Out thinking the market

How agencies who out-think the market – and not out-spend it - will succeed.

As CEO, if your response to the deepening economic situation is: ‘how will my agency continue to attract new business and grow in 2023?’ or ‘how will I maintain my new business drive during economic downturn?’ or ‘should I even still be talking to clients about new projects?’ – you’ll be pleased to know that a) you’re not alone – and b) there is also good news.

Agile businesses who act nimbly to adjust their marketing strategies and tactics in response to shifting demand will flourish, both during and post-economic upheaval.

Yes, it requires a laser-sharp, customer-first focus. Yes, it requires a robust new business pipeline and yes, you will need to adopt creative solutions to reach the right clients. But, with the right support in place, you will carve out even deeper relationships for long-term success. Here’s how.

Don’t hold back!

First and foremost, keep talking about your work and your experience.

Your people are your biggest asset, so talk about their expertise. Demonstrate how you can support clients, that you can show them a better way – but be mindful of your audience. Now is the time to be more relevant than ever and you may be required to fine-tune your strategy. Walk in your clients’ shoes. Understand what’s keeping them awake at night. In a time of economic turmoil, brands are looking for agencies that out-think the market, not out-spend it.

We often refer to the holy trinity of new business: three distinct pipelines for generating new leads which comprises existing clients, referrals and brand-new opportunities, with each requiring a different approach to maximise engagement:

Your current clients

  • Get closer to them, love and nurture them.
  • Take a holistic view of the business, supporting them at both organisational and personal level.
  • Walk their corridors – virtual or real. Become part of the team and get under the skin of their day-to-day business. Once they have your trust, they will share their challenges and frustrations so you can identify ways to support them.
  • Wash up at the end of a project: ask what worked, what didn’t – and how you can support them further.


Your network

  • Grow, support and cultivate your network – including lapsed or lost clients.
  • Offer them something of value: your guidance, a piece of thought leadership, or simply your time and an opportunity to chat about the issues that they are facing.
  • Ask former clients for a referral (internally or externally) – if you’ve had a good working relationship and delivered real value, they will want to help grow your reputation.


Breaking new ground (and yes, this one should always come third)

  • Who’s your ideal client?
  • Think about why they should care about you.
  • Go wide. Identify fresh opportunities and expand your pool of clients.
  • Then reach out and be as relevant and consistent as possible.


By engaging across all three streams, attracting and growing new business in 2023 will be challenging but not impossible. The economy won’t stop, the world will still turn and, as with the pandemic, those agencies that keep talking to their prospects, delivering deeper relationships in 2023 and beyond.


As ever, don’t hesitate to reach out to Emma and the team with any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you.