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 Lorna Dixon, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.
Name: Lorna Dixon
Job Title: global growth platform director
Agency: Dentsu Aegis Network
What were your highlights of last year?
I led the design, development and implementation of a new business platform to support the new business community at Dentsu Aegis Network. The platform supports our 12 gateway markets by developing the skills needed to work in new business with tools, trainings and libraries. Making our community more effective and efficient. The platform was awarded Gold at the Dentsu Aegis Network innovation awards 2018, and has been so successful that we are extending the launch to the rest of the world, as well as our remaining network brands. “The platform answers a lot of the questions which we were getting from our teams across the region. Quite simply it’s a one stop shop for pitch support and is enabling more success for our new business teams and all wrapped up in an easy to use platform.” APAC Region NB lead.
What has been your most memorable win - and why?
I managed a $2.4bn media pitch when I was working at MediaCom. This intense and exciting nine-month project involved managing a diverse team from across the network of 70 people. The extensive RFP culminated in a detailed and innovative seven-hour client pitch, followed by a three hour CMO meeting two days later. There were a number of significant challenges that we had to overcome. The team was spread across the world, so we had to Skype them in to present regardless of the hour of day, praying the internet didn’t fail us. The client also threw a last-minute spanner in the works by suggesting we take them out to dinner the night before the pitch. It was stressful, but I learnt the value of organisation and that having a supportive team is worth it’s weight in gold! And it made all the hard work totally worth it when we converted the opportunity and won the client just before Christmas.
How would you describe your approach to business development?
I am a people person, and building relationships has been an essential part to my success in new business. Very few people within our pitch teams have new business written into their job spec and so being a friendly face is key to stealing their time. I am also highly organised and have a very systematic approach to business development. I have a documented “template” approach which enables me to ensure that I do not miss steps or essential information necessary to meet the needs of the client and business. My approach allows KPIs to be implemented, and continuously review and improve my approach for future success.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When you first receive an RFI, RFP or brief for a chemistry meeting or pitch take a breath! Give yourself time to absorb and digest its contents before briefing it out.
What would be your number one tip to anyone starting in business development?
Be methodical. Always do a timing plan, ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly mapped out early and ensure you communicate regular updates to all parties involved.
What is your new business soundtrack?
Queen - either another one bites the dust or we are the champions...
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