Winning new business pitches is a key barometers of success for any ad agency.
On Google, if you search the phrase, how to win an ad agency pitch, you’ll find 11.7 million entries. That’s means a good number of people are looking for the answer to this question.
In the titles of these entries, you’ll find words such as “rules,” “playbook,” “guide,” “tips” and “tactics.” In other words, someone’s else opinion.
This article doesn’t pretend to have that wisdom. Instead, here are 31 facts on winning new business pitches broken out into categories so you know by the numbers;
- What are chances for success
- What works against you
- What works.
WHAT ARE CHANCES FOR SUCCESS
- 96% of ad agencies have participated in a new business pitch. (Provoke Insights Study)
- 49% are general ad agencies and 23% are digital, 9% are brand consultancies and 8% are media. (Provoke Insights Study)
- Average closing rate in the U.S. is 43%. (Cubeyou)
- New business pitches cost ad agencies between $15,000 and $20,000 to prepare. (Cubeyou)
- The average amount of work that goes into each proposal is 150 hours. (Cubeyou)
- Small to mid-sized receive 10-12 requests for proposals (RFPs) a year. (Cubeyou)
- 299,000 Google results for “best advertising blogs.” (Peter Levitan)
WHAT WORKS AGAINST YOU
- 80% of agencies say the New Business Director lasted less than 2 years. (Smart Insights)
- 66% have no methodology or business development plan for winning new business pitches. (Smart Insights)
- 53% of clients investigated 6 or more agencies in addition to your agency for the preliminary review. (McKinsey)
- 48% of clients said their previous agency relationship lasted less than 2 years. (RSW/US)
- 47% of ad agency professionals are dissatisfied with their agency’s current approach to winning new business ptiches. Unrealistic timelines and long hours are the primary reasons. (Sanders Consulting Group)
- Average Client-Agency Relationship has shrunk from 7.2 to 2.8 years. (Media Post)
- Average CMO tenure has decreased from 48 month to 44 months. (Spencer Stuart)
- 33% of the CMO’s in the study are new to their job as of 2015, the largest percentage since 2004 (Spencer Stuart)
- Clients typically invite 3 agencies to pitch when there is a full-blown review. (RSW/US)
- Most clients take 2-3 months before a final appointment is made. (HubSpot)
- The best marketing and advertising agencies in US close on average 85% of the pitches and participate in 6 times more than the other agencies. (Cubeyou)
- Creativity and Strategic planning represent more than half of the total cost. (Cubeyou)
- To improve strategic planning, agencies say important areas to apply resources are: 57% against the target audience, 53% for competitive intelligence, 53% for industry trends, 47% for industry intelligence and 42% for social listening. (Provoke Insights Study)
- 96% of executives said “chemistry” was the key factor. (Launch Engineering)
- 82% of executives select an agency who they believe “differentiated” themselves from other agencies. (Launch Engineering)
- 61% of executives said the agencies they’ve selected had a confident, articulate team. (Launch Engineering)
- If you close 60% of your new business pitches, your new business effort will be profitable. (Cubeyou)
- 50% of executives suggested agencies need to develop “a new business culture.” (Launch Engineering)
- Clients generally enjoy the process of looking for a new agency, with 41% of respondents saying they either “look forward to it” or “enjoy it.” (RSW/US)
- 41% are not happy with their current agency’s strategy and thinking; 40% cite lack of pro-activity; 39% are not happy with creative and 33% are looking for new ideas. (Holmes Report)
- 39% of executives said passion for the client’s business, demonstrated by a “seamless link between strategy & creative.” (Launch Engineering)
- Only 33% of executives said brilliant creative was enough to win the pitch by itself. (Launch Engineering)
- 23 of agency appointment now involve a procurement specialist, so don’t ignore them. (RSW/US)
- 22% of clients use a roster system, suggesting that most clients use other means to learn about the strength and value of agencies in consideration. (RSW/US)
Do this facts on winning new business pitches make sense to you? Do facts serve as a better guide than rules and playbooks? Do need help winning new business pitches or selecting the right agency for your business?