How To Build Your Minimalist Business Development Plan
When I write what I call a minimalist business development plan for an advertising, digital agency client I split the plan’s deliverables into two documents. One is a comprehensive 360-degree look at my client’s business objectives, current market position, brand positioning and attributes, target market pain-points, existing biz dev plan, and a range of tailored inbound and outbound, i.e. account-based marketing approaches.
After we review the master plan document, I create a more simplified two-phase plan that is designed so that it actually gets implemented. I say actually gets implemented because many, too many, marketing communications companies do not run the business development plan they have. I have seen this at mega agencies and two-person shops. My two-phase plan, yes a minimalist business development plan, is designed to focus on a small set of marketing programs, to be highly efficient, and to be built on a clear process.
My minimalist business development mantra is KISS (keep it simple stupid) + focus on a small number of core marketing programs + be efficient + make sure that whatever you say (an agency’s positioning, sales proposition, and marketing messages) is UNIGORABLE.
OK, one more. Agency management must be dedicated to running the business development program. 24/7. Dedication to agency growth must come from the top.
8 Smart Elements Of A Minimalist Business Development Program
Sure, these elements are going to sound obvious. But, but, just do it. Again, there is a very good chance that your agency competition isn’t doing the obvious.
- Have a business plan. This means that you have to know what will make you a decent profit. Get past revenues to profitability. Look hard at your financials to help you make cogent decisions. Given the speed of change, review the plan every year.
- Understand your marketing objectives. What specific services are you selling and to whom? Easier said than done.
- Tighten your brand positioning and sales proposition. Strive to be an expert that will be perceived as a must talk to expert. The market loves experts. Experts make more money – easier.
- Communicate your wonderful sales proposition across your marketing platforms with the goal of being unignorable. Looking and sounding “me-too” cannot be an objective. Note that most of your future clients will study your company before they ever contact you. do not be ignored.
- Be efficient. Just one example. Can you do hard to ignore expert market research that can run as a blog post; LinkedIn post; an element of your email newsletter program; in your DM campaign; as a guest post in an industry publication; as a YouTube or TikTok video… and on? Think repurpose. Oh, one more. How about turning that research into an offer that cannot be refused via running a PPC ad that leads to a program-specific landing page. Yes, do some advertising.
- Process rules. Know who will do what biz dev function and when. Have a plan. Follow the plan. Treat the agency as if it were an agency client. Track everything. Spread out the work.
- Please do the easy stuff. 1) Nurture your current clients to keep them in-house and to grow them. 2) Make sure your agency will be found by every client looking to find you (and your ilk.) To not be findable is insane. 3) Goose your referrals via having a referral action oriented plan.
- Hire an uber-experienced third-party guide. A guide, coach, a consultant that will help you build that minimalist business development plan and who will make sure it gets run. I have one in mind. Peter has written over 750 blog posts on advertising agency business development. Here is just one… How To Build A Winning Advertising Agency New Business Plan.
Repetition Is Good
OK, I think I said the words “minimalist business development” plan over and over to satisfy Google’s SEO needs and, more importantly, to make and remake the point that less can be more when it comes to marketing.
Please feel free to take me up on my Corleone Offer.