Wiliam Staff Team : Staff Tags : Issues

Life's a pitch

Wiliam Staff Team : Staff Tags : Issues

There has been a long tradition (and expectation) of agencies, (advertising, web, marketing, whatever) to compete against each other in a competitive pitch. To win big clients and to prove it is worthy, there isn’t much an agency can do about it. Either pitch, or move on.

It can be a stressful time. Who are you pitching against? What assumptions are they making that might give them the edge? Is it even a genuine opportunity or simply the company performing its due diligence? How can you divert resources from paid clients and justify the expense? So many questions!

In today’s market place with thousands of digital agencies all trying to exist in the same space it is easy enough for a well known brand to demand creative pitches from up to 5 or even 10 agencies, and get a response from all of them. All that free creative to compare, pick and mix and eventually award the project to whoever can offer the greatest (or cheapest) package.

Some would question whether this is fair. Especially when smaller agencies, with fewer resources and greater demands on their time, have to divert their resources, push existing work back in the schedule and pray they can pull off something brilliant enough to win the prize. A full weeks work may come to nothing, and worse still the ideas and creative may be ‘appropriated’ in a very similar fashion by the winning agency should the client decide to share the initial pitch work (and why wouldn’t they).

I (and many of my peers) would argue that a better way to award a contract or project would be to look closer at their portfolio of work, determine whether they have the industry experience, look into the main player’s backgrounds and work experience and ask their existing clients of their experiences. Perhaps consider whether the agency in question can provide the long term relationship required and if they ‘fit’ with the general corporate culture. The answers found with these indicators will most likely produce a much better idea of an agency’s capabilities then asking them to work 24 hours a day pumping out mythical creative full of assumptions and Lorem Ipsum.