16/07/2019 11:06 AM | Updated: 1 year ago | by Tim Hinton in Blog

The Beginner’s Guide to Pitch Management

Are you unsure what Media Pitch Management is all about? Do you want to know how to carry out a media pitch? Don’t know why you need to follow specific guidelines and what you can gain by carrying out a media pitch? Let us walk you through it.

What is Pitch Management?

Media pitches are, for many agencies, the time where they showcase their best work and demonstrate to prospective clients their best workers and creative potential. Choosing the correct media agency for you is one of the most important decisions your marketing and procurement team can make.

With the growth of online media in the last few years and the fact that most companies now require tailored media experiences, it’s critical that you chose the right brands in order to give your company a competitive advantage.

This means that running a media pitch, now more than ever, demands careful planning and consideration.

At 23 Media Audits, we work with many ‘UK Challenger brands’, ‘SME business’, ‘regional advertisers’ and ‘digital only advertisers’ which gives us a wealth of knowledge when it comes to identifying the best pitch strategy for your business.

What Does a Media Pitch Involve?

In the past, media agencies were heavily price-driven. The goal to run a campaign as financially frugal as possible would often eclipse guarantees of media neutrality or demands for quality media placement. This unsustainable approach did little to ensure that a brands investment in their media delivered real results.

Advertisers today are more enlightened when it comes to media agency offerings and know media pricing is not the only deciding factor when making pitch decisions. Companies are now asking more strategic questions of their agencies on how to deliver growth for their brand.

Collaboration is key in this current climate and the best working relationships come from an open dialogue between the agency and the advertiser.

The Four Main Areas We Aim to Address Are:

Agency Growth

The main reason the brands we work with decide to pitch is that they become known to larger agencies and the associated benefits make it worthwhile to put time into a pitch to get media savings and an improved reach.

The Move to Digital

With digital accounting for 60% of media, the need to understand how to monitor and assess performance is paramount and many advertisers need guidance on this.

Digital Transparency

Due to the growth of the buying platforms across agency trading desks and programmatic, there is a burgeoning need for clients to not only see how their money is spent but how it is actually performing across this often misunderstood area. This means they need assistance in working out a set of bespoke guidelines for their business covering all aspects of digital, enabling them to distil the reality from the perception.

Contract Restrictions

Even with the explosive growth of digital in the media mix many advertisers contracts are still not annually reviewed and subsequently amended in order to take in the advancements of digital buying. As a result many brands are finding they have restricted access to their bought media making it impossible to fully audit the agency claims.

How Can You Run an Effective Pitch?

Media agency pitches are potentially risky as they can be highly distracting for both the client and the agency. Consequently both parties must strive to perform the most efficient and effective tender process to minimize any disruption. That said, media pitches can be a perfect opportunity to secure better media pricing as well as finding the best agency, or client, for your company. 

The first step to achieving an effective pitch is having knowledge of the client’s specific criteria. This can be achieved through an open dialogue with the client and asking the right questions to paint a better picture of what their company needs.

Many pitch flaws lie in a lack of communication, both internally and externally, which can severely undermine a successful pitch. There is also the potential for a high profile pitch to be leaked to competitors so keeping a level of high planning and professionalism is key during the whole process.

How Do We Help You With Pitch Management?

When it comes to using our pitch services at 23 Media Audits, we break down our activity into three main stages:

We meet with the key personnel involved with the pitch process and provide each stakeholder with our pitch preparation checklist, which is a guide of 15 key components for the advertiser to complete before we contact any agencies. Once completed, these become the 15 benchmarks for your readiness to run a productive, accountable and rewarding media agency pitch.

Once we have analysed the areas covered in the ‘pitch pack’ we will be able to ascertain a number of factors such as how well each agency meets quality standards on planning briefs and how effectively they plan to their set brief; the level of strategy, rationale, media plans and pricing alongside agency post campaign analysis review. We can also provide details of areas of relative agency strengths and equally where they have weaknesses that need improvement, as well as ensuring that agencies are not just trying to reach a price guarantee to the detriment of your company.

Finally we will evaluate the pricing, presentations on strategy, media briefs, commissions, charges, remuneration models and contract compliance issues before preparing our response for each client. Consequently, the media agencies receive realistic pricing targets, a comprehensive brief delivered through a transparent process and benefit from an excellent auditor and advertiser relationship.

For further insight download our Media Pitch Toolkit which contains a set of guidelines for you to cross check with your own objectives.

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