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Flock Signs Pitch Positive Pledge to Help Improve the Pitching Process

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Flock are delighted to be a signatory of the IPA and ISBA jointly developed ‘Pitch Positive Pledge’.

The pledge was launched earlier this year and seeks to improve the pitching process for agencies and advertisers to better benefit people within the industry, the planet, and profits. 

Positive Pitching – It’s in our DNA

In summary, The Pledge sets out three commitments: be positive a pitch is required; run a positive pitch and provide a positive resolution. We found there to be overlapping principles with our own Flock values and code of conduct, and so as an avid supporter of this way of working, it was for us a ‘no-brainer’ to sign the pledge.

Like our own, an agency selection process should be unique and bespoke to meet every brief as a “one size fits all” is not the best approach in these situations. A fair, mindful, flexible, and engaging selection process removing unnecessary meetings and travel, will make an energizing experience for all stakeholders involved. Working towards one common goal to enable advertisers and agencies to produce world-leading marketing communication output, starts with an exceptional brief and regular feedback sessions.

Oftentimes a full pitching process is not required. A GetFit program is much more fitting in such scenarios. Flock runs these GetFit programs working with clients and their incumbent agencies to fix a relationship without a time-intensive and costly pitch process.

How To Become Better with Positive Pitching – Flock’s Top Tips

Carrying out over 100 pitches for our clients that include Ford, McDonald’s, ASDA, McCormick, Nomad, we have made a considerable amount of interesting observations and so have condensed these into the most important ones: 

  • Evaluate the question ‘do we need to pitch?’ thoroughly before starting a pitch process.
  • Set realistic timelines – running a pitch is time-consuming and adds additional pressure to the already heavy workload of a client and the agencies. 
  • Alignment and clear roles & responsibilities: For efficiency, be clear about who the internal stakeholders and decision-makers are and ensure appropriate lines of communication are in place. 
  • Clarity on key criteria for the agency search from the start is key – Diversity and Sustainability should always be included.
  • Only include the incumbent agency where there is an equal chance of securing the business.
  • Make sure a world-class RFP brief is written to excite and inspire the agencies. 
  • Define a process and a meeting cadence that work for clients and agencies equally, using innovative pitch techniques like ‘Speed-Dating Meetings’, ‘Virtual Hackathon Sessions’, or Workshops, help to break up the traditional pitch model.
  • Use an independent scoping tool to evaluate commercial proposals and to benchmark – and for agency feedback: share relevant and key aspects of the commercial analysis with the agency.
  • Take time and prepare feedback at the end of the pitch or whenever an agency is leaving the process: Win or lose, always inform the agency of the pitch outcome directly and provide feedback on their performance.
  • Make sure enough time is set aside for contract meetings and ensure seamless navigation and facilitation through contract discussions. 

If you are thinking about changing your agency ecosystem, we would like to assist you so feel free to contact Flock’s Agency Management Practice Area Lead, Florian Voigt: florian.voigt@flock-associates.com 

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