New Business, New Relevance…Duh

3d house illustrationThe strategic creative, marketing and design needs of businesses are changing at a breakneck pace. “Duh,” you’re probably thinking. And someone or some group is going to be providing those services to your internal clients. “Duh,” again. And in response, you and your team are now taking a deep dive into how you can position yourselves to be the go-to group to supply expertise, guidance and services around those new needs, right? “Duh?”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that maybe a quarter of you who are reading this post are aggressively investigating, creating the infrastructure for and selling the new services your clients are looking for. If you are – kudos to you. If you’re not, I recommend you do what Brad Weed at Microsoft once told me he and his team do constantly – Look for areas where you can have the greatest impact.

At my current engagement, new business development has been a mix of focused action and luck. Here are a few real-world scenarios:

  • A client conducting a global webcast asks for an illustrator to draw up informational graphics while he’s presenting some pretty abstract concepts. The event is a huge success and all of a sudden our team is inundated by requests for this service for their webcasts and strategizing meetings. A new business is born.
  • A subgroup of a marketing team that provides editing, proofreading and QC on critical marketing materials is eliminated due to budget cuts. The head of the marketing group is faced with the prospect of completely outsourcing this function when our group swoops in and tells him we can absorb that team and keep them on site with little, if any, disruption to the business. Our team grows by 25%, and we gain added expertise we can leverage for other clients.
  • We discover that a creative service that supports the core business of our company is being completely outsourced to agencies that the clients believe are overpriced and under-productive. We pitch and win a pilot project that if we nail, will mean an influx of business that could easily increase our team’s size by 25% and, more importantly, reinforce our relevance to our company.

In addition to the examples above, there are industry trends suggesting new business opportunities for you and your teams. Specifically, there’s the expansion, or should I say, explosion of new media, social media and mobile media marketing efforts that position in-house teams, who are able to provide immediate solutions and services around those needs, for growth and a seat at the table in their organizations. Budgetary pressures along with an increased appreciation by business of the power of good design to distinguish their products and services in a crowded and competitive global economy also provide you with opportunities to expand your services.

If you wait for new business opportunities to fall in your lap, you’ll most likely be waiting for a very long time while your value to your company erodes and diminishes. If, on the other hand, you look for areas where you can add value and leverage serendipitous opportunities that present themselves, then you’ll grow your group and enhance its position with the much sought after respect that will accompany that business growth.“No duh.”


In-House Designer Resource
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