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Welcome to The Biz Dev 100, powered by The BD 100, which aims to recognize and celebrate important role played in the media and marketing industry by those who source and bring in new customers and keep the fortunes of businesses on track.

Below is Jess Gibb, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.

What have been your highlights of this year?

From an agency culture point of view, winning RAR Best Brand Strategy Agency for the third year in a row as well as RAR Best AV Agency was pretty satisfying. We also were awarded IPA CPD Gold, Campaign’s Best Places to Work – second Place and named Campaign’s 15th Best Agency of all time. A pretty good haul! 

New business wise winning the global account for a top gin brand and expanding our relationship with Heineken with two new accounts has been pretty brilliant too.


What has been your most memorable win - and why?

Winning the Global account for a top Gin brand  (soon to be announced…) has been incredible  – not least for the tastings (for pitch research purposes obviously!). We have also just won Ocean Outdoor’s Best Digital Creative for National Aids Trust – a pro bono client we are working with this year, it is a great idea for a brilliant charity and I am looking forward to it going live before Christmas. 


How would you describe your approach to business development?

We work really hard to make sure that new business sits at the heart of the agency and help people to understand its benefit: from personal career progression to helping develop the core offering and growth of an agency.  Every opportunity that we pursue – proactively or reactively - we evaluate against cultural affinity, client ambition, creative potential, commercial potential and strategic fit. Not forgetting the energy required to do these pitches internally to do the process justice whilst delivering for our existing clients and keeping our people sane.

We also have a unique proposition which allows us to get to the heart of the problem quickly, which means the focus of our energy is on problem solving and creativity – making our pitching more effective than most, which helps both internally and externally.


What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Firstly, New Business is a roller coaster so learn to deal with highs and lows. And secondly, don’t panic, take deep breaths and look at the big picture – you will find a solution.


What would be your number one tip to anyone starting in business development?

Learn how to multitask and smile. Beyond that, enjoy it - It is the best job in the agency, and when it is going well it hardly feels like a job at all

What is your new business soundtrack?

‘The eye of the Tiger’ – we are all (limbering up to be) champs at St Luke’s.


Brands looking to appoint a new agency should look to The Drum Recommends for help. The Drum Recommends offers reviews of agency partners by their own clients to offer insights to the rest of the industry when hiring.