The Biz Dev 100: Aivory Ann Gaw, director of business development, AKQA

By The Drum | Editorial

The BD100


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November 28, 2018 | 3 min read

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 Aivory Ann Gaw, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.

Name: Aivory Ann Gaw

Job Title: Director of business development

Agency: AKQA

What were your highlights of last year?

2018 has been a fantastic year for business development at AKQA, and it's only half way. We've had several successful wins but most importantly we've built a ton of memories:

- flying to New York in the midst of a snow storm

- discovering the joys of fried chicken at 2am

- uncovering hidden talents of the team in the midst of pitches

- learning how to promote and pitch a new capability of the business

The best highlight of the year though is having the department of business development build excitement throughout the business of what's next and what people would be able to work on.

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

We worked on a pitch that required us to work as a global team across 3 offices on a new global sports brand. It was amazing to see talent from around the world working together on one creative platform, but also to see how local knowledge would be able to mesh ideas together to create one story for the client.

It was our most significant win both strategically and emotionally this year.

How would you describe your approach to business development?

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Our approach to business development is simple - listen first to what the client is looking for.

Through listening you can understand what their challenges are, what support they need, and ultimately what kind of partner they would like to work with in the future.

At the end of the day, the person you are speaking to is envisioning what it would be like to work with you and how you can support their needs.

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

If you've produced something to the best that you believe you can, the result doesn't matter.

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

Always make sure your team is well stocked with donuts.

What is your new business soundtrack?

East Bound and Down

Jerry Reed

"We're gonna do what they say can't be done.

We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there."

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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The UK’s 100 most influential business developers, The BD100 recognises the talent – in-house and consultant, managers and foot soldiers – leading the charge in marketing agency new business and business development.

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