Although advertising campaigns are one method of promoting products and services, the implementation process can be lengthy and overwhelming. There might be challenges assembling the talents and resources, and companies often don’t have enough time for that on top of everything else. What can they do in this situation?
How about requesting project proposals from external parties in exchange for awarding a special prize? We refer to the proposal as an advertising pitch.
This article will tell you about it and its difference from selling. We’ll also look at the entire pitching process and how to create a winning proposal.
What Is an Advertising Pitch?
An advertising pitch is a campaign proposal offered by a PR or marketing agency to advertise a client’s products or services. It outlines the proposed plans and objectives for the campaign and how it will achieve its goals.
Entrepreneurs also pitch their businesses every day. They have occasion for it (e.g., at formal events, sports clubs, university reunions, etc.) than agencies who have to be invited by a client first.
Every advertising pitch aims to “wow” clients with your proposal. According to this article from Business 2 Community, 53% of clients examine proposals from at least seven agencies at the preliminary stage. It means that your pitch has to stand out among others if you want to win the contract.
Is Pitching the Same as Selling?
While they have the same goal, to have a client enlist your services for their campaign, there are still some differences.
- Pitching – an agency or entrepreneur prepares a curated proposal for a specific advertising campaign project. After a prospective client sends out the invitation, the team prepares the material before presenting their ideas. The presentation can include a range of supplementary assets such as handouts, flip charts, prototypes, etc.
- Selling – an entrepreneur or company providing products and services approaches a prospective client to convince them to make a purchase. It doesn’t require invitation or proposal preparation.
Personal connections generate sales, making the process of selling different from pitching. Prospects might not be interested in your offer right now, but you can pursue them again to see whether they changed their minds. Pitching is a one-time thing.
What Is the Process of an Advertising Pitch?
In general, the process of an advertising pitch is as follows:
Phase 1: Request for Proposal (RFP)/Open Bid
The client announces a procurement event for their upcoming campaign to selected agencies, commonly done through tendering or bidding. An RFP gives details, including budgets, resources, and requirements. Invitees also get to know the scope of work, deadline, objectives, and other necessary information about the campaign.
Think of receiving RFPs as getting a call for a job interview. To land the job, you try your best to impress them with what you bring to the table, right? It’s also the same with preparing for an advertising pitch.
Instead of getting a job, the agency that wins the bid will acquire the client as their customer. Depending on the complexity and investment put in the campaign proposals, clients may even consider paying pitch fees.
Phase 2: Team Briefings and Advertising Pitch Preparation
The participating agencies assemble their team to discuss the proposal preparation with the RFP as a guide. Every team member needs to understand the brief, especially the client’s goals.
Conduct research to fill any information gap. For instance, find out more about the background of the decision-makers. What do they value in their company? Which part of customer experience do they care about? It’s all about putting the audience first. The answers can help nail down the most suitable strategies and approaches to implementing the client’s campaign.
Phase 3: Pitch Selection by the Client
D-Day is finally here, and it’s time to make your pitch! It can be in-person or virtual, depending on the client’s wishes. After every participating agency submits the proposals, the decision-makers proceed to evaluation and select the winner.
How to Make an Advertising Pitch That Wins?
Your pitch should be able to show not only the client’s achievable target but also the increase of their brand reputation. Here’s the step-by-step of how to do it:
Step 1: Assemble the Team
Selecting the team members who represent the participating parties will determine the outcome of the pitch. It’s pointless to enlist everyone in the agency if their skills and expertise don’t match the project requirements. The same goes for entrepreneurs as well: you can’t work all by yourself without the help of others.
Besides building a core team with diverse members who have relevant qualifications, each of them should also have solid presentation skills. Everyone has to be present on presentation day and say something during the pitch. This shows everyone’s contribution to the project and the agency’s positive working culture. (Check out our article on how to create a positive work culture!)
Good teamwork is crucial because your team will spend a lot of time together working on the project. Assemble based on the four work styles outlined by Deloitte collectively referred to as Business Chemistry. It includes the Pioneers, Guardians, Drivers, and Integrators. This model helps the team understand how every member operates.
Step 2: Preparation Is Everything
With the pitch deadline in your hand, line up the work schedule and make a to-do list for everyone in the team. Larger projects can take weeks or even months to finish, so creating a shared agenda is essential.
To leave your client with a memorable pitch, put visuals in your presentation. Studies show that 70% of people can remember information up to three hours after an orally-provided presentation. When there are visual aids, that number increases to 85%. (Read more about the statistics from this article on The Presentation Training Institute web page.)
Whenever applicable, include updated facts and statistics to support your ideas. Besides boosting your credibility, it shows the clients that you’ve done your research to validate your ideas.
Don’t forget to outline the tools and resources for implementing the campaign. Your client wants to spend as little time and money as possible. Inform them of the kind of investment they’ll make and how efficient the campaign implementation system is.
Step 3: Practice the Presentation
Practising the presentation is a part of the preparation itself, so allocate at least a week before the presentation to rehearse with the team. Rambling or looking distressed isn’t a good look. Remember: you want to appear prepared and confident.
Create bullet points for your ideas in the pitch but don’t memorise the entire script. Memorising leads to a higher chance of forgetting what you want to say and looking unnatural. Bullet points keep your presentation simple yet still neatly organised.
Keep in mind that an advertising pitch isn’t a one-way communication. Engage with the client from time to time with verbal and non-verbal cues. Keep eye contact, and use body movements to emphasise your talk.
At the end of the presentation, be ready to answer every question on the spot. You won’t have to worry about this if your team knows the ins and outs of the pitch and the client’s project. Convince them of your team’s expertise and reliability to end the presentation on a high note!
Promoting products and services through campaigns often can be overwhelming. Therefore, it’s common for some companies to enlist advertising/PR/marketing agencies’ help through a tendering or bidding process. They send invitations to selected agencies, who will then prepare their proposal, known as an advertising pitch.
An advertising pitch is different from selling because we only do it after receiving an invitation, while selling happens anytime. Moreover, advertising pitch preparation requires more time, effort, and budget than selling.
For that reason, the client will usually inform in their RFP whether there’ll be a pitch fee for the project. Besides outlining every detail of the client’s campaign, it’ll also tell participants what they’ll do if they win the bid.
To create a winning pitch, agencies should fully comprehend the client’s RFP and do research as a carefully-curated team. Preparation and rehearsal are everything when it comes to this process!
Are you ready to create a winning advertising pitch?