Fighting adversity with innovation

Pivot – this simple action seems to have become the word of the year for big brands and agencies. Clients want to pivot, offering new services to stay competitive as the market shifts, which means the need for their agencies to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation and new developments has never been greater than right now!

With her fair share of experience on both sides of the client-agency equation, easyJet’s Head of Proposition Rachael Smith has a comprehensive understanding of what agencies can – and need – to bring to the table through tumultuous times like these, which have shifted the market massively. 

Rachael talks Katie Street through the lesser known adaptations that easyJet have made to stay competitive, how agencies can pitch to brands outside of their typical industry of expertise, and the insights that will stop prospective clients in their tracks to listen to your pitch.

This episode covers

  • How agencies help big brands respond to adversity
  • Anticipating future developments
  • Innovation and pivoting
  • Prospecting outside of your area of expertise
  • Understanding your prospect’s archetype
  • Pitching confidently over Zoom

Word on the Street is lucky enough to be sponsored by the wonderful team at Just After Midnight who are experts in uptime. Whatever the issue, whatever the time of day, they are supporting your websites and applications 24/7, while your team sleeps. Learn more:

Links & references

Katie Street:

Rachael Smith:


Get in touch: [email protected]

Episode highlights

“The aviation sector has always been through big tumults and different crises, from the impact of 9/11, to things like the Icelandic ash cloud. So the industry is pretty used to operating in a volatile environment. ” – 5:10 – Rachael Smith

“It’s really been about how you help me react quicker. How do you help me respond to what’s going on?” – 8:00 – Rachael Smith

“Ultimately for me it’s always about putting the customer at the heart of everything. It doesn’t matter what your business is. If you can get that right, then you’ll get to the innovation, you’ll get to the products and services that you need to do to serve that customer.” – 12:15 – Rachael Smith

“You can get all of your EasyJet traveler magazine content in a virtual environment. Something that normally in a pre-COVID world probably would have taken us 8 months to get the site delivered, I think we went from kind of concept to delivery within about 12 weeks.” – 16:57 – Rachael Smith

“You could say ‘We’re really good with start-up, luxury brands’ and really focus your attention there and show how you’ve done it for others. Then it doesn’t matter which sector they’re in – you’re an expert in helping that type of company.” – 26:49 – Katie Street

“Whoever you are approaching, read their annual reports, read their quarterly reports. Genuinely understand the environment that they’re in.” – 31:06 – Rachael Smith

“9 times out of 10, those people that are brilliant at presenting and are brilliant at communicating their pitch and communicating their product, it’s because they have learned it.” – 37:21 – Rachael Smith

“Usually the business priorities when you get to a pitch have changed from when you submitted your proposal. So do not forget to check in and ask if anything has changed” – 41:03 – Rachael Smith