New Business Options – 4A’s New Business Summit

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

Flash Report – June 18, 2003

This BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT information is for Certified Agencies, Agency New Business Executives and agency subscribers. We communicate with registered member-agencies using e-mail.


1. New Business Options – 4A’s New Business Summit
2. New Business Options – The New Business Institute
3. New Business Options – The Marketing Forum
4. New Business Survey – Ballester US
5. A Olympic Marketing Opportunity
6. A Child Prodigy


New York’s Hudson Theatre served last week as venue for 4A’s first-ever New Business Summit, by their description the most successful event they’ve ever produced. That was easy to accept, as we looked around to see more than 450 of the countries biggest, best and most vocal new business players. Reading from their published materials, more specifically: 459 registrants, 48
speakers and presenters and 26 staff. 201 of the 459 were from New York. Hats off to all who made this a worthwhile event.

ADWEEK and AdAge carried stories on what Donny, Andy and Lee had to say, but just as important was what was said by the less renowned. Consultants talked about do’s and don’ts; clients did the same. Ballester Inc. shared what clients really think (more on that below). Most discussion centered around how to win the account after the agency made the invitation list. Questions were presented in written form to the podium. Some were edited out, but the big mystery (never really answered or addressed) was how an agency got on that invitational list to begin with.

For years, agency management has announced “Just get us on the short list, and we’ll do what we do so well. That’s when we shine!” Well, except for the rather significant budget reviews at $75 million and more, (where the consultants tend to congregate), it seems as if there’s a no-man’s land below that where the less-than-gigantic agencies struggle and puzzle to get connected. (hint – we selfishly know for certain that agencyfinder is one significant solution. Before heading to New York, I checked with our MIS Director for some stats – since 3/98, we’ve recorded more than 3,300 client searches!). Speakers admonished the agencies to politely but promptly decline invitations where “fit” or “form” was bad. Great idea. In particular, agencies need to review and acknowledge all forms of invitations and queries. Clients don’t forget or forgive. When rebuffed or treated rudely (most often by agency gate-keepers or executive assistants, but the boss never finds out) they tell their friends and colleagues. Oh, but for a dollar for every time we’ve been told that story! Donny and Andy also made the point to remind us all that each agency spends a small fortune to try to win. If your gut tells you it is not going to happen, save that money for something else in new business.

Speaking of money – agencies made a serious commitment and spent well to attend. At $1,000 for members and $1,495 for consultants and suppliers, the 4As should have seen something close to $400,000 in receipts. Add travel, accommodations, and then allocate talent-at-hourly-rates, you might call this a $2 – $3 million event. For agencies that expect new business costs to be borne in part by client billings, this should come as a real eye-opener.

New business is also about networking, and it’s gratifying to realize that a few moments of sincere handshaking between long-time telephone friends was worth the time and travel. I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones.


Who teaches agencies new business process? Not the Universities and colleges. Not the graduate schools, and seldom member associations. Peer-to-peer experience sharing is constructive, but it’s not the same as a more formal education. One consistent resource that dates back to the early 90’s is Stuart Sanders and his folks at Sanders Consulting Group. Sanders paired up with ADWEEK in the mid-to-late 90’s to produce a series of new business and “re-engineering” events that crossed the country and the pond, and they’re doing so again. That no-man’s land of agency outreach and pursuit is addressed and taught by Sanders this year during The New Business Institute. Eight events; eight cities near you.

We believe in what Stuart advocates, and we’d like to spread that message. For more info, visit or call 800/899-1538.


Speaking of new business investments, The Marketing Forum has been floating about for six years. Agencies pay so clients can cruise and schmooze for free, but it’s not the cruise that’s the draw, it’s presumably the opportunity to sit (agency and client) for 25 un-interrupted minutes in a public area to get acquainted and talk business. You can do dinner and seminars too, but they say it’s that face-to-face and salt-water spray that invigorates, titillates, stimulates and motivates.

Some agency executives declare they “don’t pay for leads.” These agencies apparently don’t feel that way, and paid about $18,000 per head to float offshore for three days. The figures vary, but from the low estimate (90 agency/suppliers) to what is certainly the total float (200), the producers saw in excess of $1.5 million in revenue. How’s that for a significant new business investment?

Agencies that believe in new business development are not shy about spending what they see as necessary to succeed. And don’t deceive yourself – any attempt at finding and landing new clients requires an investment and expenditure. For those not yet convinced, you may want to chat with your more successful colleagues.


Surprise, surprise! Ballester reported that integrated agencies or full-service agencies (or at

least proclaiming that is what you offer) are far less important to clients than agencies think. Most advertisers (81%) accept that their agency is able to offer integrated services, but prefer to unbundle their business to “best-of-breed” specialists while retaining client control over overall coordination.

Ballester’s report advises that advertisers describe their top marketing challenges as: “Breaking through the clutter”, building awareness for their brands in a crowded and evolving media and consumer landscape and being effective in terms of sales increase.

Primary reasons for calling a review are: they feel they have outgrown their present agency (28%), they are generally dissatisfied (26%) or simply, because “the thrill is gone” from their relationship with the agency (12%). Looking at these stats, should we encourage the incumbent when the client calls a review?


We were surprised and delighted when a “famous” female Olympic athlete registered a few weeks ago. Her search was a bit unusual, in that she’s looking to hire a public relations firm or a publicist to work with her prior to and then during the Italian Winter Olympics of 2006. The hitch (not something we encourage) is she has not yet landed her new sponsors. Her past sponsors are clients to die for, and depending on who-you-know, it might not take much for a well-connected agency person to close something big.

Her identity must remain a secret for now, but if you have sports marketing experience and could balance publicity with landing a sponsor (s) (there are quite a few perks in the package including a possible deal with her “country”), give me a call. We might be able to get her that sponsor outright, and then she’d be just another client with a budget!


Imagine a 10-year-old female inventor, athlete, author and motivational speaker. “Dad” for just such a young lady registered about the same time our Olympian did so. He was looking for a public relations person, maybe even an agent to intercept for and help manage this remarkable young lady. We couldn’t act fast enough, as a very famous and influential International jet setter got wind and took this young lady under wing. Watch the pressfor more.

Remember you heard it here first – Ms. Kelly Reinhart!

Thanks for taking time to read this; we look forward to getting you face-to-face with a great prospect.


Charles G. Meyst, Chairman/CEO

Business Partnering International, Ltd.
Vantage Place, 4327 Cox Road
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060 USA

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