Advertising / Digital / Guest Posts / Public Relations

Three Ways to Lose a Client Pitch

Client pitch rejection
By Mohamed Ebaid

Most marketers, myself included, get approached on a daily basis by numerous boutique agencies pitching their work and offering their services. As a client, we open the door to less than 10% of those whose approach us, and we only work with 10% of this 10%. Here are three reasons why such a small percentage of these pitches are successful.

We do everything!
TV, outdoor, print, PR, digital, social, washing your dishes and cooking your lunch – we do it all!

No. No marketer should trust an agency – especially a boutique agency – with such an approach, since we can be confident that most of their work is outsourced and lacks added creative value. They essentially just play the middle man and tend to only complicate and slow down the process, thus actually making it more mediocre and more expensive. You can’t be a specialist/guru/jack of all trades, this makes you a master of none – and no one wants to pay for mediocrity.

Our “clients”
We have an inkling that most of the fancy multinational logos for multibillion dollars corporations that you include in pitch presentations are for potential accounts that you pitched for six years ago and not necessarily retained clients. Be honest and only mention companies you’ve done real work for, and not the ones you met for coffee last summer.

Text, text & more text
I’ve been on the client side for all of my professional life, working with all levels of management, and I cannot remember a single colleague who has ever read more than a paragraph from the agency’s manifesto, vision, strategy and all the related PowerPoint essays. We jump to the visuals and the ‘big idea’ straight away, so focus on that. Less is more.

So who DO we hire?
One of the best approaches I’ve ever seen was received from a small agency that specializes ONLY in digital creative content; no digital strategy, no social media planning, no community management, no TVCs no Disneyland and fireworks, but only digital creative content. Their email was a one line pitch and their attachment was three slides:

–       This is our agency (their logo)
–       This is a link for a case study we prepared on our most recent award winning campaign (link)
–       Let’s win some awards together (their contact details)

We called them an hour later and ended up briefing them on campaigns for four of our brands.


Mohamed Ebaid Marketing

Mohamed Ebaid tries to radiate universal love by producing things that assist, entertain & inspire others. He is passionate about politics, economics, satire & marketing.  He’s now making a go at Trance music production. Wish him luck…

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One thought on “Three Ways to Lose a Client Pitch

  1. Pingback: The Formula for a Killer Blog Post | The Marketing Spark

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