To Pitch or Not to Pitch

About 20 Ad Agencies in Belgium have gone on a Pitch Strike in February 2010 refusing to participate in competitive bidding contests for ad accounts where more than 3 agencies are being considered at a time. In the advertising industry, a pitch is when an advertising agencies is trying to win the business to represent a product. Several agencies will probably be attempting to get the contract and have to go through a Pitch process. This may include examples of ads, the creative ideas, etc. Anyone who owns, runs or works for an agency knows just how expensive it can be to Pitch, and the many hours spend creating, an amazing concept for a client that is not guaranteed to go with them. Most agencies complain that client typical briefs are poorly prepared and ask for extensive campaign plans to be submitted within unrealistic deadlines and without any opportunity to discuss these with the ultimate decision maker.

Clients frequently mount fake pitches to ascertain industry costs for their benchmarking purposes. The clients appoints one agency, but takes the concepts of the agency that didn’t get appointed and asks the winner to use them. The worse thing about pitching is that agencies give away for free their highest value product – their strategic thinking. In the past the winning agency could amortize its investment in the pitch over a 10 or 20 years period, or even longer.

But today, relationships are shorter as the average contract period is below 2 years, so you will often have a change of agencies, 2 or 3 years of working with a client after winning a Pitch are often not enough for an agency to recoup its pitch investment in today revolving door environment. Before you Pitch look into these things:

  • If too many agencies pitched.
  • Clearly a lot of shopping for agencies going on here and the best deal usually nabs the deal. Chances are competition is going to heat up.
  • When the briefing for the Pitch keeps getting pushed back because the clients are too busy.
  • Surely, if a client is Sincere a meeting will be a top Priority.
  • If the Client is more Budget conscious.

So the decision is ours to pitch or not to pitch as well…

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