Originally appeared on The Art of New Business
There’s one thing that your new business strategy is missing, and it’s hurting you more than you know.
It’s something that many of your peers are taking advantage of, you just haven’t had the opportunity to explore it for yourself, and it’s hurting your efforts in new business each day you wait.
Imagine you had a way to access the knowledge and collective insights of thousands of your peers in the advertising and marketing industry…
Imagine you had inside information on the product, marketing and media strategies of your most sought-after prospects, and the people who control the decisions about those strategies…
Now, imagine you had a way to harness the power of this information at scale. Not on just a select few brands that you manually track in unwieldy Excel spreadsheets, but dozens of prospects – even hundreds of prospects at a time.
Your peers are not just imagining these benefits; they’re achieving them, through a social experiment that began six months ago with a new business resource called Winmo.
The experiment: If a social platform were provided to business development professionals who shared similar prospects, would they share exclusive account insights, strategies, contacts, rumors and tips among themselves?
In short, could actionable market intelligence be part of the shareconomy?
The hypothesis: It could be, and it would be, if users could share information anonymously with like-minded business development professionals who would do the same.
In January, WinmoTalk was launched as a feature within the market-leading new business resource Winmo; recently voted as the most comprehensive and accurate database of national and regional UK advertisers, their agencies and the marketing decision makers within them.
WinmoTalk empowered all of Winmo’s users to create an anonymous profile, and begin asking questions and posting answers in a social forum of peers; competitors and complimentary service providers alike. And it’s going gangbusters.
Those in agency business development are not only uncovering and sharing exclusive insights and new business leads with one another, they’re being notified when someone starts a thread about one of their current clients, or an industry in which they have clients.
The social proof: Actionable market intelligence is a part of the shareconomy.
The financial impact of for those who participate has been immediate. In fact that’s exactly what I was told by a client last week. Seeking an “in” with one of her top-five prospects, she posted a thread in WinmoTalk. Although she doesn’t know the names of those who actually responded to her thread, she’s thankful to them nonetheless. Within just day of joining the community, she had what she needed and ultimately won a project a month later – one that she and her agency would consider to be a rock-star client. That’s incredibly fulfilling to see.
Why is it working?
1. Information-sharing digital natives.
WinmoTalk is building a tsunami of momentum within agencies, media properties and adtech companies as millennials, who began entering the workforce a few years ago, become the mainstream creators, curators and contributors within this industry. They’re information-sharing digital natives. This is normal behavior for them. If you’re not among these digital natives, you might consider starting a thread in WinmoTalk today to learn the ropes. As one customer told me: “It’s brilliant and easy. If you can use Facebook or LinkedIn, you can use Winmo and WinmoTalk.”
2. A targeted yet diverse user base.
If a social network were composed solely of agency new business people, the likelihood of them wanting to share intel would be pretty low. However, the diversity of Winmo’s customer base, and the common prospect profile they share, creates just the right environment for digital collaboration. Our customers are agencies and marketing services firms, media properties, sports teams, large non-profits and adtech companies – each of whom target major advertisers for new business.
We’ve simply provided this tribe a virtual way to anonymously communicate and collaborate, until such time as they can do so IRL (in real-life).
The conclusions: As Karla Morales of the Art of New Business says, “Stop selling and start marketing.” I believe that great marketing for agency new business today is built on real-time information and great insights. Millennials, the digital natives, are scooping their peers on gaining this actionable intelligence through tools like Winmo and WinmoTalk. They’re able to identify a prospect’s need, craft a solution to the problem and find precisely the right contact to build a relationship with in minutes, and at scale.
They’re running circles around less sophisticated business development methodologies, and reaping the benefits everyday.
One of the best pieces of advice came from one of our larger creative agency clients a few days ago: “Just try it. Be a voyeur of the threads, or if you’re bold enough, post a question you don’t think anyone would be able to answer about one of your prospects and see what happens. You’ll likely be amazed.”
This is the one thing you’re missing for new business.
Your peers may even be researching and tracking changes on your current clients, waiting for precisely the right moment to pounce. It’s time to turn the tables, or at the very least, even the playing field.
You’ve read this far now. So if you’re open to giving it a go, you can access a complimentary trial account to WinmoTalk here.
If you’ve had success with social market intelligence for your agency new business, we’d love to hear about it too. What’s worked, what hasn’t?