TrinityP3 ‘The State of the Pitch’ Report Highlights Where Marketers Are Failing When It Comes To Pitching

TrinityP3 ‘The State of the Pitch’ Report Highlights Where Marketers Are Failing When It Comes To Pitching
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



A new report by marketing management and pitch consultancy TrinityP3 has highlighted how many marketers, or their procurement teams, are asking too much of their agencies in pitches or casting too wide a net in terms of the pitch lists and process requirements when asking agencies to sign up for new business.

Lead image: Lydia Feely and Darren Woolley

The inaugural “The State of the Pitch” report saw Australia’s leading pitch consultancy, TrinityP3, survey agencies for their views across 77 pitches over six months, run across the market covering 28 industry categories, agency fees from $50,000 to $10m and represents a sample of half of the pitches run across Australia and New Zealand for the period.

“The key thing that stood out to us in doing this inaugural “State of the Pitch” survey is that many marketers are boiling the ocean in their search for the right agency,” said Darren Woolley, CEO of TrinityP3. “It doesn’t need to be that way but also it shouldn’t be. We had agencies reporting pitch lists of between three and up to 45 agencies. Now, some clients will have open tender requirements, but a process involving that quantity of agencies needs a speedy and robust process for refining the list in the interests of everyone’s time and effort”.

When asked to score the 77 pitches included in the survey, the average was 3.13 out of a possible score of five.

“A score of 3.13 out of 5 isn’t completely damning, but it also highlights that our industry has significant room for improvement when it comes to pitching,” said Lydia Feely, general manager of TrinityP3.

“We noticed a significant difference in how agencies scored the process depending on whether marketing, procurement, or an external consultant was running the pitch. Sadly, in too many cases, agencies were reporting a lack of ‘table stakes’, the minimum requirements that ensure the client pitching business has a clear and reasonable process that they know they can stick to and which will keep everyone involved informed and respected”.

The TrinityP3 report noted how consultant-run pitches account for less than 15 per cent of the pitches surveyed in the Australian market. Amid an environment where marketing and their procurement teams often run a pitch themselves, it recommends the need for stronger industry-wide guidelines with greater optionality that assist marketers and brands when considering how to select an agency.

“The issue is too many marketers are applying a one-size-fits-all approach. How you select an agency for a $50,000 project brief should look a lot different to a $10m retainer account,” said Feely. “The problem is some marketers are signing up, or being forced into, the same procurement process regardless of the size of the account or the scope of work. That’s not good for agencies or marketers – it simply wastes everyone’s time, money and effort”

“As an industry, this is something we can all collaborate on to solve. If you look at something like the UK’s Pitch Positive Pledge, this is an example of what can be done to help achieve a better outcome”.

The report also looked at which industries were pitching. Banking, Financial, and Insurance were the most represented categories, followed by Education, Tourism, retail, and Food and Beverage. Local pitches represented more than 60 per cent of those surveyed, with regional pitches representing 32 per cent and global pitches representing just 3.9 per cent.

“It is great to see local pitches dominating the Australian market,” said Woolley. ”We too often hear that global, and even some regional pitches, rarely represent value for return for agencies in the local market, and so we see this shift as a positive for Australian adland, although there’s a risk that it is cyclical and that particularly COVID may have spiked the number of pitches in categories such as travel, tourism and education.”

Client needs are also rapidly evolving, with a growing number of clients demanding capabilities beyond strategy, creative/content, and paid media, including programmatic.




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