In our latest National survey among marketing executives and agency principals, marketers told us a few things that prefer to see from agencies when in pitch or presentation situation – some of which they seem to rarely get.

Here are a couple of the things marketers tell us they like to see in final pitch presentations:

One or all?

If given the choice, marketers seem to prefer having the entire group of attendees present if in a review or pitch situation versus only having one or two of the team present.

In our opinion, it is much preferred to have multiple players present.  It shows a real cohesiveness among the group.  Suggests the leads of the agency have a good deal of confidence in their team and that this isn’t going to all fall apart when the agency principals leave the picture, which is too often the case (you hire them and then the lead dogs fade into the background).

We just finished a search for Aspen Dental and the winning agency (KHJ) brought a team of folks across a number of different disciplines.  I’d say 8-9 in all.

It was very impressive as each one of the team members presented and talk in detail about the plan for Aspen as it related to their area of expertise.

The agency that came in second place…while a very solid agency…brought five people to the table and a few dominated.  This in and of itself wasn’t the issue.  The issue really boiled down to the fact that the person that was supposed to lead the account barely said a word.  And worse yet, when asked about her background, we were told she had only been with the agency for a few months….and had little experience in the sector that Aspen operated in.  Not exactly the best of situations.

Blah, blah, blah

Talk too much.  It’s what marketers tell us too many agencies do too often.  They talk too much about themselves and don’t think enough about who their talking to, what their issues are, what challenges they face, and how they’ve tried in the past to solve them.

Problem is, for agencies it’s way to easy to talk about what you know.  That’s why agencies too often pull out the powerpoint presentations and jabber on about things that they feel comfortable with:  their work and their agency.

I was in a final pitch presentation for Domain Chandon and one of the agencies presenting started the presentation showcasing a great case study about the campaign they built for the Oregon lottery.  It was beautiful work.  Fully integrated campaign, a lot of energy, smartly positioned…all-in-all a great presentation.

I don’t get you

Problem was, Domain Chandon had a$1.5M budget and the campaign presented was a $30M campaign.  All well and good…and a wonderful showcase of the agency’s work, but really??

At the end of the day, (at least in my opinion), this is a reflection of

So what does this all mean for you?

Keep a close eye out for how and what your agencies are presenting when they present.  It’s not just about the work/ideas they present to you in response to your request for proposal, it’s also about how they present, and what they say, and who participates that also makes a difference.  These things tell you something about the agency just as much as the work and the ideas.