After almost ten years in the region Custard are advocates of collaborating with government and other stakeholders to develop the industry. We recently contributed to a white paper around the topic of ‘perfecting the pitch process’ that, if both clients and agencies followed, would dramatically improve this process and ultimately change the marketing and events industry for the benefit of all.
The recommendations can be summarised into ten simple principles: Transparency of information: A detailed brief with budget and disclosure of number of parties pitching from the outset. Integrity throughout the process: A face to face briefing meeting to gain clarity and ask questions and get constructive feedback provided to unsuccessful agencies. The right agencies for the project: A maximum of five agencies on a pitch list with a pre-qualification stage based on business, experience and references or alternatively a ‘chemistry briefing session’. Balance creativity with price: The relationship between procurement and marketing team is crucial to a successful pitch process. Use a balanced scoring matrix to both creativity and price in order to select the agency. Quality of ideas not quantity: Have briefing guidelines to ask for one concept, which is scalable to work at different budget levels. Credit for creativity: The introduction of paid pitches to narrow the number of agencies pitching and remunerate them (partially) for their time. Alternatively a client pays a mutually agreed ‘fee’ to an agency to implement their creative or idea using another agency. The opportunity to pitch in-person to key stakeholders with leave-behind proposals for internal distribution. Realistic timescales both for the proposal as well as the execution: A minimum of two weeks, but ideally four weeks, for a pitch. Milestone payments structure: Remove the risk and link payment to project execution by agreeing a payment schedule based on milestones of deliverables. Think long-term and plan ahead to get the best out of the client agency relationship: Consider a retained agency where there are multiple events across the year, or where events are regular.