We are an independent strategic advertising agency providing creative services to pharmaceutical, medical products & services, dental, nutritional, and animal health clients.
By Phil Cranch - MD of Forte Agency
The traditional pitch process carries a lot of risk on both sides of the client/agency fence. Where do we start? Clients spend an inordinate amount time coordinating the competing stakeholders in a compressed timeframe, whilst not really gaining any real sense of what it’s like to work with the agency. They may not share all of their intricate brand challenges, withholding information from the agency in the process, making it less than ideal (let alone transparent) for the pitch list of agencies to try to figure out.
Agencies can very easily dedicate crippling amounts of resources in terms of headcount hours and opportunity cost, all the while being dis-empowered due the the fact they are forced to work in a vacuum by the pitch terms and conditions.
We’ve found that a proper level of client participation (and a good deal of oxygen) is a prerequisite to nailing a brief.
There are other recurrent problems with the outmoded way of pitching business. We’re told time and time again that the networked agencies will put forward their ‘A’ team on the brief, only to disappear once the business is secured, and the new grads are wheeled in to manage the day-to-day account. So clients get a distorted perception of the agency, as the senior people are not often the ones working on the account. Specialist boutique agencies have to weigh up whether it’s worth their while to actually pitch for the business against the globally networked agencies if clients aren’t going to fully commit and participate to the process, which quite often means withdrawing from the pitch process altogether. Here the client also misses out, as there’s less choice of experienced service providers, leaving them with no option but to run with the larger, more complex agencies.
Using this unique process we’ve been able to introduce a collaborative journey that produces outcomes that actually see the light of day. Whilst reducing risks on both sides.
We’ve found that our clients have embraced this new approach. Just recently, one of our new clients worked with us in a competitive ‘participitch’, and has now appointed Forte to relaunch it’s multimillion dollar brand over the incumbent networked global agency.