Welcome to the April edition of TrinityP3’s e-news
Pitching for a new agency, or testing out your incumbent agency, is a risk. The purpose of any pitch or selection process should be to end up in a better situation than you are currently. Yet often marketers will find themselves in situations where either it is increasingly complex to find the right agency solution, or the right agency solution does not ultimately live up to their expectations.
So, while managing a pitch process may appear fairly straightforward, getting the right result or outcome is also becoming more complex. Many of the traditional procurement techniques for managing a tender can work against achieving the right, sustainable outcome, with too much focus on only one of the selection criteria.
And, talking about selection criteria, we are seeing more and more organisations looking for their agencies and suppliers to understand and comply with shared social issues of importance such as diversity, equity, inclusion, environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.
This is why we have selected content focused on helping you pitch to get the right outcome. We hope you find it informative and helpful.
Looking for the right agency, not the best agency
Today, with agency specialisation, the number of agencies available is exponentially larger. I know that we have details on several thousand agencies of all different types, sizes and locations. The core responsibility of a consultant is to match the advertiser’s needs to the agencies that provide the right fit.
But you may think that the right fit is the best agency. The fact is a few agencies are often considered the best – best based on new business wins, award wins, their last campaign or simply market spin – but that does not make them the right fit.
Let’s just pick apart this idea of the best. It is often implicit in the question about recommending agencies. Sometimes it is “who are the hot agencies?” or “who are the top agencies?” Interestingly the answer to this changes quite regularly. The hot agency today – whether for winning awards, launching an outstanding campaign or landing that big account – will be tomorrow’s after-thought. Such is the fickle nature of the industry.
With so much business going to pitch at the moment, it is disconcerting but perhaps not surprising that not all processes are being run properly. Not all pitches are run or managed by pitch consultants. Most pitches are handled either by marketers or with the help of their procurement team.
You would hope, having gone to the trouble and expense of appointing an external consultant to manage the pitch, it would be well managed. But two examples of pitch consultant behaviour that landed this month are deeply concerning for several reasons.
First, it is clear that not all pitch consultants see their role as managing or facilitating a successful outcome for their client. But, second and more concerning, some marketers and procurement teams appear to want someone to decide on the agency selection for them.
Bringing DEI and more to the agency selection process
The issues around diversity, inclusion, environmental sustainability and ethical and responsible corporate behaviour, which have been fermenting and rising for more than a decade, broke through in 2020. At a time when people were confronted by the threat and impact of a global pandemic, plenty took the opportunity to highlight the concerns of the many.
In our own small way, we took it upon ourselves to do the same and find ways of supporting these global trends for diversity, equality and inclusion, because we believe in the power of advertising and marketing to lead by example.
As pitch consultants, our role is to advise and recommend the agencies and marketing suppliers that best suit our client’s needs. To do this, more than a decade ago, we built an online database called the Agency Register. Today, many thousands of agencies have provided and maintained their details in our secure and searchable register.