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Manifesting Growth

Avantgarde’s Rachel Lewandowska and Sandra Perriot on the financial upside of being optimistic

Agencies are currently brimming with optimism according to the Alliance of Independent Agencies’ recent survey. A significant majority of respondents (75.61%) anticipate revenue growth in 2024, and a substantial portion (63.41%) express positivity regarding overall agency performance.

As positive psychology researcher, Michelle Gielan, once demonstrated in the Harvard Business Review: there’s a clear financial advantage to being optimistic, at least for individuals. “For pessimists, circumstances overwhelm. For optimists, mindset wins.”

It’s not easy dealing with the challenges of poly-instabilities, but looking ahead to 2024, PwC highlights many reasons to feel positive:

  • The UK economy is on the brink of a positive shift, positioning itself as the fourth best performing G7 economy relative to pre-pandemic levels. Despite a projected slowdown in growth for 2024, the UK is expected to outperform France, Japan, and Germany, with real GDP averaging approximately 2.7% higher in 2024 compared to 2019 levels.
  • Anticipated headline inflation is approaching the Bank of England’s 2% target. Despite the potential for increased inflationary pressure in the first quarter of 2024, the rate is projected to decrease more rapidly than initially anticipated by the Bank. (This is attributed largely to declines in global energy prices, though a degree of volatility remains.)
  • As a result, there is an anticipated positive shift in consumer sentiment, marking the first time since 2021 that more households expect to be better off in twelve months than worse off. This change is likely to make brands feel more comfortable engaging with a larger audience (let’s bring back the affluents to the mix!).
  • 2024 will also hold significant promise for sports enthusiasts, featuring events such as the Euro football tournament, the T20 Cricket World Cup, and the Olympic Games in Paris. And that means brand activations.

Manifesting (a term embraced by gen z) involves bringing desires into reality through focused intention and determined actions, aligning with the law of attraction. Positive mindsets attract positive outcomes.

If the key to growing the business in 2024 remains business agility, adaptability, and timely responses, an optimistic solution-focused mindset propelling positive actions will go a long way.

Generating leads takes the spotlight.
For agency leaders involved in the survey, the primary focus is on acquiring new clients (score: 3.05), followed by expanding existing client relationships (2.68), managing agency profits (2.20), and retaining talented individuals (2.07). Almost half of the respondents (48.78%) expect a larger influx of new business compared to last year, with a 56.10% anticipated increase in pitching activities. Agency leaders demonstrate strong confidence in their ability to attract new clients despite the challenges.

With such a focus on acquiring new clients and pitching, the question is how to maximise the chances of winning.

At Avantgarde, our take is this:
1. Qualify the opportunity.

When there’s pipeline nervousness it’s all too easy to jump at every opportunity. Be brave, as independent agencies, it’s important to still take an objective view on whether it’s the right brief to invest in.

2. Strategy to win.

Internally aligning on how to win is often forgotten. Recruit the best team rather than the available team, draw on previous experience, optimise with specialists, elevate beyond the ask. Then revisit the strategy throughout the tender process.

3. Focus on quality over quantity. ​

Instead of offering several ideas that ‘might’ hit the mark, strive to stand out by providing a single-minded route that nails it. Be confident and clear with your clients about how your ideas and deliverables directly address their goals and help them achieve success.

4. Add value.

Demonstrate value beyond the brief. Consider different commercial models that may make long-term client/agency partnerships more appealing. Cultivate meaningful connections with partners, talent, and brand supporters to build communities and future-proof loyalty.

Click here to view the full 2024 Temperature Check.

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