47% of Advertising Professionals Hate the Pitch Process
10 Sep 2015

47% of Advertising Professionals Hate the Pitch Process

The pitch process is part of an advertising agency’s DNA

The pitch process is mandatory if an agency wants to acquire new business. In addition, with the average length of the client relationship diminishing from eight years in 1997 to only three years today, pitching is occurring more frequently (ANA, 2012).  

However, according to a survey by Provoke Insights, approximately half (47%) of advertising professionals say they are dissatisfied with the current internal approach to pitching. To sum up, the time, expense, and resources used during the pitch process are often extensive. 

Professionals hate the pitch process

“I hate the pitch process,” one account professional confessed, under anonymity. “It means working 24-7 and completely wears everyone out.” Therefore, it is not shocking that the industry says unrealistic timelines (66%) and long work hours (65%) are critical reasons for such frustration. Certainly, the demand for pitching is not a new issue; management expects employees to give their sweat and tears. In addition, weekends and nights would be devoted to winning new business.

Can the pace of the pitch process be avoided?

Surprisingly, employees believe that they can prevent these tiring work conditions if better organization and processes were in place. “Very chaotic, no clear direction until the last minute,” a media analyst mentioned when recalling his most recent pitch.

Interestingly, those who are happy with their experiences during the pitch process mention teamwork as a crucial reason for their satisfaction. “Good collaboration and clear understanding of a common purpose,” an account executive indicated as success factors.

Other frustrations

Another area of frustration during pitches is having timely access to the appropriate research and data. Moreover, forty-four percent of advertising professionals stated that if there were better availability of research and data, pitches would run smoother and more successful. More so, those who received data for pitches, 48% mentioned the speed of resources was not quick enough.

An agency has one shot to deliver the right message, so research and insights are imperative. Further, no matter how innovative the creative is, the pitch could be off base. “Base winning creative on research and insights. However, research isn’t necessary for creatives, causing strategies to be lackluster,” a strategic planner stated.
As a result, advertising research is crucial during the pitch process. In conclusion, receiving extra support and resources in regards to understanding of the target audience (57%), competitive intelligence (53%) followed by trends analysis (53%), industry intelligence (47%) and social listening (42%) are key areas employees believe the pitch process can be more successful.

Learn more about the pitch process here.

Methodology 
Provoke Insights conducted an online survey between November 8th – December 8th, 2013. The company promoted the survey to advertising agency employees through targeted Facebook posts and industry relevant LinkedIn groups; 140 advertising professionals completed the survey.

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