Marketers now expect primary research in new agency pitches

by | Jan 29, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

New research from marketplace solution firm Vennli reveals that 70 percent of marketers expect primary research in new business pitches, while 89 percent of agency professionals that reported pitch win rates above 50 percent said that they typically use primary research when developing a pitch.

Results of the firm’s recent survey of agency and in-house marketing professionals delivers crucial insights into the factors that separate agencies from their competition when pitching for new business.

According to the data, there are five key ways for agencies to differentiate their pitches

Agencies that are data-driven, conduct client research, develop innovative solutions, plan for long-term commitments, and are experts in their field are far more effective and credible, with much higher success rates, than those that are not.

“In-house marketers are expected to deliver data that proves return on investment for all marketing efforts,” said Mary Claire Mandeville, business development manager at Vennli, in a news release. “It follows that they expect the same from an agency partner. Agencies pitching without data-driven insights into the client’s business and competition face an uphill battle for new business.”

Other key takeaways from the report include:

  • While 34 percent of agencies said that they think one of the most common reasons they win a pitch is because their “brand is recognized and respected in the market,” only 15 percent of marketers said this played a role when selecting an agency partner
  • Only 13 percent of agencies said that they are winning pitches because of the “high value for cost” they project in their pitches, but 42 percent of marketers said that this plays an influential role when choosing an agency partner
  • Thirty-six percent of agencies said that they are always re-thinking the client’s entire strategy when developing a pitch, but only seven percent of marketers reported seeing this happen

“Agencies that understand what marketers want from a pitch have a much higher success rate,” said Mandeville. “If an agency can differentiate itself from its competition in ways that are meaningful to potential clients, it will not only impress in-house marketers, but build a critical path to long-term success.”

The findings come from a survey of 200 U.S.-based agency and marketing professionals containing quantitative and qualitative responses. Survey respondents were screened to ensure their role required involvement in the pitch process.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter