This post is by Kylie Ridler-Dutton, Marketing Management Consultant at TrinityP3. Kylie is a discipline neutral specialist with consulting and implementation experience spanning across retail, alcohol, utilities and telecommunications.
Let’s discuss the basics of the pitch process
Having worked on a number of pitches over the last 10 months with TrinityP3, I can clearly see the value in having a 3rd party facilitate the process for both the advertiser and the agency.
The role of facilitator is to guide both parties through the pitch process and ensure they are provided with the information required to enable them to put their best foot forward towards the unknown.
It is usually common practice that a pitch will involve the marketing team, the sales team, the customer service team, the CRM team, the digital team and of course, the procurement team – have I left anyone out?
There are a lot of teams that need to be involved in not only making a decision on what partners go on the pitch, but also to agree on the scope of the work at hand. It takes a good deal of pre-thought and forecasting before agreement on the state of play can be put out there in the great open landscape of advertising.
Being involved in the pitch process together with my agency experience has enabled me to review and advise on what needs to be communicated. Our clients have found this to be a very beneficial exercise with improved communication between the key stakeholders. It has also ensured that internal discussions are well underway and aligned prior to involving potential partners.
Once everyone is clear on what the pitch requirements are about, communication and the beginnings of potential relationships are so much smoother and positive as both parties move straight into the work at hand.
Another benefit of being a 3rd party facilitator of the pitch process has meant that I have been able to ask the ‘sticky’ questions. When these are delivered by a 3rd party, it seems to soften the impact of what could potentially be a prickly situation.
With a 3rd party facilitator getting the start-up conversation and fundamentals underway for you, you are able to focus completely on the pitch so that you can deliver your best response to the brief and the Scope of Work.
Here are my top 10 tips for getting the best out of your pitch:
- Get all stakeholders involved from the get go and introduced to the process up front – what are the outputs and what are the objectives of the pitch?
- Get everyone who wants to be involved across the SOW and the financial framework early on and agreed upon.
- Ensure key stakeholders will be available for important meetings and willing to contribute to the process.
- Ensure everyone involved understands the brief that has been given to the agency and what the key deliverables and expectations are.
- Encourage everyone to have an open mind for the chemistry session. Being an industry with a lot of media hype, many people have preconceived ideas about agencies. It really helps to understand that this is a fast moving industry and things change on a regular basis.
- Can you pitch? Do you have the key dates available? This is a pitch so unlike an existing relationship where you are in a position to bend and stretch at times, there is no relationship yet, and yes you are being tested. So no, you can’t change the dates because there are a number of other agencies involved and a lot of teams who have gone through the bend and stretch internally to make themselves available.
- Prepare all of your questions beforehand and present them up front. It can be frustrating to a busy advertiser having up to 6 agencies drip feeding questions throughout the process then having to gather responses from their participating stakeholders. This will make you, as an agency, look more efficient.
- Understand what chemistry is. If you don’t understand you may want to read ‘The importance of chemistry meetings in the advertising agency selection process‘. Good chemistry between the advertiser and the agency can mean the difference between a strong relationship built on mutual respect and understanding or one that is reduced to nothing more than a fling.
- If you are successful through point 8, you will have the opportunity to really showcase what makes you the best fit for the client. Host a workshop at your offices NOW, and let them see the culture and what makes your team unique.
- Research – ask and get a feel for what you are pitching on. What does your gut say about teaming up with this advertiser? Do you really think it’s a match?
As 3rd party facilitators, we guide and inform both parties based on a tried and tested model that has worked throughout our multiple pitches.
What we can’t do is create your chemistry or lead your approach but you will have plenty of time to focus on these things if we are facilitating the rest of the process for you.
To find our how TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultants can help you further with this, click here.