How much time does it take to run an agency pitch?

Last week I took a call from a client who is a marketer at a major advertiser. He was enquiring about selecting a digital agency and wondered “how long should it take?”

“Did you mean how much time will it take you or how long it will take?” I asked.

“Both, I guess”

“Well it will take you about 12 – 15 weeks” I replied.

He couldn’t believe it. “Why so long?” he responded.

Okay, to run our recommended full selection process involves the following:

Week 1 – Develop brief of agency required

Week 2 – Market search including conflicts and suitable agency

Week 3 – Review and shortlist to a maximum of 8 for credentials, develop credentials brief and brief agencies

Week 4 – Agencies develop credentials response

Week 5 – Agencies submit credentials response

Week 6 – Review credentials responses and select agencies for chemistry meetings

Week 7 – Chemistry meetings

Week 8 – Shortlist to a maximum of 3 agencies for strategic workshops

Week 9 – Approve and provide strategic brief to agencies

Week 10 – Strategic planning day workshops and remuneration requirements / buying review for media / tech capabilities for digital

Week 11 – Review remuneration proposals and discuss creative requirements

Week 12 – Creative expressions and discuss remuneration and contracts

Week 13 – Agree contract and remuneration

Week 14 – Appoint agency and de-brief all agencies

Sure, it can be shorter, but you need to be better planned and more co-ordinated to do this effectively. And if it drags on longer it can be like a yoke around your neck.

This is were you need to consider how much time it will take you to run the pitch.

Because a pitch, depending on the size of the organisation and the number of stakeholders involved can take between 360 – 600 hours of internal head hour time across marketing and procurement.

The longer it drags on the higher the number of hours. The more people are distracted from their day to day work.

Of course there is usually an alternative to pitching that can save you time and all of the costs associated with a pitch.

To find out more download our Marketing Services Supplier Search & Selection Presentation here.