Focus and strong relationships keep pitch costs down, say agencies

Maintaining core business focus, being selective and building strong client relationships can help agencies bring down pitching costs internally, according to the C&IT pitching survey.

Respondents cited ‘man power’ as the single biggest cost in the pitching process, which they said can be significantly reduced by ‘streamlining internal processes’ and not attempting to ‘recreate the wheel’.

While many pitch expenses, such as lead times and competition, are dependent on the client, there are ways for agencies to reduce costs internally.

Paul Stoddart, director of meetings and events at Capita Travel & Events, said the key is to ensure your business stays focussed on what it’s good at. "It’s really exciting to be asked to pitch. But you need a really robust internal process to know when to turn it down.

"You need to ask yourself if this is really your core business. When it comes to pitching, you’ll have a much better chance if you make the right choices."

Meanwhile, Charlie Hepburn, managing director of Vivid Event Group, said that pitching without a relationship is a waste of an agency’s money.

"We haven’t pitched in the traditional sense for around three years," he explained. "It all comes back to research and understanding what the client wants and where they’re going. That way when you pitch, it’s more like a partnership: How can we do this together? It’s much easier to buy Christmas presents for people you know than those you don’t. The same goes for pitching."

He added that the group has specific teams in place and a wide pool of freelancers to call upon for specialist knowledge. "We don’t have a warehouse, or own any equipment. Instead we find the right people for the right event at the right time. Thorough research and relationships can stack the deck heavily in your favour."  

More:

87% of agencies have declined pitches in past year

Agencies share top-five pitching challenges

Average pitch is costing agencies £10,000

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