AVOIDING THE PITCHDefining, Enhancing and Protecting your agencyrelationships in the digital age.                         ...
About these guidesThe ID Comms Best Practice Guides series is designed to helpmarketing and procurement leaders unlock gre...
About ID CommsID Comms Ltd is a media consulting company with strategy andinnovation at its heart. Based in Shoreditch, Lo...
What this guide gives youThe following pages of this guide detail what we think are the mainopportunities to avoid calling...
Context points for this guide1.  The only people who like pitches are pitch consultants.2.  Putting your business up for r...
VISION                      VALUE       ACCOUNTABILITYThree ways to avoid a pitch1.  VISION - Allowing the agency to provi...
VISION                      VALUE   ACCOUNTABILITYVision – our definition“Allowing the agency to provide independentand va...
VISION                      VALUE         ACCOUNTABILITYVision: Some typical client challenges“We want the agency to see u...
VISION                           VALUE                        ACCOUNTABILITYVision: How to get it•  Firstly, have a clear ...
VISION                         VALUE                     ACCOUNTABILITYVision: Potential solutions to considerMedia brief ...
VISION                      VALUE       ACCOUNTABILITYValue – our definition“Ensuring that you receive sufficient value fr...
VISION                      VALUE                 ACCOUNTABILITYValue: Some typical client challenges“We want competitive ...
VISION                          VALUE                     ACCOUNTABILITYValue: How to get it•  Improve your contract trans...
VISION                        VALUE                     ACCOUNTABILITYValue: Potential solutions to considerRefresh the ev...
VISION                      VALUE      ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability – our definition“Creating a more transparent relations...
VISION                      VALUE                ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability: Some typical client challenges“How should w...
VISION                           VALUE                       ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability: How to get it•  Take the time t...
VISION                      VALUE                  ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability: Potential solutions to considerEstablish ...
VISION                       VALUE                   ACCOUNTABILITYSummary•  Be the best client you can be, offer consiste...
Your five-part manifesto formanaging the optimum agencyrelationship ID Comms Best Practice Guides   20
1. We aspire to create a relationship of trust with our agency where bothsides are working towards aligned goals. These go...
2. We want to inspire our agency to perform at their best abilities, to stretchthemselves into new territories on our beha...
3. We commit to pay our agency fairly and transparently for the value theyadd to our company as a partner.   ID Comms Best...
4. We will listen to our agency and help them, where we as a client can bebetter, to do their job in the most effective wa...
5. We will define the agency’s remit but we are flexible enough to allow themto innovate because we acknowledge that the m...
Five-part manifesto for managing theoptimum agency relationship.                   1. We aspire to create a relationship o...
About the author                       Tom Denford is a Founding Partner of ID Comms                       A multi-award w...
Right and licensesThank you for reading, please share freely.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-...
@idcommsslideshare.net/idcomms
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Avoid The Pitch - IDComms

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The ID Comms guide to avoiding an agency pitch details what we think are the main opportunities to avoid calling a pitch and how to still unlock some of the benefits. We have grouped these actions into three areas: Vision, value and accountability.
Following these, we have created a 5-point Media Manifesto for you to use. Feel free to steal this, adapt it and use for your own business. We believe that by having a clear ambition for how your business uses media, you will be in a better position to brief your agency partners and will get more Vision, Value and Accountability as a result.

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Avoid The Pitch - IDComms

  1. 1. AVOIDING THE PITCHDefining, Enhancing and Protecting your agencyrelationships in the digital age. ID COMMS BEST PRACTICEPrepared by Tom Denford (ver. 12/5) GUIDES
  2. 2. About these guidesThe ID Comms Best Practice Guides series is designed to helpmarketing and procurement leaders unlock greater productivity frominvestments in media.They have been written by ID Comms consultants based on many yearsexperience working with some of the world’s most demanding brandsand their agencies.Please use and share these guides freely, we ask that you reference us inany direct quotations.Finally, we value feedback on everything we do. Please get in touch andshare your thoughts. Thanks. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 2
  3. 3. About ID CommsID Comms Ltd is a media consulting company with strategy andinnovation at its heart. Based in Shoreditch, London, we are leadingproviders of media solutions to companies that need access to first-class media expertise in flexible and cost-effective ways.ID Comms provides high-quality media resources – from specialisttalent to innovative processes and tools – that increase value, optimizeperformance and improve accountability for international brands.The company was founded in 2009 by Tom Denford and David Indo,you can find out more about us here:http://www.idcomms.com ID Comms Best Practice Guides 3
  4. 4. What this guide gives youThe following pages of this guide detail what we think are the mainopportunities to avoid calling a media pitch and how to still unlock some of thebenefits. We have grouped these actions into three areas: Vision Value AccountabilityFollowing these, we have created a 5-point Media Manifesto for you to use. Feelfree to steal this, adapt it and use for your own business. We believe that byhaving a clear ambition for how your business uses media, you will be in abetter position to brief your agency partners and will get more Vision, Valueand Accountability as a result. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 4
  5. 5. Context points for this guide1.  The only people who like pitches are pitch consultants.2.  Putting your business up for review can be a huge distraction and drain on resources for both your marketing team and your agency.3.  Many of the benefits of a pitch can be unlocked without the need to instigate a full account review.4.  Added to this, most pitches are badly run and tend to abuse agency goodwill and leave most of them significantly out of pocket. A typical global agency review can cost each agency around $500,000 (not including the man hours) and carries risks to the client’s business from distracting the incumbent.5.  Sometimes a review is the best solution, but it needs careful planning, proper management and a clear strategic ambition. It may be too early or too late in your agency relationship to implement these initiatives. In which case you may want to pitch. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 5
  6. 6. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYThree ways to avoid a pitch1.  VISION - Allowing the agency to provide independent and valuable thought-leadership to your business.2.  VALUE - Ensuring that you receive sufficient value from your media investments.3.  ACCOUNTABILITY - Creating a more transparent and accountable relationship with your agency where you are both invested in and incentivized by the same outcomes. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 6
  7. 7. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYVision – our definition“Allowing the agency to provide independentand valuable thought-leadership to yourbusiness. To have a shared vision for mediaand the contribution it will make to thecompany’s success. To be aligned on whatsuccess for both companies will look like.” ID Comms Best Practice Guides 7
  8. 8. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYVision: Some typical client challenges“We want the agency to see us as an important client and aninteresting challenge to work on”“We want to be a client that the agency’s best talent is reallymotivated to work for”“We want to feel we receive a bespoke service (not a me-tooservice) from our agencies”“We want to feel we get the attention, consideration and careyou need and deserve from the agency”“We should be among the first of the agency’s clients to seeinnovations in media”“We want to work with people who care about our business” ID Comms Best Practice Guides 8
  9. 9. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYVision: How to get it•  Firstly, have a clear vision for your own company, your marketing and your mediathat you can share with agency (make sure this is consistent with the vision that isshared with other agencies)•  Be an interesting client to work for. How? Trust the agency and share informationabout your business with them. Your agency to want to help you, include them in yourmarketing vision, bring them into conferences and meetings where you can – this willallow them to be pro-active and bring a fresh perspective to your company’s marketingchallenges.•  Think of the longer term (where possible), try not to cut too many corners financially.Sometimes a gesture such as paying the agency a project fee for helping solve aproblem or agreeing to pay some additional travel expenses (or funding a small party)can make a huge difference to the overall value gained from the agency and helps youstay higher profile within the agency, which helps keep the best talent.•  Commit to the best quality briefings you can manage and create a culture internallythat promotes good quality brief writing.•  Ensure that you are among the first clients that get to hear about innovations inmedia. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 9
  10. 10. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYVision: Potential solutions to considerMedia brief audit: Investigate the creation of new consistent standard of agencybriefing, bringing best practice and innovation. For example, develop materialsthat all your teams can use consistently such as “How to brief an agency in thedigital age”Consider a modern media agency planning process: Your agency or consultantcan advise, ask them how they would work best and the types of briefings thatagencies find the most helpful.Workshops with procurement and marketing stakeholders: Set aside some time todefine and align on media objectives and to define the best working relationships– soft and hard measures of evaluation.Share innovation from the company side with the agency: This is an easy win toinspire your agency teams to share their innovations back with you. Defineregular forums to share innovation properly. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 10
  11. 11. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYValue – our definition“Ensuring that you receive sufficient value from your mediainvestments. In media, the real value you receive from themoney you spend can be largely discretionary on the part ofthe agency. What you receive will sit somewhere betweenthe minimum the agency is contractually obliged to deliverfor you and the maximum which is huge over delivery ofthinking, service and media value. What you actually getdepends on having a few controls in place to monitordelivery, ensuring contracts and deals are sufficientlywater-tight and maintaining a constructive workingrelationship with the agency.” ID Comms Best Practice Guides 11
  12. 12. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYValue: Some typical client challenges“We want competitive media costs but we also want to avoid a race to thebottom on costs and lose our value”“We recognize the discretionary value delivery by agency, we see lots ofpitches going on, are we missing out?”“How can we secure transparency of talent and resource – we want tohave a clear scope of work for the agency, which is aligned to deliveringagainst our higher goals.”“We want a simple evaluation process in place to monitor agency’sprovision of resource and standards of service“Within our agency roster there are some key individual talents whomake the greatest contribution to our marketing. How can I make themall work better together?” ID Comms Best Practice Guides 12
  13. 13. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYValue: How to get it•  Improve your contract transparency: Reduce the impact of media rebates on theagency’s decision making process and their performance.• Make it clear to agency that you are on top of your trading position. Within theagency’s client portfolio you want to be protected because you are keeping a veryclose eye on the delivery of your deals.•  Ensure internal stakeholders, especially finance and procurement leadersunderstand some basic media value definitions and get those agreed internallyand aligned with marketing.•  Try to align all your agency partners to similar sets of metrics and remunerationterms. This will allow them to collaborate easier and share in joint success.•  No-one likes being a squeaky wheel, but as we know, that’s what always gets theoil. In the case of media, understanding how to be the squeaky wheel will get youadditional media value. Its often that simple. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 13
  14. 14. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYValue: Potential solutions to considerRefresh the evaluation processes you have in place to monitor agency resourceand service delivery.More closely monitor your agency transparency and your media deal delivery.Value creation analysis – how is the agency maximizing the value of your spend?Workshops for finance and procurement to define media value, how productivitygains are to be reported and therefore what additional agency objectives will berequired. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 14
  15. 15. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability – our definition“Creating a more transparent relationship with your agencywhere you are both invested in and incentivized by thesame outcomes. Being able to reference the agency’sperformance against a set of pre-agreed objectives, theoutcomes of which have a direct influence on the agency’ssuccess financially” ID Comms Best Practice Guides 15
  16. 16. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability: Some typical client challenges“How should we ask the media agency to report media performance, weneed more than traditional media metrics?”“How can anyone account for the specific effect they have on our businessperformance, the weather may be more influential than the agency at theend of the day.”“Can the agency deliver an ROI that links the investments we make inmedia with the improvement in company success metrics?”“Is the agency prepared and happy to work within more modernremuneration terms, which incentivizes them to act in the company’s bestinterests and share some of our risks and rewards?”“Is the agency prepared to be more transparent about how they trademedia, with special regard to media rebates?” ID Comms Best Practice Guides 16
  17. 17. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability: How to get it•  Take the time to define the agency’s full scope of work, which is entirely focused upondelivering the vision you have defined.•  Adjust the model of the agency’s income to be more encouraging and positive notsuspicious and punitive about how they deliver value for the company.•  Establish a fair evaluation model for media success, perhaps linking agency reward todelivering a specific upside. Make the scope of work clear on how the agency is astakeholder in that success and how they should deliver it•  If possible, over-invest in having a very strong account lead on the agency side whocan police the agency’s delivery against the scope of work.•  Make it easier for the agency to see how they make money - by being moretransparent about how their income can grow. In theory youll be less likely to be ‘sold’things you don’t need and you will also foster a better trust-based relationship.•  Share with the agency how your marketing teams are incentivized internally. Whatdoes personal success look like within the company? Can you link the agency’s ownremuneration closer to these elements? ID Comms Best Practice Guides 17
  18. 18. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYAccountability: Potential solutions to considerEstablish best practice and a process for writing your agency Scope ofworksConsider workshops with procurement and marketing leaders to define aset of higher-goals to use for your agency roster, these should be similarto some of your own personal objectives.Consider how to transition to a value-based remuneration modelDefine a consistent agency performance evaluation processCommit to constructive workshops with client and agency to define thecommercial relationship and create partnership terms.If your agency relationship pre-dates Facebook (6 years +) this tells youthat it really needs re-evaluating and your agency contracts needmodernizing to account for the new rules of digital marketing. Make acommitment to do this as soon as practically possible. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 18
  19. 19. VISION VALUE ACCOUNTABILITYSummary•  Be the best client you can be, offer consistently high-quality briefings.•  Try as much as possible to align marketing and procurement leaders.•  Be the squeaky wheel – demand what you are entitled to.•  Link your agencies’ income to performance against company objectives.•  Demand greater transparency in trading, especially with regard tomedia rebates.•  Align the agency to a set of “higher-goals” ideally close to your personalobjectives.•  Update agency contracts more than 4 or 5 years old. Media changesquickly. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 19
  20. 20. Your five-part manifesto formanaging the optimum agencyrelationship ID Comms Best Practice Guides 20
  21. 21. 1. We aspire to create a relationship of trust with our agency where bothsides are working towards aligned goals. These goals will sit within thelanguage of the client organization and be part of the company’s marketingKPI’s. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 21
  22. 22. 2. We want to inspire our agency to perform at their best abilities, to stretchthemselves into new territories on our behalf and grow their own businessalongside ours. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 22
  23. 23. 3. We commit to pay our agency fairly and transparently for the value theyadd to our company as a partner. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 23
  24. 24. 4. We will listen to our agency and help them, where we as a client can bebetter, to do their job in the most effective way possible ID Comms Best Practice Guides 24
  25. 25. 5. We will define the agency’s remit but we are flexible enough to allow themto innovate because we acknowledge that the media market is alwayschanging and so should our company, our marketing and our marketingagency partners. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 25
  26. 26. Five-part manifesto for managing theoptimum agency relationship. 1. We aspire to create a relationship of trust with our agency where both sides are working towards aligned goals. These goals will sit within the language of the client organization and be part of the company’s marketing KPI’s. 2. We want to inspire our agency to perform at their best abilities, to stretch themselves into new territories on our behalf and grow their own business alongside ours. 3. We commit to pay our agency fairly and transparently for the value they add to our company as a partner. 4. We will listen to our agency and help them, where we as a client can be better, to do their job in the most effective way possible 5. We will define the agency’s remit but we are flexible enough to allow them to innovate because we acknowledge that the media market is always changing and so should our company, our marketing and our marketing agency partners. ID Comms Best Practice Guides 26
  27. 27. About the author Tom Denford is a Founding Partner of ID Comms A multi-award winning communications strategist, Tom has 15 years of valuable experience in the communications business having worked for a number of the world’s largest global media and creative agency networks and some of the world’s biggest brands such as adidas, HP, Diageo, Nokia, Novartis and Sony in recent years. Most recently Tom was Global Head of Communications Planning at Carat and before that worked as Director of Comms Planning at JWT in New York. Tom is very driven to innovate the productivity of the client / agency relationship, most notably how media resource is organised, how agencies can work better together and how resources should be paid for. Tom is an Associate Lecturer for the Marketing Communications MA at the University of Greenwich and a regular on media panels, award juries and trade press. http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tomdenford ID Comms Best Practice Guides 27
  28. 28. Right and licensesThank you for reading, please share freely.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/All the words are our own, or credited where quoted. Images are found and have beencredited where known / possible.© ID Comms Ltd, 2012 ID Comms Best Practice Guides 28
  29. 29. @idcommsslideshare.net/idcomms
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