How NOT to run an agency pitch

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Tips to get the most out of your agency pitch process
Tips to get the most out of your agency pitch process

The pitch process can be tedious for both sides of the dating game in healthcare marketing. Next time, follow these 4 tips to ensure you put the agency candidates in the best possible position to succeed, and to start your marriage with a level of trust from the very start.

1. Give the agency at least 4 weeks to prepare

Yes, Rome can be built in 10 days (or so I've been told by the creative staff), but a strong enough wind can destroy a foundation in seconds. The more time you give the agency, the better the insights, strategy, and execution you can expect to receive. This will give you more to base your decision on.

2. Tell the agency how much the business is worth

Knowing how much the business is worth helps agencies determine whether they are a potential fit for the business. This will help weed out agencies that would never have a shot of convincing you they are a fit, either financially with respect to their hourly rate, or on size, based on how many full-time employees it would take to staff the account. Neither one of us wants to put the blood, sweat, and tears into something that will make us both unhappy.

3. Describe to the agency exactly how it will be judged

Telling the agency how it will be judged sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. If strategy is what you are looking for, let the agency know. Then, provide only minimal information to see how the agency analyzes the market, develops insights, segments your targets, and pinpoints how best to position your brand for success.

If innovation or creativity is of greatest importance, make sure you've informed the agency. Then, say exactly where you feel your strategy is headed (in a download session), and allow the agency to bring your strategy to life.

4. Offer the agency a stipend for out-of-pocket expenses

Providing a stipend is not about paying for the pitch, it is about making the right gesture. Offering $10K to 15K for out-of-pocket expenses helps show you are as invested in your brand as are the people you've asked to devote 4 weeks of time and energy to your brand.

Besides, the agency could spend between $50K and 150K when you add the out-of-pocket costs and agency time involved to win your business.

So, next time you embark on a pitch process, follow these 4 tips to put you in a position to get the most out of your agency, the most out of your process, and the best thinking you can get for your brand…….. almost for free.

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