Ridding the industry of the pitch as we know it
One size does NOT fit all
By Monika Zalaite
Business Director, Creativebrief
The idea of a bespoke process, and not an ambiguously ‘simple’ one, quickly gained support. Whilst it might seem sensible to solve a problem with simplicity, that simplicity will always be defined by whoever is manning the pitch. What’s simpler is to look at the problem on an individual basis and work towards a bespoke solution.
If they are starting a new process because an old one hasn’t worked out, then finding the source of that friction is key. Did they fail to get the service they wanted? The talent? Or was it the work that didn’t meet their expectations?
Tailoring the process around these elements, or at least using them as a starting point, can help the client make the right decision as to who to appoint much earlier.
This doesn’t mean starting from scratch each time – that won’t help anyone. It means starting with a framework and working with the client on how it might flex in order to deliver the best process for all parties.
If what the client wants from the agency is scrutinised far more, then the process by which they find it also needs to be. Agency workshops create a much more accurate reflection of what it will mean to work together by bringing some humanity into the competitive process.
When discussing his experience, Publicis’s CEO Nick Farnhill said how “done well, the workshop should be more about diagnosis than prescription.”
By prioritising the diagnosis, the focus of the process shifts from finding the ‘ta-da!’ answer and instead collectively identifying a problem.
We need to take a step back and break the illusion that there’ll be one single solution to a process that affects brands and agencies in entirely different ways. Adhering to any such solution won’t save you time. Without flex, it’ll only risk morphing back into the costly process you were trying to avoid.
Diagnosing the problem and working from there, with intelligence and flexibility, is the way you’ll ultimately find the best agency/brand relationship. As Lisa and Jonathan suggest, one size does not fit all, so tailoring is a must.
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