The Biz Dev 100: Bronwen Andrews, business development director, Edelman

Welcome to The Biz Dev 100, powered by The BD 100, which aims to recognize and celebrate important role played in the media and marketing industry by those who source and bring in new customers and keep the fortunes of businesses on track.

Bronwen Andrews: Edelman

Below is Bronwen Andrews, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.

Name: Bronwen Andrews

Job Title: director, business development

Agency: Edelman (2016-2018)

What were your highlights of last year?

Increasing our new business conversion ratio to 71%, winning more business (by value) through pitching less (a key part of the new business strategy) and nearly tripling the ‘win pot’ in the process.

My new business focus and that of the team was on clients that tapped into our broadest range of skills. As a result, the average value per win increased by 49% from the previous year with cornerstone wins including a target global healthcare client for our corporate team, bringing in brand new budget (with minimal previous sector experience within this team) and a huge potential for further growth.

My mission last year was to introduce a whole new approach to the business development process. This started with a taking a focused, strategic approach to prospecting, adding rigorous qualification of opportunities and raising the bar on pitch performance. This approach was disseminated across the agency teams with the launch of our New Business Curriculum.

Launching the Edelman Trust Barometer to target clients and prospects was also critical for prospecting and raising awareness of our ability to understand audiences and the societal context our clients needed to navigate.

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

Winning the Coca-Cola business in the consumer team then migrating the work into Corporate and then Public Affairs. The process was collaborative and the team followed our best in class process throughout. This meant developing a detailed plan for winning the business. This included building the client relationship with every single interaction and at every level.

Having all the different skills round the table from the outset was also vital, supported by daily meetings with the entire team, detailed face to face feedback sessions with the client after every pitch stage and two full days of off-site rehearsals prior the final pitch. We worked at making it inevitable that the client would choose us by working hard on understanding the needs that sat behind the brief and by having a killer insight from our strategic planner!

Not only was our strategic thinking and creativity tested in the pitch, but we were assessed on our ability to help the client sell the proposals internally, across Western Europe.

How would you describe your approach to business development?

My approach to business development is a relationship-based one and a fact-based one. I believe in focusing only on well qualified, strategically important opportunities that the agency stands a good chance of winning.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To rise above your competitors, you need a clear strategy that shows how you are unique in a way that matters to your client. This is true for pitches and also key for building personal relationships within the industry.

What would be your number one tip to anyone starting in business development?

Never does a cup of coffee go to waste. Build genuine relationships based on trust at every level and you’ll eventually find you have a rock solid new business and talent network.

What is your new business soundtrack?

The Hamilton soundtrack

Brands looking to appoint a new agency should look to The Drum Recommends for help. The Drum Recommends offers reviews of agency partners by their own clients to offer insights to the rest of the industry when hiring.

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