their marketing efforts by leveraging digital, branding, packaging and creative, media and more.

Fear of Downtrading

While headlines have been mixed on where the economy is headed, the softness in the market that people feel is starting to become etched in hard numbers. Noteworthy CPG retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon missed their earnings. The fear earlier in the year that consumer behavior would be impacted by inflation is starting to take shape and show in financial reports.

CPG giants like Nestle, Unilever, and Campbells all experienced market share losses to private label brands in consumer staple categories. Strategies to protect against trading down were all prevalent in their reports. Price increases have been steady all year and most reported an additional 5% increase in the last quarter. Balancing price increases with the decline in spending is a top initiative for 2023.

CPG Opportunities

CPG is gaining back most of the lost margins through eCommerce. Digital sales continued to rise another 5% in Q3 bringing the YTD increase to just shy of 40%. This is partially fueled by the consumer behavior shift from in-person shopping to online, due to COVID. This convenience is one that many consumers still enjoy even with the upcharge.

Of all the categories to go after during an expected recession, CPG has the best outlook during the downturn and has fared better than many sectors. While most CPG companies are still down for the year, they continue to see organic growth gains and are not experiencing the declines that other sectors are seeing.

Key Takeaways

As inflation is here to stay, CPG brands are looking to make a two-pronged approach: Increase prices to adjust overall margin rates while deterring consumers from downtrading.

Increasing prices comes with a risk, and it’s that coveted phrase investors are asking every CPG brand about: Downtrading. Brand equity becomes highly important because brands won’t be able to compete on pricing given inflation challenges. Because of this, marketing and innovation will continue to see investments, skewing toward heavier investments in digital strategies and campaigns as brands aim to increase brand equity or premiumize their brands to offset the consumer perception of increased pricing. If the economy does dip into a recession, then brands will need to combat downtrading even with steady overall growth to their portfolios.

Find more opportunities with CPG brands. Download the full report

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Proactive vs Reactive Selling: Building your revenue streams with both approaches

Proactive Vs Reactive Selling

There are two revenue streams that sales and growth leaders build out: reactive and proactive. When creating a revenue generating process for your business, these two approaches should be monitored.

Response-Based Activities: This type of activity includes inbound inquiries and RFP responses. If RFPs are part of the team’s Go-To Market (GTM) plans, having an update on each stage of the RFP process will help the team win more frequently. Three main points to monitor regularly around RFPs include:

  • New RFPs and which ones to pursue. 
  • Deadlines and due dates throughout the RFP process. 
  • RFP win rate dashboard with budgets allocated to each submission. 

Inbound is likely part of the GTM too, and many teams will have two processes – one for those who want to talk to sales and one for those who are not ready for sales. The three main points to monitor for Inbound leads include: 

  • Response time to new sales inquiries. 
  • Outcomes from initial conversations from inbound leads. 
  • Engagement from leads that are still being nurtured by marketing. 

These response-based activities are considered reactive and will only take your sales pipeline so far. It’s often the case that simply responding to a situation – whether an inbound inquiry or a Request for Proposal – without a strategy to arrive at a desired outcome won’t grow the business. 

Waiting for the perfect client can lead to wasted time and effort by responding to prospects who aren’t a great fit. When taking a proactive approach, your team is able to guide the pace of the sales process and better serve the potential client. This also allows the team to ensure they’re meeting with the decision makers who care about the outcomes from the work, resulting in more closed-won business.

What is proactive selling?

Proactive selling is a sales approach that allows a sales rep to take control of the sales process instead of waiting on a lead to take some kind of action. This puts the sales person in a position to grow their sales pipeline instead of waiting for the right client to show up.

When engaging with potential customers, taking a proactive approach can help build trust and close more deals. Proactive strategies will require the sales rep to anticipate customer needs, show empathy, and solve problems before the customer is aware of them.

Proactive Approach: A proactive approach to new business development will look different from the response-based approach. The team members responsible for this should actively seek out new prospecting lists, adjust messaging based on who they’re interacting with, and focus on the responses received from their efforts. The four main points to monitor for outbound leads include:

  • Prospecting lists and attributes of those prospects. 
  • Sales cadences, including messaging for emails, social, phone calls and voicemail. 
  • Messaging and content to get prospects engaged. 
  • Response rates and engagement to outbound outreach. 

When is the right time to find a partner for proactive selling?

Taking a proactive approach to selling requires a dedicated resource with surrounding support. When your team does not have the ability to dedicate resources to this, partnering with Catapult can be a great option. Outsourcing proactive selling can aid your team and ensure success from all new business approaches. It supplements already over-taxed in-house growth leaders and allows your team to stay focused on its core strengths.

Ready to catapult your sales pipeline? Contact Us.

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The Top Marketing and Advertising Associations to Join Right Now

As an agency owner, you’re overwhelmed. Just managing the everyday stuff – client emails,...

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Agency Myth: Narrowing Your Focus Results in Missed Opportunities
agency agency business development agency focus agency growth

Agency Myth: Narrowing Your Focus Results in Missed Opportunities

You hear it all the time – brands are moving more advertising and marketing functions...

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Key Takeaways From The 2019 Ad Age Small Agency Awards

Key Takeaways From The 2019 Ad Age Small Agency Awards

This was my 6th consecutive year attending the Ad Age Small Agency Awards, and it is consistently...

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The 40% Rule and Why it Matters for Agency Growth

The 40% Rule and Why it Matters for Agency Growth

Agencies that follow the 40% rule are more successful in consistent growth over time. The rule...

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Apply for These Agency Awards in Q3

Apply for These Agency Awards in Q3

While it’s exciting to win an award within your industry, most people question whether...

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Agency myth: Summer is the worst time to prospect.

Agency myth: Summer is the worst time to prospect.

  Believing that summer is the wrong time to proactively prospect could be detrimental...

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The Ultimate List of Q2 Agency Awards Your Team Should Be Applying For

The Ultimate List of Q2 Agency Awards Your Team Should Be Applying For

At Catapult, we believe today’s agencies are creating incredible work and are always looking...

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5 Tips For Building Your Agency New Business Development Program

5 Tips For Building Your Agency New Business Development Program

Agency new business development is at its peak of importance for several reasons. To start,...

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Co-founder, Full Service Marketing Agency

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