3 different types of pitch consultants and what you can expect from each

Since 2003 when we undertook our first pitch management project for an advertiser, we have been investing heavily in building our resources, both human and online. Today we have our TrinityP3 Agency Register and Ad Cost Checker databases that contain the extensive details of more than 2000 agencies and a database of agency remuneration benchmarks from more than 20 markets and growing.

Back in 2003, the market was much simpler. Digital was relatively new, and Facebook had less than one million users. We were lucky we could build and develop our methodology, working with our clients to develop more robust and proven techniques and methodologies.

Marketing and advertising have become increasingly complex

It is fair to say we were very much a process pitch consultancy with a clear view of what would be required to add Rocket Science to our offering. And it was clear that it was not just because we wanted it but the industry needed it.

Marketing and advertising have become increasingly complex. The pace of change, driven by technology, means that the process of selecting and managing a roster of agencies also needs to change.

If we were starting now, we would struggle to keep up-to-date and relevant, especially in digital media, data analytics and AI technology. But increasingly, this is across all aspects of marketing. I can only imagine how the traditional ‘Grey Hair” consultants would cope with these topics based on their industry experience from when this technology did not exist.

It got me thinking about the journey we have come from in agency roster selection and management. The transition from Process Consultants to offering our clients Rocket Science in this area. (Not enough grey hair as yet for that designation, although there are a few Grey Haired Consultants that take to the bottle of dye).

Types of consultant offers based on the current market

Here are my thoughts on what each consultant type offers based on the current market.

  Process Grey Hair Rocket Science
Market Knowledge Has a process of finding agencies as required Relies on their own experience and knowledge of the marketplace based on personal experience Demonstrable resources and methodology for capturing agency information and a defined process for staying up-to-date
Expertise Expertise in managing a pitch or tender process, but will not always have personal experience in the discipline being tendered Relies on their general industry knowledge but increasingly do not have experience in technology Has resources with expertise across the various disciplines and specifically for the discipline required by the client
Management Approach Focuses on the process Focuses on advisory Focuses on the total process, including roster alignment, search and selection, sustainable remuneration and performance optimisation
Methodology Knows several processes and is focused on the process more than the outcome Will usually have one preferred methodology or be willing to go with whatever process you suggest Will have a range of methodologies and advise on the appropriate methodology to achieve your specific objectives.
Capabilities Primarily offers project management service. Other capabilities are usually outsourced One-man band offering advice across all areas required Offers a full range of services across a team of people:- Project management, Strategic insights, Subject matter experts
Remuneration Usually hourly rates Usually, hourly rates or project fees Project fees
Human Resources It can be a one-person operation or a team focused on process management Often only a one or two-person operation offering general advice Has a team of specialist and subject matter experts and project managers who can guarantee delivery of the project on time and within budget
Benchmarking Has a detailed Excel spreadsheet approach to capturing agency data and will benchmark one agency against another Relies on their personal experience and benchmarks agency remuneration based on personal experience and gut feel Will have an extensive and demonstrable database and proven robust and reproducible methodology. Also has extensive knowledge of agency remuneration models and trends
Credibility Often has a low profile in the industry Is known in the industry because of their career Is known as a thought leader in the industry
Cost / Value Medium cost represents value where the advertiser lacks project management resources Low cost, represents good value where you need additional market knowledge High cost represents very good value for where the outcome is critical. Provides detailed and specific outcomes

Rocket Science or Process Management?

My experience has been that the increasing number of procurement professionals in the marketing category brings a higher level of Process Management Consulting. No matter if they are internal or external, procurement brings process rigour to the search and selection process.

Deciding what type of consultant or assistance is up to the advertiser’s needs. The desired outcome and the current situation will determine this. Of course, an advertiser can manage the process without any assistance.

But with the increased complexity in the agency market and the requirements of the marketing strategy, then increasingly it is likely advertisers will require assistance. And when that happens, the ultimate result will depend on their choices.


To find out how TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultants can help you further with this, click here.

One thought on “3 different types of pitch consultants and what you can expect from each

  1. Great analysis Darren, a nice way to segment the marketplace for those clients not sure whether to resort to their tried and tested (grey haired) "friend" or seek to really max performance by working with best practice from thought leaders. As you say, its a rapidly innovating and complex market and brands should seek competitive advantage by working with the best specialist resource they can.

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