Friday, 24 September 2010

Why are new biz people so bloody awful?

Loved this rant from Carl Hopkins aka Uncle Carl in Drum []

Q. Why are new biz people so bloody awful?

I have always had a nightmare every time I have appointed a so called new business development manager. To be brutal most of them have been bloody awful. They show very little imagination and all they seem to do is send endless letters and emails to clients and they seldom get results. What have you found to be the best business development tools over the years and would you advise hiring another so called business development expert?

I have said this before but obviously you were not listening so here we go again. The best New Business person in your agency is…drum roll… you. No one understands the capabilities of your business and its people better than you; no one knows the collective experience of your business better than you. No one has more chances of getting to see a prospect or a client of a competitor than the owner of the agency, that’s you. No one can listen to a client’s issues and reply in a manner that is believable and deliverable better than, you.

I am not saying other people cannot fulfil this role and have some success but no one can do it better than, you – are you getting the message? And if they can, I would suggest they would start their own business – which they do. There are many New Business ‘administrators’ out there; people who understand your strategies and can manage those strategies with you and for you but it’s not conversion! This is what they all do on arriving at your agency as big-dick-new-biz-bod: they say you need a new agency website and that you need a new email/DM campaign – all eats into your already overstretched creative department. They end up posting out balloons or fruit cakes or some other random idea – littered all over reception for days on end. They write half-hearted, badly targeted letters to anyone who ever spent a pound in an agency like yours – because you and your copywriters are far too busy. They ask for new magazines and expensive subscriptions and then write to every client they read who has just announced a pitch – it’s too late by then numb nuts. They suggest you join any agency register available and that you start advertising – more time and money and the creative end results divide the agency. Then they piss off to any two bit networking event or spend thousands on stands at exhibitions where you are surrounded by other totally inappropriate suppliers for days watching old ladies and students collecting stress toys emblazoned with phone numbers and taking all your glossy brochures which your creative teams have spent hours of time producing…oh and they will probably suggest you enter more awards and hire a PR agency….and a facebook site…and a twitter page.

Truth is the top new business people are safely hidden in agencies and you cannot get them or they run their own agencies. You need to drive your own strategy with some of the tactics I’ve mentioned and hire yourself someone on about £18k with a brain to help you out and not on £80k with a large ego and expense account. Remember this one fact: ‘new business people’ are great in first meetings; its what they do – hence they are good in interviews. It doesn’t mean they will ever win an account one their arse hits your faux leather executive ergonomically designed chair.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Missing words

Secret vault of words
One for the wordsmiths…A graphic design student doing a project for Kingston University, London, recently discovered a vault of words which have never made it into the dictionary. The vault is owned by Oxford University Press.
Examples of ‘words’ from the vault include

Furgle – to feel in a pocket or bag for a small object such as a coin or key
Nonversation – a worthless conversation, wherein nothing is explained or otherwise elaborated upon
Lexpionage – the sleuthing of words and phrases
Optotoxical – a look that could kill, normally from a parent or spouse
Polkadodge – the dance that occurs when two people attempt to pass each other but move in the same direction

After researching hundreds of the words, Luke Ngakane, 22, chose 39 to etch onto a metal press plate and print onto A4 paper for his graphic design degree.
Fiona McPherson, senior editor of the Oxford English Dictionary's new words group, said the words are not rejects and they may well be printed in the future.
She said: ''They are words which we haven't yet put in. I don't like calling them reject words because we will revisit them at some point and they may well go in.
''They are not yet considered suitable for the dictionary because there's not enough evidence that people are using them.”