An article in today’s Brand Republic highlights that clients find managing media pitches ‘painful’.
“More than three quarters of clients say that they find managing media agency pitches a ‘painful and time-consuming process’ but at the same time over 90% feel that it is more important than ever to get the most from the agencies they work with”.
The article is based on research conducted by Billets, a company specialising in media audits, and seems thoughtful and considered. But I got rather caught up in the first paragraph (above). There are a few observations that can be taken from this, none of which fill me with great heart.
It seems that for the majority of clients a pitch is considered the most effective means of getting the most from an agency, either, one assumes, because a pitch will deliver them an agency that can deliver more, or because a pitch is the most effective mechanism for extracting more value from an existing agency.
And it also seems that while more than 75% of clients believe it is a ‘painful and time-consuming process’ to conduct a pitch, they still believe it’s less painful and time-consuming than working with their existing agency to get the most from them.
This is slightly terrifying (as well as carrying unfortunate echoes of statistics related to divorce). Essentially, the vast majority of people would rather walk away from a relationship (agency or marriage) than work to improve it.
Why? Because they believe the failure is always the other party’s fault. And because they believe that someone else will understand them better, appreciate them more and work harder to make them happy.
Unfortunately that pretty accurately reflects my experience of clients, but, delightfully, not my experience of wives.