73 episodes

New business is one of those subjects guaranteed to get a reaction from agency owners everywhere. Many will have a nagging feeling they should be doing a bit more, wonder how other agencies manage to land the accounts they covet, have moments of wild inspiration and energy then falter because the day job just, well gets in the way.


Gunpowder’s Lucy Mann has worked in agency new business for 30 years and has witnessed these scenarios, and many more like them, as an outsourced new business telemarketer, a new business recruitment consultant, in house new business developer, in house head of marketing, and new business mentor across multiple disciplines and agency shapes and sizes.


Regardless of size and discipline, many agencies encounter the same new business challenges, and more and more, the solution is not necessarily an ambitious marketing plan, or expensive sales resource, but instead a forensic application of process and a marginal gains approach to performance improvement.


Gunpowder’s podcast, Small Spark Theory® explores the small changes we can make to our sales and marketing process to achieve better new business results. With contributions from a range of experts, each episode will examine a single element of the process in detail, providing manageable tips for improvement.





For more about Gunpowder Consulting, please visit www.gunpowderconsulting.com or for details of our online, mentored, new business courses, please visit www.smallsparktheory.com





Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation #smallsparktheory


With thanks to Matthew Syed for audio extract permission.


Host - Lucy Mann


Producer - Isabelle Jarvis

Small Spark Theory: a marginal gains approach to new business and marketing Lucy Mann

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 82 Ratings

New business is one of those subjects guaranteed to get a reaction from agency owners everywhere. Many will have a nagging feeling they should be doing a bit more, wonder how other agencies manage to land the accounts they covet, have moments of wild inspiration and energy then falter because the day job just, well gets in the way.


Gunpowder’s Lucy Mann has worked in agency new business for 30 years and has witnessed these scenarios, and many more like them, as an outsourced new business telemarketer, a new business recruitment consultant, in house new business developer, in house head of marketing, and new business mentor across multiple disciplines and agency shapes and sizes.


Regardless of size and discipline, many agencies encounter the same new business challenges, and more and more, the solution is not necessarily an ambitious marketing plan, or expensive sales resource, but instead a forensic application of process and a marginal gains approach to performance improvement.


Gunpowder’s podcast, Small Spark Theory® explores the small changes we can make to our sales and marketing process to achieve better new business results. With contributions from a range of experts, each episode will examine a single element of the process in detail, providing manageable tips for improvement.





For more about Gunpowder Consulting, please visit www.gunpowderconsulting.com or for details of our online, mentored, new business courses, please visit www.smallsparktheory.com





Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation #smallsparktheory


With thanks to Matthew Syed for audio extract permission.


Host - Lucy Mann


Producer - Isabelle Jarvis

    EP72: What to expect in 2023 | Steve Parks | Convivio

    EP72: What to expect in 2023 | Steve Parks | Convivio

    How do you feel about the year ahead? Confident? Concerned? Uncertain? Wherever you are on this spectrum, one thing we must be, is ready.  I particularly like the work that Steve Parks does at Convivio because he focuses heavily on the macro issues facing clients and prospects and encourages agency leaders to use this insight […]

    • 47 min
    EP71: Managing mindset | Wendy Bollard

    EP71: Managing mindset | Wendy Bollard

    Whichever way we cut it, 2022 has been A LOT. The last few years have seen so much change; for individuals, businesses and our industry. Many of us are still adapting. Whether we are recalibrating, reinventing, surviving or thriving, we’re doing it all against a backdrop of relentless economic and political turmoil and uncertainty. So […]

    • 32 min
    EP70: A client perspective | Gareth Turner | Big Black Door

    EP70: A client perspective | Gareth Turner | Big Black Door

    It’s been a little while since we had a client perspective on this podcast, and given the current economic wobbles, now feels like an excellent time to remedy this. So I’m delighted to share this conversation with Gareth Turner. Having enjoyed a stellar marketing career with brands such as Johns Smith’s, Bulmers and Lurpak, Gareth was […]

    • 43 min
    EP69: New business talent | Adam Graham | BD Matters

    EP69: New business talent | Adam Graham | BD Matters

    It’s been a while since we talked about new business talent on this podcast. But after a bumpy couple of years, it seems like the right time to shine a spotlight on the superstars in our industry who willingly show up every day to seek out new clients for their agencies. I wrote about the challenges […]

    • 46 min
    EP68: Marginal gains in practice | Joe Perkins | Chaptr

    EP68: Marginal gains in practice | Joe Perkins | Chaptr

    The theme for this series has always been to explore how we can use a marginal gains thinking to improve agency new business and marketing performance. That said, I’m conscious that in some episodes, when we do a deep dive into a particular element of new business and marketing mix, our reference to marginal gains […]

    • 32 min
    EP67: The Summer Reset | Lucy Mann

    EP67: The Summer Reset | Lucy Mann

    There is no doubt these are troubling times. As the economic storm clouds gather, we are all bracing ourselves for some pain in the months ahead as marketing spends come under pressure. But what concerns me most is the timing. For most of this year, I’ve witnessed agencies juggling an influx of projects, finally unlocked […]

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
82 Ratings

82 Ratings

Baggiboy ,

Tools and tips for agency marketing

Lucy’s tremendous experience in the sector, and extensive network provide insightful and practical tips for small business owners. Finding the time to market and sell, as well as run an agency can feel daunting but Lucy and her guests break it down into manageable chunks.

vector-digital.co.uk ,

Essential listening for agency growth

This podcast has made a massive difference to my sales approach and has become a monthly staple for tips and inspiration. The focus on marginal gains is great especially for small studio owners like myself as they are achievable and can make a significant impact. We’ve implemented several of the tips in our own marketing and sales practices to great effect as well as buying several of the book recommendations! Get listening.

lkjflkfdl;kj ,

If you work in agency you need to listen to this…

If you work in agency you need to listen to this. Anyone in an agency will benefit from listening. Either directly, as how to market better, or indirectly, understanding how others are marketing your agency and how you might understand and help them.

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