The success of an agency depends on new clients. Agencies invest in me or others to be their catalyst for growth. At the same time, marketers are actively looking for new resources. They have a compelling reason to find and hire a great agency to solve their business problem. I know how we do it. I know how marketers do it. I want to understand better “what” marketers do when they are on the hunt so I can better align my tactics with their process.
I asked over 150 marketing executives representing companies small to large and brands in both B2B and B2C industries a few questions about what they do when they have a new agency need. One of the questions that is always in the back of my mind during the search process is when the marketer knows which agency of the two, three or five finalist is the one they want. Considering the process, you might think it is at the conclusion. Or, you might think it is at the start, and the process is just a charade. But is it?
One marketer shared this:
Be bold, be smart and be passionate. Within a few minutes, you can tell if an agency just wants more business or truly believes in their work and how it can help a client.
We can’t help but wonder – is this pitch wired? After all, with the time, cost, and emotional investment, we want to believe it all comes down to a level playing field where the best pitch wins. Is it a fair fight? Maybe not so much.
A whopping 71% of marketers admit that sometimes they know before the pitch which agency will win and 13% flat out admit their mind is already made up. Worse, only 16% report that they don’t know which agency will win until the process has concluded.
A few marketer comments:
- I know my preference. A few times, I have already made my mind up. Most of the time, it is open, but I need to be wowed to go away from the leader in my head
- Through the process, I often settle on a favorite, so the pitch is really theirs to lose
- I try to keep an open mind but rarely, maybe never has the pitch ever changed it
- The pitch isn’t really a good situation for agencies. Its what they do in the chemistry meeting, with their credentials and questions that decide it
- I feel bad to know how much work goes into a pitch, and the decision is already made
So how do you win before the pitch? I’ll have some more data to help answer that question in future posts. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts or experience. I’ll be posting more insights from the research so stay tuned. The more we share and collaborate, the smarter and more successful we will all be. After all, new business is the future of your agency. #LetsGrow!
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