How business development is changing in the creative industry

The traditional approach to business development involves networking, speaking and providing thought-leadership. Yet, CEO’s today recognise “new business has changed"

Start up’s focused on disruption are becoming part of a client’s innovation process. Young, hungry and intelligent graduates are taking equity in start-up’s rather than entry-level roles.

Digital agencies have started to offer media buying. Interior design firms have begun to provide web design. Advertising agencies began to offer content marketing. Is it any wonder that clients don't know who to trust with their strategic and creative needs?

Is it surprising that business development is difficult for entire creative and design industry?

So why is business development more important than ever? What is at stake?

As access to creative knowledge has grown, traditional business development becoming less efficient. It’s fair to say the creative industry is living a “feast to famine” existence.

From International Creative Groups to Independent firms, the challenge is the same. How do we invest in business development to achieve consistent results and growth?

In reality, ongoing business development is difficult due to low-profit margins. Pitches and RFP’s are often the “holy grail” to revive lost revenue.

Many believe agency consolidation is the best way maximise income and profit. CFO’s would agree though client budgets don’t change much, so aren’t we diluting our share?

Shouldn’t creative companies focus on winning new clients to deliver consistent revenue? And not over-servicing and exhausting existing corporate customers to hit financial targets?

Those who understand business development in creative and design industry understand.

It’s no longer acceptable to just ask “what is your budget, timeline and requirements?” and the days of expecting the favours from “old clients” have gone.  

With speed-to-market in the corporate world critical. The expectation to come prepared, listen and offer strategic thinking is now essential. 

If your company was under threat from the Uber, Airbnb or Apple Pay what would you be looking to do? What you be your state of mind?

Clients are now seeking partners that understand their needs and deliver value. In fact, payment has become secondary to value.

Corporations will often research your company well in advance of making contact.  They will expect you understand their business in the same way and with the same respect.

With this in mind, creative companies must collaborate to offer more than experience. More than ever corporate clients need clarity, fresh thinking and traction to deliver results.


So creative companies have a choice to make. 

Start a proactive relationship built on collaboration? Or start a reactive relationship responding to pre-existing requirements?

Click here to see if our five phase approach to business development could help you achieve growth and success within your creative company.