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The Biz Dev 100: Simon Ambrose, head of business development, Forward3D

Simon Ambrose: Forward3D

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.

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

Full name: Simon Ambrose

Job Title: head of business development

Agency: Forward3D

What were your highlights of last year?

2017 was Forward3D’s best ever year for new business, the first target was hit by June and the revised by October. It was great to be part of a agency-wide effort, which resulted in major multi-channel wins with NIKE, Tommy Hilfiger and Virgin Atlantic. It was also the year that investments in B2B marketing activity really started to pay off, with a shift in the source of opportunities & pitches. A personal highlight was the opportunity to work in New York for 3 months to further develop our luxury fashion client portfolio.

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

Expedia was memorable as I had originated the relationship from scratch. With stakeholders across the world, key decision makers in Seattle and Hong Kong, and activation in mainland China, it was looking like a unlikely win for a British independent agency.

How would you describe your approach to business development?

Targeted and tactical whilst being generally laid-back and affable. In other words, the opposite of many overzealous ad-tech / agency salesmen.

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

Look at every sentence and every slide, and apply S.F.W (So F@!%ing What?!). This will ensure that it’s is all killer and no filler.

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

The more people you speak to the easier your job becomes. Not just employees within your agency, but publications, platforms, partners, recruiters, friends, friends of friends and most importantly, other biz dev / sales professionals. Social learning is one of the fastest ways to become knowledgeable, social relationships are the fastest way to get projects completed.

What is your new business soundtrack?

I usually work my way through an anthology of Chicago and Detroit house, which can take a darker turn when there is a deadline looming. For track with a ‘ode’ to new business, it’s got to be ‘Incubus - Are You In?’

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