For some, it comes naturally. For others, delivering a winning pitch is a learned skill.

For those who fall into category number 2, here are 5 tips on how to win an agency pitch I often give agencies when they are involved in searches we manage for marketing clients:

#1. It’s not about you

Nothing worse than an agency that pulls the pitch out of the can.  Agencies that are worth their weight take the time to get to know the industry, the client, the brand.  And agencies worth their weight take those insights and know how to make them relevant to the assignment at hand.

#2. The excitement is killing me (in a good way)

Right out of the starting gate, a pitch not only has to be interesting, but it also has to be energizing and exciting.  Simply suggesting you’ve “tried the product” isn’t enough.  Show the client how you have embraced the product, its essence, its value.  Let the marketing client feel your enthusiasm.


#3. You’re a well-oiled machine

I’ve seen too many agency pitches where the agency doesn’t have its act together.  They appear unrehearsed, not polished, disjointed.  What you see in the pitch is a direct reflection of what you’ll get when you engage with that agency.  At least that’s what I believe.  If they can’t get it right in the pitch, no way they are going to pull it together when it really counts.

#4. Shock and Awe

I know they asked you do it one way…but think about ways you can surprise and delight the client.  Not suggesting the agency should ignore you, but in this world of heated competition (both among agencies and marketers), being different and bringing unexpected value is a good thing.

#5. You’re in a box you need to get out of

Invest in the resources of professionals who can help you develop your own talents and strengths. I’ve worked with too many agencies that think what they’re doing is new and different, when in reality…it’s not.  Marketers see it – because they hear it day in and day out from lots of agencies.

So what does this all mean for you, the Marketer?

I share this in the hopes that it might help you – see agencies a bit differently – throughout the entirety of an agency’s attempt to woo you.  The more you know about what agencies are trying to do – and that which they are not doing, you might find a better marketing agency to support your brand and business.