There are about 14,000 marketing and advertising agencies in the US.
Just like the brands they are hired to develop marketing plans for, agencies need to find new ways to stand out from the competition. In order for an agency to prove itself better and different from the rest often comes down to creating an excellent first impression. In the world of marketing agencies, this means presenting the pitch of a lifetime. How can you show the prospective marketing team that you understand their business? What makes you able to deliver a superior pitch versus other agencies? Being data-driven is the key to setting your agency apart from the rest. Using data to support and guide your strategy is critical. But it's more than just having data, it's understanding:
- What evidence is most influential
- The importance of primary research
- The largest agency missteps
- What differentiates agencies with a 50%+ win rate
- The benefit of data for the in-house marketer
While being passionate and sharing anecdotal evidence can be moving, data that backs up your pitch can be a key factor for clients when awarding an agency a project. In a recent study, we found that 70% of marketers expect primary research in pitches and 75% of agencies said they conduct primary research. And, marketers expect primary research more frequently than any other type of research.
Despite these findings, there is definitely a discrepancy perceived by marketers. Marketers often take issue with the fact that agencies don't show how they plan to back up their claims of driving revenue growth.
Data = success. Of the agencies we surveyed who reported pitch win rates above fifty percent, 89% said that they typically use primary research when developing a pitch. By comparison, of agencies with win rates below forty percent, 64% reported that they conduct primary research in their pitches.
Marketers know that being data-driven is a huge differentiating factor in an agency pitch. Why is it so important? It is important because an in-house marketer expects from an agency what their own company expects of them. They expect their agencies to be able to demonstrate that their marketing efforts will have a return on investment.
Agencies aren't the only ones pitching. In-house brand marketers rely heavily on data insights to bring marketing proposals to the executive level in order to secure their budgets. Without this valuable data, dollars are harder to secure, resulting in a lower scope of work for the agency and a potentially less impactful plan. The ability to prove data-driven decision-making and a positive return on investment are absolutely essential when developing a strong partnership between in-house marketers and their agencies.
It is an agency's goal not just to close deals, but to close strong pitches with great marketing partners. Want to know more about best practices for an agency pitch? Check out our e-book, "Five Ways to Differentiate your Agency Pitch". Here you can get more insight straight from in-house marketers themselves.