What is the most exciting thing about pitching?

Winning. Or even better – derailing the pitch.
What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up to pitch?

Be completely clear about what you seek to achieve and the criteria on which you’ll base your decision.
Tell us about your best / worst pitch moment.

As a fairly junior client I had to pitch to a retail buyer who threw me out of his office – literally, picked up my briefcase and chucked it down the stairs. The following week he signed the deal. Dramatic negotiating tactics haven’t fazed me since.
What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?

Pitching is time-consuming and expensive; there are other ways of finding the best partner.
What one thing would you like to change about pitching today?

The pitch process is an inefficient use of resources; early selection based on chemistry and approach achieves a better result.
Please submit any ideas or experience with alternative pitch processes.

We believe in getting to know our clients off-site – in the bar, the supermarket or whatever environment their brands operate in. We get to know each other as people, and we also get close to their customers by watching them, listening to them and interacting with them.
We’ve derailed a fair number of pitches, sometimes by refusing to be involved in a full-on competitive, creative pitch. It’s made clients question the pitch process, and, of course, its shows a lot of chutzpah on our account, which is intriguing enough for prospects to want to get to know us better. If they want to fashion us into a replica of a previous agency then we are probably not the right people to talk to…

 

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What is most exciting thing about pitching?

The excitement of winning.

It brings the agency together and it certainly brings the team together. And that team is often a new bunch of people who haven’t worked together before.

It enables the client to see the agency at the top of its game, and show what it is truly capable of. It may never get back quite that high.

 

What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up for pitch?

Plan carefully, if you do.

Be firm, don’t mess around.

Ask yourself exactly what help you need. Once you choose a list, stick with it. Get to a shortlist as fast as possible. Be radical. If you only think two on list will make it through, just put those 2 on list. Don’t ever pitch to raise an incumbent’s standards.

 

Best Pitch moment?

Pitches have many great moments. Something to do with the slight artificiality of the moment.

So emotions can run high. Being told in the pitch that you have won it takes some beating. That has happened a couple of times, once a many years ago with BAA.

 

Worst Pitch moment?

Bad times frequently include technological meltdown.

Worst moments can involve senior client who has not been involved previously but comes to pitch and is clearly in a parallel universe. No knowledge of brief or journey.

In the very early days a slightly insane tourist office client threw the pitch boards at me across the room. Something must have been lost in translation.

 

Single thing for client to realise when pitching?

It’s a costly business for both sides in terms of time and money. It’s easy to embark on a pitch process without realising just the commitment it will be in terms of needy agencies, and demands on client team.

 

What would you change about pitching today?

Make the process shorter.

Drop some of the procedure involved. Stick to time table.

Maintain the momentum.

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What is the most exciting thing about pitching?

Getting the pleasure of working with some seriously smart, creative people from across the agency

 

What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up to pitch?

Be open in your communications;

Be honest about what you want/don’t want to see;

Be brave.

 

Tell us about your best / worst pitch moment.

Cliché but:

 

Best – Winning, especially when it’s an incumbent

Worst -Losing, especially when it’s an incumbent

 

What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?

Give the agencies as much information as you can, and if possible, time to talk to them.  If the agencies can truly understand your brief, business and challenges you get real concrete solutions to help your brand grow.

 

What one thing would you like to change about pitching today?

Like Sam said, Powerpoint!

 

Please submit any ideas or experience with alternative pitch processes.

Yes please do submit them…

 

Katie Grosvenor, Associate Global Marketing Director, MediaCom

@MediaComUK


 

 



 

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What is the most exciting thing about pitching?

    Seeing colleagues experience the pitch process for the first time, flourish in it and pleasantly surprise themselves. Every pitch is an opportunity to Know More than yesterday, no matter what your role, level or experience.

     

    What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up to pitch?

    The response from your agencies will only be as good (if not better…) as the brief given to them.   Being honest and open at the briefing stage is integral to finding the right agency to suit your needs.

     

    Tell us about your best / worst pitch moment.

      My worst pitch moment was getting stuck in a lift for 20 minutes with clients on the way to the pitch room, with the agency pitch team waiting to present.

      My best pitch moment was going on to win that pitch anyway.

       

      What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?

        Pitching costs agencies. Having a concise timetable (and sticking to it) and including contract negotiations within the timings assuages long processes and this, in turn, keeps costs down.

         

        What one thing would you like to change about pitching today?

          Make at least one face-to-face meeting mid-pitch mandatory.

          All too often a brief lands with a pitch date and communication between client and agency as good as ceases.  I believe that ongoing communication during pitches improves the experience for everyone.

           

          Please submit any ideas or experience with alternative pitch processes.

            Something I’d like to try out is very different to the typical process as we know it – complete the pitch process in a day.

            Starting with a shortlist of agencies and going in to each of their offices for a full day, being provided with unrestricted access to everywhere and everyone. Interview employees at all levels, experience the culture of the agency for yourself and see the brief being worked on live.  It’s a no frills approach, but there is no better way to truly know which agency is best for you than experiencing ‘a day in the life of’ first hand.

             

            Anna-Liisa Goshawk, New Business and Marketing Manager, Rocket, Omnicom Media Group UK

             

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            What is the most exciting thing about pitching?

            Deliverance Thai green curry at midnight with warm rosé, of course… Also, love how it galvanises businesses creating an infectious momentum, provides a true rallying point for talent and engenders a beta approach to problem solving.

            What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up for pitch?

            Get absolute consensus that a pitch is necessary and be very clear on the outcomes you desire. Put yourself in the agency position and imagine how you would want to feel if you were on the other side. The latter thought applies to agency folk too.

            Tell us your best/worst pitch moment

            Best pitch moment is a toss up between LBG win at MEC where we took on 13 different agencies and won and more recently the Wickes pitch at Carat which moved the dial on how agencies show true business value.

            Worst moment is the raft of stop/start pitch processes going way beyond reasonable time scales.

            What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?

            To be cognisant that pitching can be an expensive exercise….on both sides.

            What single thing would you like to change about pitching today?

            Short cut the process, use chemistries as opportunities to co create around a real-time business challenge and from this go straight to two final agencies – or even better, go with your convictions and appoint one directly.

             

            Cormac Loughran, Aegis Media

            @Corml

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            The media pitch hasn’t changed but it should. Over-scoped briefs seeking solutions to too many ill defined marketing communications problems, sloppy processes and ludicrous media costing templates designed in the 1980s for an analogue world, all too frequently conspire to achieve an incredibly ambitious goal – the status quo, with the promise of huge cost savings! Surely we can do better than that?

            Well done to ISBA and the IPA for creating thegoodpitch.com website – a worthy endeavour and timely reminder of the basic principles of good business practice, as well as decent human behaviour. What a shame it is, that in 2011 agencies and clients need to be reminded to be respectful, brave, open and transparent.

            Today’s media pitch however is, or at least should be so much more than the zero sum game of finding a new media agency to plan and buy media at lower costs. Too few clients are asking big questions of themselves and therefore of current and prospective agencies, and in the current land grab, most agencies offer to deliver on everything. So here are ten starter questions before the pitch brief is even written:

            1. What is a media agency and do I need one?

            2. (Since most will answer yes) why do I need one?

            3. What can I do better in-house?

            4. What type of relationship should I be having with media owners?

            5. How many seats should I have at the CMO table, and who should occupy them?

            6. Should I pay a media agency if they’re trading on their own account?

            7. Who can best deliver me insight from data?

            8. Who should control my data?

            9. What do I mean by creativity in media?

            10. What is good media performance and how do I get it?

            Call me naive but when Joel Ewanick, GM’s Global CMO announced his $4.26bn media pitch saying “We’re looking for an innovative model that helps us become more effective in leveraging global marketing opportunities more efficiently”, I thought there’s someone in touch with the new era. Maybe that’s why he’s asked a creative pitch consultancy to manage the process rather than a good old fashioned auditor, out to fill their boots with a few billion dollars of media costs.

            Of course cost is an issue, especially in these challenging economic times but there are so many ways to achieve enhanced value for the business. Since 2008 most smart clients have addressed the cost side of the productivity equation – to deliver tangible benefits to their businesses into the future, they now need to put as much effort into driving outcomes, and incentivising accordingly.

            There is a question 11 and it is very important. Why pitch? There are significant costs and risks associated with pitching: the costs are obvious – time and advisors’ fees – but the risks e.g. loss of embedded knowledge, data integrity, insight continuity, are often overlooked. Most clients have moved a long way from the traditional spots ‘n’ space model and if they’ve had their eye on the cost ball for the last couple of years, they should have their pricing models in order.

            These clients may be better advised to use the time and resources they would have invested in a pitch to put in place effective governance of their media investments, and to review and potentially redefine what ‘media’ does and could deliver for their business. Only then should they work out how to resource, manage and pay for the required media services.

            By Graham Brown, owner, MediaSense

            For the original article see the link below:
            http://www.utalkmarketing.com/pages/Article.aspx?ArticleID=22600&Title=Why_the_modern_media_pitch_needs_to_change

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