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Five key points to factor in to your agency's new business planning in 2017

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Fresh views on the way ahead from The Pearlfinders Index 2017

With new business resources increasingly stretched for many agency owners it’s never been more important to focus time, investments and effort on the most promising areas of opportunity.

This week saw the publication of The Pearlfinders Index, which I have overlaid with our own insights to enable us to predict where to concentrate resources most efficiently. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend you download a copy for yourself, but in the meantime, here are five thoughts on where to focus energies.

Act now

The Index shows us brands are not delaying marketing initiatives post-Brexit despite the uncertainty. There is an urgency to install the correct trusted advisors to provide meaning and direction because of the uncertainty.

Help FMCGs go direct

We're confident that the FMCG sector will remain highly fruitful, given the significant increase in agency briefs we've noted at Rainmaker over the last six months, and the frequency of planned activity recorded in the Index. Rising food prices will bring greater challenges for brands to justify shelf space. Many of our clients are already helping FMCG brands be more innovative in building loyalty, such as digital shopper platforms for brands to offer direct promotions to consumers without involving retailers.

Reconnect with your elders

Last year saw an 18% increase in brands looking to target grey audiences with much of this increase coming in the second half of the year. Brand-side marketers know they need to urgently improve their understanding and communications or face the wrath of The Angry Grey Pound. Digital strategy remains a striking skills gap here, with 23% of brands looking to reach older audiences seeking additional digital support.

Service professional services

Professional services firms are increasingly planning for agency support, with yet more reviews uncovered by Pearlfinders for Q1 2017. Some are acquiring agencies to enable this, but alongside a resolute financial services sector, this is definitely a segment worth targeting.

Buck the trend for taking it back home

From Trump’s wall and Brexit, to brands shifting attention to localised campaigns, many analysts predict the “de-globalization” of our world. New business strategy should not follow this trend as the data points to the economics not following the politics. Those with an entrepreneurial mind-set will always seek opportunities offered by global markets – e.g. 12% of S.E. Asian automotive brands are planning to increase global experiential spend in 2017, and 17% of US brands are seeking support on video content.

Gareth Dixon is MD of Rainmaker Consulting, the UK's most influential and effective business development consultancy. Rainmaker’s unique insight-led methodology and entrepreneurial approach empowers its clients to take control of their new business strategy.

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