I came across this article from a TalentZoo e-mail and it really made me think about the resources that are used in excess during the pitch process.
Now being an advertising newbie I always looked at the sheer amount of man hours used for a new business pitch as an industry norm. All hands on deck, employee bonding, trying to shell out your best work in two minutes-kind of process. The pitch process is fun, exhilirating, and thorougly exhausting; which is fine but what happens when you don’t win? What happens to the accounts that were pushed aside for a week while everyone hopped on the new biz train?
I would guess this is especially taxing for smaller agencies who are trying to grow their brand/agency.
Thinking strictly as a business owner, I have to think about how much those flights, tissue sessions, and countless presentations eat into the bottom line.
Now I don’t profess to know the answer nor am I advocating for a strict “no-pitch” policy as the writer of the Talent-Zoo piece seems to be.
Of course there are many more factors that I have not addressed and some I can’t address because I’m not in a VP, SVP, Partner, or CEO position. But here are some I would consider:
- Bigger/older shops like Saatchi, Ogilvy, DDB, etc. have holding companies they can pull from in the event of a large pitch but with that - one would assume - comes red tape, differences in agenda, etc.
- If you don’t have a holding company to pull from but have major “street cred” to rely on like say Wieden & Kennedy, you can use your volume of work and ability to attract excellent talent from a host of creative and analytical fields to offer your services to brands before they even know they need it - so to speak. Even with the recent unfortunate loss of the Target account, W+K is still very much a heavy-weight in the ad world and can still use it’s catalog of excellent work to approach innovative, forward thinking brands.
But everyone had to start from somewhere right? So what do you do when you’re a small fish trying to play with the big fish?
To be honest, I don’t have the answer and I’m not really sure there is one right answer for the advertising industry. It’s definitely a high-pressure, high-stakes business to be in but then again, what industry isn’t?