The Agency Pitch - A Workflow
An agency pitch is an invitation to an advertising agency to learn about your product or service. From this, they create a presentation for a marketing concept in an effort to secure a contract.
It is one of the most commonly chosen methods to select the right agency for a marketing assignment. With the presentation, the agency showcases its capabilities and tries to win the client for collaboration. This is a great opportunity for the agency to present its creativity and experience on the spot. In doing so, it demonstrates how it can help the potential client achieve their goals. Collaborating with a full-service agency advances the company in areas where its own expertise is lacking. It is especially worthwhile when dealing with complex tasks.
Finding the right agency for the company
Besides the traditional tender, an agency pitch is a good way to find the right agency for your own company. Use this approach also when looking for an online marketing or e-mail marketing agency. For this to succeed, an agency pitch should be based on honesty, transparency, and mutual respect. This should be the case from the very start of the pitch, because what's the point if discrepancies arise later? This is about a long-term partnership between the company and the agency. A prerequisite is good preparation on both sides, as this forms the basis of the collaboration.
The company's objectives are decisive
From the description of your objectives, it becomes clear which type of agency you should invite. With precise goal definitions supported by all departments, accurate briefings can be formulated. A pitch is about developing creative ideas and establishing a long-term partnership. In this process, we expect agencies to give their best to implement the company's marketing goals. Often, time is short as quick results are required. It's evident that this cannot be done for free, as agencies make an upfront commitment. Good ideas should have value. We recommend compensating for the pitch, as this fosters commitment and expresses mutual appreciation. Inquire if the costs can be offset later.
Preparation is key
Prepare well for the pitch, ideally with the entire team. You should take enough time for a briefing, as the effort involved should not be underestimated. The more professional the process, the better the pitch outcome. At the start, you need to precisely define the requirements for the selected agencies. It's about determining the scope of the project and the expectations of the agency in detail. All decision-makers in the company should be involved in this. Also, provide background information, as the agency is not yet familiar with the company.
These components are essential for a good briefing:
- A clearly articulated task with all necessary background information about the company and the current situation. This includes the competitive environment and the company's objectives.
- Expectations and requirements: What does the company expect from the agency in terms of timeframe, budget, and experience?
- Can the company provide additional materials? This includes things like advertising materials, market research results, or brand guidelines.
- Provide contact information. These are names and contact details of representatives within the company who are responsible for collaborating with the agency.
All stakeholders should be at the same table
All stakeholders should come together at one table. Every employee, every department must have the opportunity to provide input. The IT department is especially important in this context, to consider all necessary interfaces. Often, it's the little things that don't work right away. The IT area is particularly sensitive here, as hardly any project is without an IT component. In these meetings, everyone has the opportunity to express their opinion. Misunderstandings and sensitivities can be cleared up in this way. Determine the responsible individuals and name contacts for the agency. Always answer inquiries promptly. This includes accessibility on all channels and communication via email. Visit the agency and get a first-hand impression on-site. This builds trust and provides initial insights into the service provider's working methods.
Set a budget framework
What should your campaign cost? Provide the agency with a precise framework so that they can align their briefing accordingly. Clarify in advance what can be achieved with the available budget. State everything as specifically as possible, as this highlights the seriousness of your project. If several agencies are involved in the briefing, the specifications must be comparable. Only in this way can you choose the suitable advertising agency.
The timeframe must be realistic
Many companies desire a rapid implementation of their project and don't want to get bogged down in bureaucratic details. However, these are essential for a smooth process. Therefore, there can be a gap of up to two months between the briefing and the start of the project. But by then, all obstacles have been cleared, and important questions have been addressed. You must thoroughly describe the marketing and communication goals so that everyone understands the intended direction. Obtain ample feedback from all sides, including employees not directly involved in the project group.
Checklist for the optimal briefing:
- What task is given?
- Description of the current situation.
- Are the project goals specific and measurable?
- Which target audience should the company address?
- Technical requirements, interfaces, IT systems.
- A defined timeframe.
- Background information about the company.
Data protection and confidentiality
Since you are sharing your internal data with another company, it makes sense to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). If possible, provide the data on an internal server or via secure data connections. Also, consider data protection regulations, as the marketing agency is protected against unauthorized appropriation of their services. If you want to adopt individual components, the agency should agree. This includes photos, films, music, and slogans. Pure ideas that have not yet taken shape are not protected. Specific details can be set in a presentation agreement. If you are unsure how to proceed, a lawyer can provide information.
Inviting the agencies
Even during the development of a briefing, you can start searching for the right agency. This can be done through recommendations, Google, or social networks like LinkedIn or Xing. There are specialized agency directories on the internet where you can find the right partner for you. Here, you should determine if the agency is genuinely interested in collaborating with you. This is ascertained during the so-called "rebriefing," where you engage with the agency's responsible project consultant. If you are on the same wavelength, nothing stands in the way of collaboration.
The most important thing about a pitch is fair treatment of one another. Only then can you get the most out of the collaboration. Everything rises and falls with the briefing, which needs to be well-prepared. This way, agencies can present their proposals in a comparable manner. If it doesn't fit, communicate it fairly, as it might be a better fit for another project. The advertising agency also appreciates feedback, as it helps them optimize their presentation processes. Open dialogue between the companies can make many things easier. As a full-service agency, we offer you comprehensive solutions for your online marketing strategies. Feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation.