Most agency-marketing relationships are long-term, which is why thinking with that in mind can be a huge asset for an agency. Being in a long-term relationship with a marketing team requires you to be more of a consultant than an advertiser or creative team.
Learn how these two ideas can help you not only craft a great pitch, but craft a more thoughtful agency-client relationship. Think more about:
- The error of not realizing true potential
- The average length of commitment expected
- Desirable traits from an agency
- How to be a better consultant
The reason why agencies skip these steps is often quite simple: there is not enough time. Anyone who works in an agency knows the fast-paced environment and constant pressure that comes with the job. It is just the reality of the industry. However, if an agency stops to think long-term, it is clear what the solution is. Rather than spreading the agency thin among several different short-term projects, the key may be to focus on more long-term prospects.
By taking the time to consider long-term options, it actually saves time in the long run and builds a better partnership. Building a long-term relationship with a client eliminates time spent on pitches and new client research. This long-term strategy makes the most sense, considering that most businesses propose long-term relationships. In research conducted by Vennli, 40% of marketers reported putting their business up for review every 1-2 years and 47% reported that the typical length of their relationship with an agency is between 2-4 years. This means that the majority of in-house marketers consider a two-year commitment to be desirable in an agency.
Marketers work with people in advertising and sales every day. Trust in the fact that they do not want to hear a pitch that sounds salesy. When they are searching for an agency, it is because they have a problem that needs to be solved. It is the job of the agency to provide a true solution, not a sales pitch. An agency should serve as a consultant for the in-house marketer that can provide specific expertise.
Marketers ranked traits they are looking for in an agency partner. In the study, 49% of marketers said the ability to be 'flexible and redirect efforts if we need to change direction' is among the top three characteristics they seek in an agency partner. 41% of marketers also cited 'can become a subject matter expert on my company, brand, and/or industry' as one of the top three characteristics they seek in agency partners. It does not matter who many sales clichés you throw at an in-house marketer. What matters is that the agency is, without a doubt, an expert on the topic. It is the job of the agency to prove to the in-house marketer that they are indeed the expert they need. This respect is built using proof of experience, data driven results, a complete understanding of the client's needs, and a planned solution to the problem.
Want to know more about best practices for an agency pitch? Check out our e-book, "Five Ways to Differentiate your Agency Pitch".