>So, is there a new paradigm shift going on in the way agencies acquire business?
From all the research I’ve done and advertising books I’ve read, I’ve noticed there’s a shift in the way ad agencies acquire new business. Remember the way business was previously acquired in the “MadMen” hay-days? Typically an agency would meet with a prospective client, gather in a room, pull out slides/charts and other creative graphics and “pitch” an idea. The goal of the idea is more or less the same idea as it is today, but the method of presenting is different. The agency prances in the room, exchanges pleasantries, and presents their idea without the client saying much. 6 or 7 agencies “pitch” different ideas to the prospect, and after all agencies have had their chance to pitch their ideas, the client decides who’s best and they move forward. Ever been in a meeting, that you dont want to be in because the content is so hidious you can only think about what you’re going to be doing later in the evening? Yeah, the old way of conducting “pitches” was something like that.
Today, new business is gained through relationships. The agency must know the business drivers of the client, make assumptions about the prospect’s business challenges, and “pitch” an idea to eliminate the assumed challenges. Only the “pitch” doesn’t have to be a presentation. Depending on the way the client likes to hold meetings, and strategize new concepts, the “pitch” is more of an informal discussion, or a “strategy session”. Think of a marriage. No-one gets married after the first date. Instead you work on the relationship, check compatibility, then get her to the alter, pop that ring on her finger before she changes her mind. Same methodology holds true in today’s advertising space.
Here are two books I recommend: