To pitch or not to pitch

When I left the advertising “agency” world back in 2009 after long stints in Fleet Street, The Channel Islands and Bristol, one thing I promised myself was NO MORE PITCHING. By that I mean that I decided that I was never going to do any more glamour parades where I was one of 4 or 5 companies being seen and sometimes there was more than 1 round.
Why? Because of the strain on resources each pitch took and in all honesty, I sometimes found the process a bit of a lottery as, on some pitches I have done, it didn’t seem to matter how good the creative I presented was or the marketing strategy I had put together, somebody in Procurement just turned to page x on the document as, that was the costings page, and they then based their decision on this.
Do the pitch!
Two years on and no major pitches done, I have now broken my promise. Yesterday I pitched a large prospect in the leisure/holiday sector as one of 3 companies in line for their account. Was it a drain on resources? Yes. Did it mean I was stressed? Most definitely. But…..did I enjoy it? Well…. masochistically, yes. It was actually great to be in a high pressure situation again, pitting myself and my business against larger, more established organisations and knowing that I had to be at my best.
Although I don’t know the result yet, I think I put together a really good team and the result may well give Bath Marketing Consultancy real feedback as to where my company is in relation to my sector and exactly how far it has come since it opened in 2009. Would I do a pitch again? Probably, although a lot depends on the client, their location, their fit with my marketing company and the possible return on investment.
So, when it comes to doing pitches, my suggestion has now changed to “never say never.” Sometimes the adage of speculate to accumulate is very true and putting yourself and your business in the firing line vs larger competitors can act as a real evaluational tool.
If you want some tips on what to do before a pitch, see my previous post here.

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