future of new business

how the industry should be preparing itself for 2023 and beyond

The chairman and chief executive of Flock Associates describe their vision of the future of pitching

By Simon Francis and Kieron Matthews

The marketing and advertising industry has seen significant changes in recent years, with digital marketing and social media becoming increasingly popular.

As we move towards the future, the industry must prepare itself for new ways of doing business and pitching. In this blog, we will discuss what the future of new business and pitching could look like, and how the industry should prepare for 2023 and beyond.

We need to humanise the pitching process

The biggest lesson we can learn from 2020 and the huge shift to remote working is the need to humanise the pitching process. As agencies pitch for clients, it's important to remember the human element. Understanding people and the stresses they’re under is vital to building authentic relationships and accommodating their needs can go a long way. Humanising the process creates a more genuine experience and can ultimately lead to long-lasting partnerships based on mutual trust and respect.

We need closer integration between procurement and marketing

The need for greater alignment between procurement and marketing teams is crucial in achieving organizational goals. Procurement and marketing are often viewed as separate functions, but closer collaboration is essential to ensure that purchasing decisions align with the company's marketing strategies. The alignment between these two teams can lead to more efficient and cost-effective procurement processes and better supplier selection to support marketing objectives.

We need to readdress the need for a strong marketing strategy

Many of the pitches in the last few years have a focus on executional elements. Much of creative and media today is driven by low costs. Now, some clients will continue to need this approach and may therefore reevaluate whether they need strategy. Others may find with the loss of strategic people, could highlight the lack of good planners, and consequently will consider paying a premium for smart strategic planning.

The economy demands greater transparency

The current demands to understand spend and it’s efficiency, the pitch process is a strong platform to drive greater transparency between clients and agencies. Strong outcome communication and holding agencies to account via a strong remuneration model needs greater transparency and clarity of scopes that encourages the client to understand what the ask is.

We need complete transparency

Clients and smart advertising agencies are building transparent commercial and staffing plus bonus and malus models. This is good but how do we track who is working on what scope? How much are they charging for overhead markup? What are the KPIs for bonus and malus. This type of transparency builds trust and confidence which is the foundation for a great relationship and great work.

We need access and time with internal resources

Internal resource allocation has never become more important. So, setting aside the appropriate time internally to work out what you want from your agency, how you want to work, the types of agencies that you want, what your scopes are, and how much budget you have to work with. This is crucial to ensure that your marketing efforts are efficient and effective. Take the time to identify your needs, resources, and goals before partnering with an agency.

We need to heighten the need for greater integration

The marketing world is colliding, bringing together various disciplines that were previously separated. Creative and media are reuniting, while media and CRM are merging. PR, social media, digital marketing, and e-commerce are all becoming interconnected. The rise of integrated ecosystem reviews and pitches underscores this trend. As a result, agencies must decide whether to work alone or partner with others to satisfy their clients' needs effectively.

We must look beyond the pitch result

The process of pitching may seem simple enough, but the real challenge lies in ensuring that the newly appointed agency aligns with and operates effectively within the overall marketing operating model. This requires having the appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs), processes, talent, and skillsets in place to ensure seamless integration and collaboration. Without these crucial elements, the marketing operating model can quickly become unbalanced, leading to inefficiencies and suboptimal results.

Emerging technologies, personalization, customization, and changes in workplace culture are set to shape the future of new business and pitching. To thrive in this evolving landscape, the marketing industry must prioritize investing in emerging technologies such as AI, forging strong relationships with customers, and cultivating more collaborative and inclusive workplaces. By taking these steps, businesses will position themselves for success and gain a competitive edge.

Simon Francis is Chairperson and Kieron Matthews is CEO of Flock Associates


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