The Anchor: 5 things to follow when pitching for a new biz

31 Jan,2012

  1. Getting all the facts right

The more you know about the client and the key stakeholders involved, the context in which the pitch is being called for, with due diligence regarding client business fundamentals, the marketing issues facing the brand in question, the competitive agencies you are up against, the more it will help in channelizing the agency’s efforts in the limited time frame that is available to do justice.


  1. Getting the Brief right

From a detailed RFP to providing a website link, client briefs can pose different challenges! Irrespective of the format, it is crucial that complete clarity on pitch expectations, deliverables and evaluation criteria is obtained before starting work. Government pitches are a totally different experience altogether …from the tendering process to the voluminous documentation required. Making sure that there is no ‘technical’ slip up is a critical part of the protocol.


  1. Getting the ‘pitch strategy’ right

Even before formulating a brand strategy, it helps to have agreement on the broad pitch strategy. Are you going to lead through a strategic recommendation or do you spend more time on beefing up the creative idea? What’s the budget on the pitch…Do you need to spend money on conducting research to back the strategic approach or make a cheap and cheerful audio visual to amplify the idea?

Do you need a simple brainstorm session or a war room kind of set up to get everyone aligned? Do you present one idea or more than one (different schools of thought here!)?

What level of integration are you aiming at in the pitch with the number of specialists on hand…Media, PR, Digital, Activation etc.? Should the pitch be in the client conference room or an out-of-box location to create the desired impact?


  1. Getting the Team right

Pitches can range from a small local proposal to a large global one. Getting the right team composition is vital to bettering your chances to make it a pitch winning effort. While some clients insist on strong local teams and people who will eventually lead the brand post the business being assigned, many clients are not averse to seeing what the agency has to offer in terms of national and global resources. Big global pitches, therefore, increasingly involve multi-country teams and specialized skill sets from across the world as part of the pitch offering.


  1. Getting the client engagement right

Pitches nowadays tend to be long drawn affairs with multiple agencies and many rounds involved. It is important, therefore, to be completely engaged with the client- pre, during and post the pitch process. There can be many a slip between the cup and the lip at any of these stages! The pitch outcome in many cases may not have anything to do with the pitch, ironical as it may sound. The final act could well be enacted far away from the scene of the pitch…so all ears to the ground as they say!


Rajesh Gangwani is the Senior Vice President-South, JWT India

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