Tuesday, June 29, 2010

" A Better Way to Pitch"

That's the title of a terrific post in the Ad Age Small Agency Diary by Phil Johnson, CEO of PJA Advertising and Marketing.

You can read it here.

His premise, slightly borrowed, is that "the traditional agency capabilities presentation has gotten out of sync with the times and current realities of the business." He suggests, for example, that perhaps having the agency at the "center of the client's marketing universe" isn't always a good idea.."

I'd agree sometimes or for the most part or part of the time. But not every time. I mean, someone has to understand and control the vision to an extent. Somebody has to drive the bus. The agency is in a damn good position to do it, too.

But I do agree with most of his suggestions for getting more value out of a capabilities presentation. Like having the agency address how they can and will collaborate with other agencies or partners, like public relations, direct or interactive, for example.

I also agree with his contention that agencies ought to focus on their process before they show work they have done for others. Honestly, I thought this was something everybody does., We certainly do. Nothing ground-breaking there. Or at least I hope not.

He also suggests bringing a financial guy to the meeting to explain billing and estimating practices and such. I think that's a great idea. In our case, we're pretty small, so we don't exactly have a CFO, but I think a financial discussion at the right there at the outset is smart for everybody. We're in a creative business, but it is a bidness, after all.

Finally, he suggests that you "still leave time for carefully selected work" - but I wouldn't make this such an afterthought m'self. We sell a lot of things, those of us in the advertising business do, but they more or less revolve around the creative, right? I think it merits more than some leftover time.

On a similar, but different, but not the same thing but sort of close to what we're talking about note, I read somewhere that when you present creative, get right to it. First. Before you go through the brief or present all the supporting research. After all, the writer said, if they don't like the creative, none of that other stuff matters. We tried it, and it works. It works great, in fact.

I mean, think how many times you've sat through all the supporting run-up and then notice that everybody sits up and leans forward in their chairs when the creative part of the show comes on.

Anyway, I think that Phil is right when he says we ought to stop doing things based on old models for no good reason other than that the old models are there. That's sort of what he said. I think.

But it's what I said anyway.

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