About Ian Elliot

Over 30 years in the highly competitive advertising industry, Ian Elliot rose from mail boy to CEO and Chairman of Australia’s biggest agency, George Patterson. He’s a master strategist in brand building and new business acquisition. He was the architect of the Optus Brand, creating the hugely successful “YES” campaign.

Ian draws experience from some of the world’s major companies, his own entrepreneurial endeavors and his learning’s from the Harvard Business School AMP where he was class valedictorian.
He is recognized as the advertising industries most successful new business winner. Ian has authored “Stop Bitching, Start Pitching” published by Murdoch Books. It’s the definitive guide to winning big accounts.
At just 48 he retired from the advertising industry to focus on his public and private company board responsibilities. He’s on the board of several ASX top 200 companies.

Ian is an internationally acclaimed professional speaker and is the author of “Stop Bitching, Start Pitching”,(published by Murdoch) – the definitive guide to winning big accounts. He consults to major firms including KPMG, Walker Corporation, Village Roadshow and Prime Media.
Ian also runs 2 day Master Classes in “Presentation Skills”  and “Pitching Skills”


1.Pitching Big Accounts – “Stop Bitching, Start Pitching”
Recognized as the most prolific new business winner in the advertising industry ( $250 million over 4 years) and a 78% win record. He has co authored “Stop Bitching and Start Pitching” (published by Murdoch Books), a book which reveals the secrets to winning major accounts through the complete tender process in ANY industry.
“Winning major pitches involves much more than simply having a superior offering and a well polished presentation. Winning also requires a deep insight to the full dynamics of the pitch process, a set of disciplines to extract every ounce of opportunity and an understanding of the psyche of both the client and a winning team”
This presentation highlights the importance of developing a winning streak in your company and how to hold that momentum. You will learn how to analyse the opportunity and your potential client on the ‘rational, emotional and strategic levels and then use that analysis to create an unfair advantage.
The 9 steps to winning are the road map that if followed will see your win rate escalate dramatically. You’ll have an energized and motivated team, more clients and higher profits.
2. Staff Engagement & Loyalty – “10 Commandments of Staff Engagement”

Staff engagement is paramount to the success of most businesses, particularly those in the professional services sector. Ian Elliot knows better than most what does and doesn’t work, not just through theory but through practice. Ian puts all his success down to getting the culture right. “Tip the priorities on their head. Yes shareholder responsibility is a priority but I’ve always worked on the premise that if I look after the staff, they’ll look after the customers and the customers will look after the shareholders. Engaged and committed staff will stay longer, clients are stickier if good people are looking after them and profits will follow. Unquestionably there is a direct correlation between staff and client loyalty and profitability “Rising from Mail Boy to CEO of George Patterson’s, the largest advertising and communications business in Australia during his time, Ian maintains that staff engagement through a strong belief in the power of culture is what got Patt’s to the top and kept them there during his entire 30 years with the company.
After 4 years as the MD of the Sydney office of Patt’s he spent his last 4 years as the national CEO and Chairman of the holding company, (The Communications Group). During those 4 years he and his team proved that with the right approach to developing, encouraging and managing your people you CAN HAVE IT ALL.
Proof is in the following facts.
1. Patt’s was chosen as ‘Agency Employer of the Year’ in 2001.
“Our staff loved working with us”
2. Staff stability was at an all time high
“Staff chose to stay because they were respected and valued.
3. Client retention was 100% for the 2000 -2002 period.
“Our customers loved working with us. They never left”
4. Patt’s won a record $250 million in new business over the 4 years with a staggering 78% win record. (Incredible when you consider there are normally 4 – 6 competitors in each pitch).
‘We were lovable but ruthless when it came to competition. Clients and staff want to be with winners”
5. The Industry media voted Patt’s ‘Agency of the Century’ in 2000.
“The media and our peers respected us”.
6. In his final year Patt’s posted their highest ever profit.
“Profit and culture are friends not adversaries. You don’t have to choose between happy staff and happy shareholders. One feeds the other.”
Ian’s ‘10 commandments’ presentation is a lively, personable, humorous and poignant look at what it takes to build an environment of trust. “The trust/success/trust/success cycle is a powerful piece of magic. It’s important that you don’t break the spell or like all magic your success can disappear in a puff of smoke”. His presentation is peppered with examples and anecdotes from a successful career in an extremely competitive industry.

3.Marketing Without Money – “Extracting Leverage through Creativity”

This man grew up with feet in both big and small business camps. Rising from mail boy to CEO of Australia’s biggest advertising agency, he used his Harvard taught skills to build some of Australia’s most successful brands, whilst simultaneously developing entrepreneurial businesses in partnership with his brother.
Ian knows what it takes to risk your own money in ventures and how to use guile and thrift when it comes to building successful businesses. His insights to creating WOW customer experiences have helped hundreds of companies big and small lift their game and build deeper more profitable relationships. His brand building techniques have also helped build millions of dollars in brand equity for organisations.
Ian is a highly motivating, entertaining and humorous speaker who relates well to his audience, telling his experiences with all of their rawness juxtaposing the sophistication of strategy with the reality of execution.

4. Brand Building – “Unlocking Your Most Valuable Intangible Asset”

As the architect of the Optus brand ”YES” campaign, and many other icon brands over 30 years, Ian knows why brand building is key to business success and how to help businesses big and small go about building their own brands for profit enhancement. “Brand reputation and brand relationships create much more than just extra sales and inflated margins. They can lessen your distribution costs, improve your cash flows, attract superior talent, and be goodwill in the bank for unforeseen troubled times.
The rules and the tools that Ian shares are straightforward and can be implemented immediately for measurable results.”

5. Marketing Strategy – “Creativity is Undetected Plagiarism”

This was originally prepared for and delivered to 600 Special Forces (Green Beret) officers and their partners at The Winter Formal Ball at the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Centre in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
It sets out to prove that every great business strategy ever used was stolen from the military. There are some great examples of battle strategies, their origins and examples of how business employs those strategies.
It’s a very entertaining and humorous speech, made all the more funny because Ian shows hilarious award winning TV commercials with military themes demonstrating that marketers have not only stolen their strategy but their imagery and themes. This is ‘ Marketing Warfare’ taken to a new level with dozens of belly laughs thrown in.