Agency insights: How research wins pitches

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Posted Aug 10, 2022
Laura DeCamillo

As a marketing agency, winning pitches is one of the most essential parts of growing your business. To increase your portfolio of accounts, you need to be able to explain—with facts—why your strategy can help them reach their goals and expand their brand’s awareness. A great pitch is composed of several elements, one of which is solid market research. The problem, however, is that this kind of research is often too expensive and too time-consuming to be able to prepare before each pitch meeting. That’s where agile insights come into play.

What makes a great pitch (generally)

When a brand first identifies a marketing need that cannot be met internally, they’ll often send out a request for proposal, or RFP. A great pitch begins with responding to the right RFP. It’s important to carefully consider whether or not your agency is prepared to meet the brand’s needs as laid out in the RFP. A pitch aims to impress upon the brand how well you truly understand their business and can use that knowledge to effectively and efficiently meet these needs. 

Once you’ve given the project the green light, then comes the preparation stage. You’ll want to learn as much as you can about the brand and prepare a strong introduction. Furthermore, include statistical market research and other data that reinforces your points. For example, you might include research on particular marketing strategies demonstrating that your choice is more effective than others. The conclusion of a great pitch is always memorable. At the very end of your meeting, try to find a way to make you and your agency stand out from the crowd. These core principles are what generally make up a great pitch. But we know what you’re thinking…it’s not quite that simple.

The problem with pitches

Successfully pitching a new campaign to a new account can be a real challenge, and time can be a problematic constraint. Although some pitches with RFPs take months, others are based on immediate needs, leaving you and your team only a few days’ notice. Often, that is not nearly enough time to develop a strong understanding of the target industry and collect the data you need to demonstrate your expertise. This can leave you scrambling to put your best foot forward, only to  get beaten out by a competitive bid at the last minute. 

The second major challenge with pitching is cost. On average, agencies spend tens of thousands of dollars to prepare each pitch. These costs can accumulate over time to create real problems with your bottom line. The thing is, these costs come out of your agency’s pocket—and we all know that internal agency research budgets are extremely limited. Fortunately, there are three methods you can use to increase the likelihood that your pitch will be successful. 

#1 Establish your authority

Accounts often complain that external marketing agencies do not have the practical knowledge to grow their brands quickly. These brands will be much more likely to trust you with their business if they feel that you are already well-informed in their field and industry. This doesn’t mean that you have to be an experienced veteran of every industry you pitch to—you just need to be informed. That’s where agency pitch market research comes in. 33% of advertisers who have participated in the pitch process believe that surveys are the number one resource that would improve the pitch process. 

Turn the tables on traditional market research by pursuing the ability to collect powerful quantitative data rapidly and affordably. Most of the surveys created with aytm deliver results in just 24 hours, which means that you can always be prepared to build an insight-filled pitch—even with only a few days’ notice. 

#2 Don’t go it alone

Odds are that you and your account are not going to be the only ones involved in your new relationship. Sure, most marketing agencies work with vendors. But by building partnerships with the right vendors, you can cut your preparation costs and rapidly gain access to additional tools and resources to help you take your pitch to the next level. Look for a partner that empowers you to find answers—one who can meet you where you are and help you advance your understanding. 

#3 Know your audience

Faced with the choice between two equally balanced marketing agencies, brands will not only choose the agency they feel fits best with their organizational culture, but one that also understands their vision in navigating the broader agency landscape. That’s why you must do your research before each pitch to demonstrate how well you and your team can speak their language and fit into their culture. Again, this is where doing market research is crucial. The right partner will help you bypass the traditional long wait times and expensive surveys with a unique approach that fits your goals. Knowing your audience, partnering with vendors, and establishing your authority will make your pitches  more affordable, more seamless, and more likely to get you those wins.

How aytm can help your agency succeed

In today’s fast-moving and highly-competitive environment, traditional research methods just don’t cut it. Marketing agencies are often pressed for time, needing to respond within just a few days from when they first received the RFP. There’s virtually no time to do any of the research needed to set them apart from the competition. 

Partnering with aytm can help can change all of that. Our powerful insights platform lets agencies find and segment any audience, design and launch their own surveys, and analyze and share findings with stakeholders—all with expert automated tools, built-in best practices, and an outstanding support team standing by to help you achieve your research goals.