Buckle up – the peaks and troughs of New Business

Working in New Business in adland is like a rollercoaster, according to Total Media’s Pedro Martins - so strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride.

Have you ever been to Thorpe Park, Chessington, Alton Towers or any of the many other theme parks? You approach the rollercoaster ride not knowing what to expect and wondering how it will be different. You climb on board; the familiarity of safety bar comes down and locks you in, and it begins.

It starts as you thought it would but then then takes directions you weren’t expecting. Moments of absolute calm and in equal measure absolute panic, should you keep your arms in or wave them above your head? You go through a whole world of emotions; exhilaration, fear, excitement, anxiety. Your loose change falls out of your pockets… but overall, you’re glad you hopped on and did it.

For me, that is what new business is like. I have spent over 15 years in this industry and although you know roughly what to expect, each pitch is unique, with ups and downs, fear and excitement, but equally there are many similarities and learnings you can take from one to the next.

Late nights are to be expected, ideas formulated, scrapped, then re-formulated, whilst always wondering ‘Is there is a better way?’, ‘What processes could I use to make sure it’s smoother than the last?’ ‘How do I get more opportunities to pitch?’ or ‘When should I say no to a pitch opportunity?’

When I first started in this industry it was more about trial and error. I wish I had been given the opportunity to speak to more people who had lived and breathed new business. Even just to quench my own curiosity and understand if what I was doing was right or if there were better or more efficient ways of doing things. And sometimes it’s just reassuring to speak to people in the same boat and understand that we all have the same challenges.

So here’s your chance before you board that next ride – join us at the IPA Speed mentoring event and talk to 10 of the most successful, talented and senior new business people in our industry including Larissa Vince, Chief Growth Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi London, Kate Muir, Head of New Business UK & Europe at JWT and Ben Gordon, Managing Partner/Head of New Business at Wavemaker.

Check in with those who have been up and down on rollercoasters so many times that they’ve lost count, but on these journeys they have picked up countless insights to make the next one even better than the last. They have been there, seen it, done it and are happy to share their expertise on how to be brilliant in what can often be a challenging role. In a fast-paced evening of speed mentoring, they will share what they think it takes to succeed and answer whatever questions you throw at them.

Pedro Martins is a Board Director at Total Media, The Behavioural Planning Agency and a member of the IPA New Business and Marketing Group.