This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.
A few months ago my Canadian Marketing FIRST Forum colleague, Stephan Argent, sent me an email with a link to this video for a new phone app called Pitcher, with the words “WTF!!! Serious? And rubbish!”. But I think that Stephan was perhaps overreacting.
You see this phone app is billed by the creators, ad agency Woedend!, with the content supplied by Amsterdam Ad Blog, as Tinder for marketers. Available on iOS and Android the app allows marketers to swipe through Amsterdam agencies until they find an agency they want to hook up with and add to the pitch list.
Has it gone from marriage to a one night stand?
When you read the article you understand that this is not so much a viable alternative to selecting agencies, but in actual fact a genuine shout out to the increasing promiscuity demonstrated by many marketers.
As Merien Kunst, Creative Director at Woedend! explains “The current pitch culture [in the Netherlands] is not sustainable. Brands are increasingly flirty, and agencies need to invest more time and money in smaller projects and shorter relationships.”
When I started managing pitches more than a decade ago, many in the industry described it as being a matchmaker, with the implication that it was about establishing long-term, sustainable and productive relationships between marketers and the successful agency.
Once the agency was appointed, the big issue was if the relationship would make it through the seven year itch, which simply reinforced the concept that this was a marriage.
But with procurement processes taking a highly productive and successful relationship to market every two to three years as a routine, is this still a valid notion of the pitch outcome? Or is the fact that marketers (and some of their procurement handlers) made this more about a fling or a one-night stand and less about a relationship?
Is it more Madam than Matchmaker?
When Michael Lee started his pitch consultancy Madam in 2012, there were many in the industry bemused by the name. But clearly Michael saw the trend and could see that the role of the pitch consultant was increasingly becoming the madam, setting up the desired liaison.
Earlier this year Avi Dan effectively called the end of the traditional Agency Of Record (AOR) arrangement, meaning that marketers no longer wanted monogamy in their relationships. But what was not clearly defined was, does this mean that they will move to polygamous relationships or just to casual hook ups?