Pitching online – how do you stand out to a client?

On Tuesday 4th August, we held our fourth session in The New World of New Biz webinar series, which is sponsored by Just After Midnight. Joining us were three new business experts sharing their experiences from working at both agencies and brands:

  • Mona Nikzad, Digital and Ecommerce Marketing Strategist, Organix
  • Dino Myers-Lamptey, Founder of The Barber Shop
  • Martina Lacey, Head of New Business & Marketing at iCrossing UK

Our Founder, Katie Street lead the conversation to find out how agencies can stand-out to brands, pitching online and how to build that oh so important client agency relationship when we cannot meet physically.

Pitching online

The world of pitching has changed dramatically over the recent months. Martina, at iCrossing, recently participated in their first online pitch via Zoom.

“At first, we were taken aback by how little time we were given. We were only given an hour to do our presentation and Q&A in one, and were used to having an hour, plus Q&A. But we were quite impressed with how actually during that time we could get everything across that we wanted to say. It is a trade-off though.”

Everyone agreed online pitches missed that human touch. The getting to know you part of pitches, the feeling in the room and bouncing ideas off each other. It also only suits a certain person, a presenter who loves being in front of the camera. Online meetings neglect people who feed of the energy and collaboration of the room. The whole experience can seem more staged and rehearsed.

The pandemic made brands press the fast forward button on their digital journey, as felt by Mona at baby food brand Organix who brought forward their online store pitch.

“It was around early March, just as everything got complicated, so it was definitely a weird experience trying to meet new agencies and have these chemistry meetings over the phone. But actually, what it allowed for was probably a lot more communication than we would have normally with pitches. So, I ended up selecting an agency and finding that actually we we’ve had a much closer relationship than we would have if we just wanted the standard face to face pitch process.”

Mona stated that they favoured agencies who kept them in the loop. The agencies that went quiet and did not have an open flow of conversation worried them.

Top tips for pitching online:

  • Don’t forget to plan. Going online does not mean you should be less prepared. You should still follow your processes
  • Know the technology you are using. Practise, practise, practise
  • Utilise the fact that you can time keep with your team via Slack, WhatsApp etc to keep your meeting on track
  • Make sure you keep in touch with your client throughout the process. You should be asking questions and setting up meetings around the pitch
  • The process of closing a deal is taking a lot longer, so give it time
  • Include the people who will actually be working on the client in the pitch

How do you reach out and stand out to a client?

With clients receiving up to 20 direct emails from agencies a day, Mona at Organix shares how to avoid the delete button:

  • Your outreach should be short and sweet
  • Identify an opportunity. Not faults or problems, as they are probably aware of this and on their very long to do list
  • Approach with a very clear offering, pick one specialism that resonates. Do not go into every service you offer
  • Give examples of whom you have done this for
  • Be aware brands may not get in contact straight away, but the aim is be remembered for a later date

Showing your diversity, values and culture through content

It is widely known that content is key to help attract and nurture new and existing clients. People love people. Dino said, “Anyone who is part of the creative business knows that it’s about people. And it’s about people who can think differently, problem solve, work together, work collaboratively”. Clients want an agency who can show them the questions and answers they have not thought of.

But agency folk can be the hardest to commit to this. One tactic shared from Martina and Dino was to use an incentive agency programme. A points system for content created that resulted in prizes.

Mona “You’re not buying into services, you’ve buying into people. It says a lot when you meet a team and you can see people from all diverse backgrounds, age, experience, race, it makes you appreciate you are working with a well-rounded, open-minded agency and that’s the most you can expect from an agency.”

If you weren’t able to make the webinar or you’d like to watch it back, here’s the video recording:

You can also hear more from the inspirational Dino Myers-Lamptey in the latest episode of our Word on the Street podcast, where he shares his valuable knowledge on delivering effective brand and marketing strategies. Have a listen here.

And make sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the fabulous guests we have coming up!

The New World of New Biz webinars take place on the first Tuesday of every month at 11am, you can sign up here to join the next one.

By Michaela Dudfield
6th August 2020
3 minute read