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How to run an Agency Pitch

19 August, 2014 - Source: Haystack

Finding an agency that is right for your brand or business can be a daunting process, but following our 5-point plan takes you through how to run an agency pitch and shares our experience, based on a decade of organising more than 300 pitches.


Running the Pitch to find your new agency will be an amazing learning experience and will definitely be fun. The final choice will be difficult, as there will be desirable aspects to more than one agency, but visit their offices and find out a little more about the culture and the atmosphere there. 

To help, we have developed a handy mnemonic for you to remember throughout the process

Choosing and finally

Good luck!

Throughout, the most important thing to remember is what it is exactly that your business or brand needs, and ruthlessly testing the competing agencies against these core needs to ensure you find the agency that works hardest for you.

Preparation: The army has its own ‘Five Ps’ based around preparation, and searching for your new agency is no different. Know the marketplace. Get to know which agencies will work best for you, which have the expertise you need, and which you can trust to adapt to your needs. Make sure your stakeholders are on board and willing to commit to the 12 weeks or so you will need for the full pitching process.

Implementation: From your longlist of agencies, whittle it down to a shortlist. Ask each of them for information and make sure they answer your questions fully. Eliminate those that do not satisfy, and  settle on half a dozen agencies you would like to meet.  After those meetings you will be ready to choose the 3 or 4 you trust to compete. You then need to let them know something about why you need them and prepare for the next step.

Task: The best way to find out if your agency is going to do what you need it to, is to set it some work and see how it performs. You may want it to work on a real-life problem, something related to a real problem, or a completely invented problem, but whatever you choose, it must test those core skills your business needs.

Choosing: Stick relentlessly to the criteria you need to test. You may be swayed by personal charisma or specific skills in each agency that you would love to have working for you. But bring everything back to the agency that can do the best job for you, and can adapt to future problems.

Handover: Wind the old agency down and start your new working relationship with the new one. There may be some legal transfer issues to deal with, but once everything is in place, make the time to get to know your agency much better with a ‘kick-off’ session.  It should be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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