Advertising Agencies: “Do Not Pitch”

Cruise around the world of advertising agency new business consultants and you will often hear that ad agencies shouldn’t ever have to pitch for new business. The “pitch” for not pitching is that if you do a well-targeted, brilliant in-bound marketing program you will get direct “I love you, I want you” incoming from all the qualified new clients you desire. Cool. You’ll get all the new business you want without the cost and hardship of pitching.

This “win without pitching” dream does come true for some agencies. And, I do discuss how to build and run targeted in-bound programs with my clients. These programs include the hyper-targeting of specific clients and selected categories and the employment of SEO best practices (understanding your target market; smart keyword strategies; use of longer posts; syncing your blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Slideshare, channels; leveraging YouTube.)

However, for the vast majority of agencies, in-bound marketing simply isn’t enough.

Telling Advertising Agencies “Do Not Pitch” For New Business Is Simply BS

I’ve been involved in advertising agency new business since my first pitch (we won) for Western Union’s EasyLink email service in 1984 (yes, this was the first commercial email service — just a touch early.) I’ve run business development at Saatchi and my own agency. Guess what, unless you are the darling of ADWEEK; just won the Gold Lion and some Clios; do Apple or Samsung or Coke advertising; have some form of secret sauce (you are the first ad agency to actually get mobile advertising with ROI proof); have an outrageous database of marketing friends for continuous referrals or are well-know as a category expert…

Fuhgeddaboudit. Chances are rather high that you will have to pitch the accounts that you want. Sitting back and waiting for those love-child clients to call you ain’t going to keep your agency afloat. Wishing that you will never have to pitch is lunacy.

So, please, win without ever pitching? Maybe for the 1%. But, not the other 3,999 agencies.

My bottom line? Learn how to win more of the pitches you should be invited to. I’m going to start to write about how to pitch. It will be a good “pitch” for my business.

And…. Here is how to position your agency so you might win those pitches you are invited to.

Yo!… Don’t miss any of my brilliant (LOL, but I mean it) thoughts on new business.

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