Global Marketing Management Update

13 October 2021

Welcome to the October edition of TrinityP3’s e-news

Pitching and the pandemic have placed huge strains on agencies and advertisers alike. Just prior to the start of the pandemic, we became aware of a large number of pitches simply designed to review the incumbent at the end of a contract period. The problem with pitching this way is it is fundamentally flawed, which we explain here in detail .

This was recently reinforced with a project we undertook with Julia Vargiu at New Business Methodology for the Mumbrella360 Shorts. Due to be released in the coming week, we undertook a survey of the market for both agencies and advertisers on the ‘ouch factor’ associated with the hidden cost of pitching. The results are telling and show the cost of the pitch for all involved. Look out for the results soon, when we will be providing further insights and interpretation.

But in the meantime, the survey raises the question of how best to manage your incumbent agencies. Do you take them to pitch or not? And if you are just reviewing the agency, do you really need to pitch? Are there more effective and less costly ways to review your incumbents? The answer is YES. Now read on.

Should you include your incumbent agency in the pitch?

When reviewing their agencies, many advertisers ask if they should include the incumbent in the pitch process. They usually express concern that if they do not then the incumbent will “drop the ball” on the account, and that perhaps by including the incumbent they can ensure their full focus and efforts throughout the process. After all, some pitches are known to take 12 or 14 weeks and the poorly managed ones can take much longer. This is a long time to have the business at risk, right? Find out when you should include the incumbent and when you shouldn’t here .

Prefer to review your incumbent independently?

Needing to review your agency, but have no time or appetite for going to pitch? Then ask us about an independent commercial review of your incumbent here .

Why it is so hard for the incumbent agency to win the pitch

We are seeing more examples of what are often referred to as ‘statutory’, ‘regulatory’ or ‘compulsory’ pitches. This is where the agency contract term is at an end, and there is a statutory requirement or regulation – or it is simply compulsory – to take the incumbent agency to market. But when we argue this approach is disruptive and a waste of time, we are confronted with the response that “if the incumbent is good enough then they will retain the business”. This is an assumption that is just simply wrong.

While that argument may seem logical, the fact is the incumbent retains less than one in five pitches. Some put the number at a lot less. And agency tenure is reportedly shorter than ever before. So it would seem it is either the case that most agencies are hopeless (in which case why appoint them in the first place?) or there are factors working against the incumbent retaining the business. Find out why and what you can do about it here .

Want intensive coaching on how to pitch better?

Then book a 2 hour intensive consultation with a TrinityP3 Consultant


How to pitch when you are the incumbent

It sounds like the toughest gig in town. Your client has called a review of your agency – despite your best efforts – and you’ve been asked if you want to take part. You’re angry, scared and pumped in equal measure. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

What have you got to say that’s new? And if you do concoct something genuinely new, then how do you explain why you didn’t do all this new stuff before the pitch was called? Why are you in this pitch anyway? Read three of the biggest mistakes incumbents can make, and five top tips for maximising the chances of retaining the business here .

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