Pitch, or not pitch?

So, you’re pitching your media agency, is this the right decision?

If you are going to pitch your media agency supplier, but the increasingly important question to consider is why? With the amount of disruption and the associated risks, will the result justify the cost, both in time and opportunity loss? Before you consider pitching your media agency, find out what you need to consider here in Media Minutes.


DARREN: Welcome to Media Minutes. I am Darren Woolley
STEPHEN: And I am Stephen Wright
DARREN: In the next few minutes we will share with you our thoughts on when and why marketers should pitch their media agency account.
STEPHEN: Pitching has always been a key part of the media and advertising landscape but in recent years it’s taken a new turn and for some has lost its way.
DARREN: How do you mean Stephen?
STEPHEN: Well… the combination of increased involvement of procurement and fixed contracts of only 2 or 3 years, the pitch has become far more cyclical. Procurement love to test the market and in their eyes, the conclusion of a contract term presents just such an opportunity.
DARREN: Surely, they’re just trying to get a better deal? Why is that a problem?
STEPHEN: Look don’t get me wrong… the price of services and media buying rates remain important but the role of media agencies and the way in which they add value is far more complex than ever before.
DARREN: How so?
STEPHEN: The variables that go into the mix have grown dramatically in line with the fragmentation of media and the growth of specialist digital disciplines. It is now far harder to put together a matrix of activity that optimises client opportunity. The capacity to get things wrong has increased enormously.
DARREN: Surely that presents a stronger case for going to market and switching agencies?
STEPHEN: Yes, it would if advertisers already knew the best pathway through the media maze and optimum mix of activity… but very few do. When advertisers approach TrinityP3 with the opinion they want to change agency, they know something is wrong, but they very rarely know exactly what it is.
DARREN: Surely a new smarter agency will identify and fix the problem.
STEPHEN: Possibly…but the best way forward for most advertisers is to firstly understand the issues and try to solve them working with their existing agency. The issues can lie in many different areas or be a combination of factors.
DARREN: So before pitching they need to work out what the agency is doing wrong?
STEPHEN: Yes and no, it isn’t necessarily just the agency. Often, it’s the way the advertiser is working with the agency that is the problem. They need to do a bit of self-analysis as well.
DARREN: Okay… but how do they identify the issues and determine whether they are fixable or need to go to market?
STEPHEN: They need to start by looking at the price they are paying for agency services, not to save money but to ensure they are funding the service adequately.
DARREN: So, it’s less about getting a better deal more ensuring you are paying sufficiently for the high-quality service you expect.
STEPHEN: Yes, if an advertiser wants a high-quality service the agency needs adequate resources and to be pay market appropriate prices, but beyond that, they also need to ensure the way in which they work with the agency is efficient and doesn’t waste resources through lost productivity.
DARREN: What do you mean lost productivity?
STEPHEN: Well some advertisers have structures and processes that strain the media agency team. Poor briefs, late booking approval, multiple late changes to schedules suck up resources, making it more difficult for the agency to deliver.
DARREN: So, is it the client that is often at fault?
STEPHEN: No, not at all, it’s the way in which advertiser and agency work together. It’s critical they communicate and work as a cohesive team to overcome challenges.
DARREN: So, what’s the message for advertisers here Stephen.
STEPHEN: Well we always advise advertisers to have a detailed look at what they are doing now before going to market. Putting a new agency into a poorly funded arrangement, with a flawed structure and flawed processes won’t fix your problems or provide a long-term solution.
DARREN: Sound advice Stephen….and for further enlightenment, make sure you subscribe to Media Minutes. A weekly snack on all thing’s media. Until then. I’m Darren Woolley, and he’s
STEPHEN: Stephen Wright
TOGETHER: And this is Media Minutes.