PitchPoint has been guiding agency selections in Belgium for over 15 years now. The debate over these pitches and their methodologies has been ongoing for just as long. Most agencies have a love-hate relationship with them. They're tired of investing so much time and energy into these pitches for a merely symbolic compensation. However, every agency wants new clients and regularly contacts us to inquire about interesting pitches.
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Agency selections can take various forms, and honestly, not all are desirable. Here are some tips to make these selections a success for both the agency and the client:
1. Pitch a Relationship, Not Just a Campaign
View a pitch as the start of a long-term collaboration rather than a one-off campaign or project. Define criteria that evaluate the agency's expertise and experience for future cooperation, not just a specific creation or strategy. In our experience, 80% of what is created during a pitch is not usable in the future (or at least needs to be adapted). However, it does show what the agency is capable of and how they work.
2. Agency Selection: Who's Participating?
Inform the agencies about who else is on the shortlist. Why not? It's important to know which types of agencies are in the selection, as it reflects the agency's chances and the client's preparation. If you invite an online agency, a design agency, and an advertising agency for the same pitch, have you defined your question clearly? A good needs analysis, clear selection criteria, and knowledge of the agencies are essential to compile a good shortlist.
3. Write a Good Briefing. Be Realistic.
This might seem obvious, yet it's a common stumbling block. Provide ample context and background information. The better the information, the better the agency's performance can be. Be very clear about expectations and who will do the evaluation. It’s equally important for the agency to meet these expectations in the pitch (neither less nor more).
4. Clarify the Budget
This is probably the most controversial aspect. Many clients struggle to disclose a budget or prefer to keep it confidential, expecting the agency to propose it. If you want a feasible strategy or creative concept, as a client, you should share your budget.
5. Get to Know Each Other Personally
Finally, there's the chemistry. Maybe this should even be the starting point. Without chemistry, there are no sparks. Meet each other. Visit the agencies. Start a discussion. Only then can you see if you can work well together as people, enhancing the work relationship. After all, this is also about the well-being of your team.
These tips are designed to transform the pitching process into a more enjoyable and productive experience for both agencies and clients. Remember, it's not just about winning a pitch; it's about building a relationship that fosters growth and success for both parties.
Do you have a complex brand need, or would you like your team to receive professional assistance with pitching? Contact the PitchPoint team, and we will be happy to discuss how we can alleviate your concerns. Moreover, be aware that we keep our finger on the pulse of more than 250 agencies in Belgium. Thanks to our market knowledge, you will no longer miss any important agency evolution in your selection.