As an agency, a great way to stand out -- but also one of the most nerve-wracking -- is to start taking chances and not be afraid to really rethink your clients' messaging. Even though it can push both you and the client out of your comfort zones, with great risk can come great reward.
One of the best things an agency can do for itself is commit the time to produce a unique, thoughtful pitch for every potential client. Authenticity is one of the most desired traits for an agency to have. No brand marketer wants to award an agency a project if the project doesn't feel important to the agency.
And yet, only thirty-six percent of agencies said that they're always rethinking the client's entire strategy when developing a pitch and only 7% of brand marketers reported seeing this happen in all pitches.
In fact, a majority of marketers (59%) agreed that they really only see this happen some of the time. When an agency doesn't produce a fresh, authentic pitch, it leaves the client feeling as if the agency didn't really do their research or the work to understand what is actually important to them.
Often agencies assume that their brand recognition is the largest decision-making factor for prospects, but this is not the case. Brand recognition is much less important to brand marketers. While 34% of agencies said they think one of the most common reasons they win a pitch is because their 'brand is recognized and respected in the market', only 15% of clients reported that this plays a role when selecting an agency partner.
This means that there is another factor playing a role in the in-house marketer's decision-making process. While only 13% of agencies said that they are winning pitches because of the 'high value for cost' they project in their pitches, 42% of clients said that this plays an influential role when choosing an agency partner. In-house marketers want to hire a candidate who can actually show, measure, and quantify the value that they are bringing - even if they aren't projecting the lowest costs.
Value is demonstrated by positive results, and positive results do not appear from making the same choices over and over again. Change happens when risks are taken, fresh ideas emerge, and third-party perspectives are introduced. The search for a new perspective is what leads an in-house marketer to search outside of the organization.
The type of insight that marketers are looking for cannot be found in pitch approaches that do not have flexibility. The pitch is not just about what the agency can do - it is also about what the prospect needs from the perspective of a professional outside of the company. An agency that takes chances and delivers new, insightful and differentiated ideas will be more likely to win the project.
Our study showed that agencies with win rates above 50% were much more likely to report that using primary research was 'extremely influential' in differentiating their pitch. Agencies that reported innovative re-thinking of the client's strategy were much more successful than those who did not.
In "Five Ways to Differentiate your Agency Pitch", you can learn more about the differences in how both agencies and marketers perceive the pitch process. Whether you are pitching new business or simply a new campaign, Vennli can help you gather the customer insights you need to wow clients and win the pitch!