New Ways for Business
DDB North America at DDB WorldWide
Justin Thomas-Copeland - New Ways of Business
Featured Speaker, March 25th, 2021
Thanks Kelvin, thanks Lauren. Once again, what an introduction. I don't know if I can do that justice, but really happy to be here, really happy to share some thoughts.
Let me start by saying that many brands do come to us for advice. Many brands are trying to understand their place in the world. It's been discussed by the previous – two previous speakers that the world is changing. You know, 2020 was just a wakeup call for everyone on so many different levels.
So our brands and our clients and our prospective clients are trying to find new answers, new ways, a new place in the world for their business. And so we're trying to find the answers with them.
I think one of the things I would say off the bat is if you are going to be driving revenue to your organization really get close to your clients and your prospective clients and understand their role. And put yourself in their situation and their context and that's probably going help accelerate any sort of deal that you could hope to make.
Just giving you just a one-liner on my thought on revenue and growth, it's something that I heard as well when I joined DDB, which is creativity is the biggest force in business. And that isn't just about advertising or advertising agencies, that's about thinking differently. That's about having a point of view, and that's about showing up differently that breaks through the clutter that really acts as a brand differentiator, a revenue driver, a demand driver, I think if you're given the responsibility to drive revenue you need to be thinking creatively about how to do that. You need to be stepping into your clients proactively with your thinking, your thoughts. You need to be thinking about your partner network, what ecosystems, what other ideas are you clicking up with, are you sort of putting together? What bundles are you putting together for your clients to create new value?
I think creativity goes into your teams as well. We've heard about talent and the importance of talent, but you’ve got to be creative in terms of the teams you're putting together, making sure that they're thriving, that they're motivated.
This is a hard time. Energy levels are low, you know, people are sort of on this Groundhog Day rhythm, they're not getting out, they're not connecting enough, and you're asking them to go close another deal, right? Make it happen.
So you've got to really be thinking about the human aspect of your teams, how you're balancing your teams, how you're helping them to find space. Because ultimately if they're going to be driving revenue for you they've got to be up on energy.
And that doesn't always mean more. I think in this day and time more and more it means less, but just be really focused where they're putting their energy.
So that's something that we're really focussed on and I'm focussed on as a leader, making sure the teams are balanced and the energy's in the right spot.
I also think it's quite difficult to talk about selling in this environment that we're in, in this sort of macro environment, you know, it sounds sort of like a dirty word, and I don't think it is. I think though, hunting the sale versus consultative selling is something that we should all think about.
I think you know, our clients, they want us to consult, they want us to understand their business, they want us to go a bit deeper. If we're all just chasing the sales then I think we're going to have a short year. I think we need to really think long-term, we need to think strategically and I think it was mentioned before about being sort of a trusted advisor.
That's absolutely how you should behave and you've got to take that initiative. It can't just be about closing the deal because you know, clients are being asked new questions and they want to know that they've got someone in their corner that can help them explain it and give the rationale for it and then be accountable for it, for whatever that sale is.
So that's where I think we need to just think about how we consult and how we are strategic with our prospects and our organic clients.
The other thing I would say is that in terms of your teams and just making sure that you know, your targets and KPIs are shared, the expectation is shared. In this day and time we're being very clear with what's expected. But we're also being clear on what we are going to do as leaders. What am I going to do to help that, right? How am I going to show through my behaviours that I'm actually part of finding the solution as well?
This isn't about delegating your life away. It's not about folding your arms and waiting for the money to come back. It's not that time.
I was reading the OECD interim report looking at GDP and growth. I think this year in the US it's estimated to be six and a half percent, next year 4.4 percent. And while we may think growth is great, it's amazing, but we are not there yet right? We've got the pandemic which we're trying to get a hold of. We're trying to make sure that people are vaccinated. These are things that actually are affecting business as well as society. These are things that we as revenue leaders have to keep tabs on, because our business will falter or not materialize if those things, those macro elements are not catered for.
So we also have to make sure that we're thinking about the big picture and that we're putting those expectations in context of the wider world. It's not just about giving, you know, hard sales targets now. It's about understanding what could affect them. It's about understanding what sort of growth industries your clients are in. It's about understanding how you can translate that to what your proposition is.
So really making sure that expectations are managed, and as a revenue leader you're thinking macro right to micro. And making people understand that what you're asking of them is realistic. Bottom line, it's got to be realistic.
And you know, the other thing I would say is that revenue is a – I think if you're a revenue officer or a revenue drier, and as a CEO I believe I'm a revenue officer as well, I think you have a great responsibility. You know, I can be heard saying, you know, I want our people to be able to pay their electricity bill at the end of the month right? It comes down to people being in jobs and stimulating the economy.
And I take that very seriously and I think we should be proud as revenue officers and revenue leaders that we're in that position. And really come to the front of the voice of the organizations that we're in and really kind of be that guiding light and lead them through what are very difficult times.
And I think that because we have such a direct business impact it's about that confidence. And as leaders we have to instill that confidence in our teams. We have to make them feel 10 feet tall.
Especially not because, you know, like I said, it's not an easy-deal moment. Every deal is a hard deal. You know, every closure is taking blood, sweat and tears and time. So we have to make sure that we're building that confidence and we're motivating our people show they really are thriving.
So those are some of the things that when I think about being a revenue leader and a driver, those are things that are bubbling up to the top and the things that I'm really obsessed about making sure that we bring to the organization.