Business Development Manager

  • Full-time
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Forward

Company Description

Forward (FWD) is the media company of Its mission is to help businesses unlock new opportunities to make their marketing activity more efficient, intelligent and relevant. FWD encompasses four commercial businesses (Travelpeople, FWD trading, Playbook and Madfish), that combined form a media-marketing power-house.

FWD is part of lm group, a publicly-traded multinational Group, among the worldwide leaders in the online travel industry. Each month, our websites and mobile apps (available in 17 languages and 40 countries) reach 43 million unique users that search for and book their travel and leisure experiences.

More than 1,200 people enjoy working with us and contribute to providing our audience with a comprehensive and inspiring offering of travel-related products and services

Job Description

We are just getting started, the proposition for Playbook is locked down and we’ve arrived into the market at a time where more and more businesses, at C-suite level, have in part in-housed or are exploring the idea of going in-house, eager to take back control of their core media and marketing functions and relying less on external media agencies. It’s our belief that there is an untapped demand for our collective experience, capabilities and the services offered by Playbook. 

We are looking for a senior commercial lead with experience in working in entrepreneurial, collaborative and dynamic environments in achieving business goals. Someone who can build relationships at a senior level and can professionally craft new partnerships by matching our capabilities to client needs. This person will work alongside the senior leadership team of Forward as well as our strategic partners to prioritise opportunities, design projects that deliver, create new capabilities and explore new sectors to unlock for Playbook.    

Key Responsibilities

  • Help us drive both market traction, reputation and revenue for Playbook, playing a pivotal role in taking us to the ‘next level’ as we establish the business and position for growth. 
  • Understand our proposition, inside and out, knowing what makes Playbook unique and why potential partners should believe and trust in us in helping them embark on their own in-housing journey. 
  • Lean into existing brand-relationships and attract new clients and project engagements across multiple sectors and verticals. 
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to our clients and delivery teams by asking the right questions, being empathetic to our clients’ business, and help us to deliver best-in-class consultancy services.
  • Shape client engagements, managing the initial outreach, discussion and solution decision through to signature and kick-off. Managing the consulting team and resources accordingly. 
  • Work with a leadership team to experiment with new ways of creating and building client relationships, and delivering value to clients.
  • Join relevant events, panel discussions, talks and roundtables to raise the profile of our business as well as your own in the industry.
  • Work alongside our strategic partners to expand and upsell additional capabilities and services offered outside of our current scope of work. (eg. Rika Digital)




  • Proven experience in  commercial and business development, preferably within an organisation where delivering new business and client partnerships is vital to business success.
  • Comfort with and excitement for engaging with clients and strategic partners. 
  • Strong project management skills with proven ability to prioritise tasks, keep momentum and develop timelines, involve and engage stakeholders, and maintain empathy for both internal and client teams.
  • The ability to create and deliver presentations, proposals, and other assets that clearly communicate an understanding of our clients, and Playbook’s proposition and values.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including experience telling compelling stories and possessing strong presentation skills.


Additional Information

What does Playbook offer you?

You’ll be our first hire and a key member of the leadership team behind Playbook and the consultancy services we offer.  You’ll lead the commercial development of our business and hold senior brand relationships whilst raising both your expertise and profile in the current and topical trend around in-housing.

The role is truly entrepreneurial and perfect for someone who wants to take their career to the next-level, it’s important to add that although we consult we aren't consultants, we are an experienced, dedicated and dynamic team of media and marketing professionals that are proven, trusted and truly understand the journey and what it takes to move in-house. We offer the perfect environment for the right person looking to move into a consultancy role. The successful candidate will also receive media training, investment into any relevant qualifications and training (management discretion) and attendance at relevant industry events.

Who you are

  • You are articulate and engaging and a natural in front of senior clients.

  • You possess a consistent record of pitching, interpreting and delivering projects, within agreed timeframes - under high pressure conditions.

  • You can correctly estimate time plans and always ensure that you have all the data and assets your team need in order to deliver to or exceed client expectations.

  • You will be proactive in finding solutions when things don't necessarily go to plan, thinking on your feet and tackling challenges head-on, showing empathy for both your clients and internal teams.

  • You are able to appropriately challenge the client when necessary, whilst keeping a positive relationship.

Our work environment appeals to self-directed, flexible team players that have a strong commercial acumen, great interpersonal skills, learn quickly, embrace ambiguity, prototype new ways of thinking and relish the opportunity to drive business growth for the innovative new services and capabilities offered by Playbook.

Check out some of our press coverage launches housing consultancy playbook moves forward with new media arm spreads in housing gospel insourcing media launches marketing firm forward boost housing