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BD100 2019: Gareth Evans Pitch

by Leiley Sanei

5 September 2019 9:04am

What’s your job title?

Growth Director

Which agency do you work for?


How have you found business development over the last 12 months?

In many ways it’s been the same as ever – challenging and rewarding in equal measure with plenty of opportunity out there, and an exercise in clearly communicating what you’re good at with potential clients who might benefit from it.

But there’s also definitely been a sense of change in the air – a rapidly evolving agency landscape, compelling debates around talent (diversity, flexibility, wellbeing), in-housing vs in-sourcing vs JV vs outsourcing (and everything in between), the role of technology and of course that watchword ‘uncertainty’ making its way into almost every political/economic/commercial conversation.

I guess the one consistent theme remains complexity. Every client faces it in some way, and regardless of how the complexities have changed over the last 12 months, opportunities for agency growth lie where we can help navigate them in simple, effective ways.

What have been your highlights over the last year?

As well as some great new business wins, I'd say:

Building our growth team – having focused a lot on developing our growth strategy, we’ve spent the last few months building a brilliant team to deliver it.

Acquisition – welcoming NC Creative, their fabulous clients and fun, talented team to the Cogent fold this year. It’s added some exciting new strings to the agency’s bow.

Joining the IPA new business & marketing group, and contributing to the industry discussion around the growth agenda, best practice and supporting the wider new business community.

Developing new IP – covering attitudinal segmentation, behavioural psychology and some big opportunities for brands. Watch this space!

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful business developer?

An ability to remain simultaneously resilient, positive, calm, energetic and entrepreneurial. I’m better at some than others and every day’s a balancing act!

What one thing is vital to you doing your job effectively?

The support and energy of the agency. Sorry, that’s two things. Energetic support? Everyone being in it together, I guess. I’m very lucky to be part of an agency that just ‘gets it’.

Who has been the biggest influence to you over the last 12 months and why?

It would be very easy to name any number of my colleagues, my team, or my mentor, all of whom have been huge influences. But at the risk of sounding cheesy, I’d say my wife. She’s never worked in the industry and always offers sage advice, an alternative view, and much needed sanctuary from the madness.

What is your secret to success?

I’ve been experimenting with more exciting shirts recently. I haven’t yet been able to scientifically prove its link to success but it seems to be working and who am I to question a winning formula?

How do you unwind after a busy day of new business?

It stretches the definition of ‘unwind’ but I have 2 children under 5 who don’t seem that interested in RFIs, pitch strategy or pipeline conversion rates. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time but until then, being their climbing frame when I get in from work certainly helps take my mind off the day job!

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new business
business development