Updated: Oct 12, 2020
My top tips on how to create winning pitches
I personally love the challenge of a pitch - starting with a blank piece of paper to dream up the the ultimate solution to a clients problem, articulating the solution into a unique proposition and compelling story founded in reality.
As I've carved out a niche in leading large-scale agency pitches over the past decade, I've also developed my own tools to ensure the pitch process is enjoyable, efficient and effective. Here are my top tips for creating winning pitches that don't necessarily require a drain on company resource and morale
1. Pitch Planning & Process
When it comes to pitching, the words of Alan Lakein couldn't be more accurate
My toolkit includes a planning framework which embeds time for research & strategy before creative ideation, budget apportion, client Q&A, tissue meetings, regular review meetings, team brainstorming underpinned by pulling together the right pitch team - even if that does mean bringing in outside expertise.
With remote working becoming the norm, planning and leadership of a pitch has never been more important. This includes distilling the brief for everyone to digest and get under the skin of the brief, diarised time for desk or field research to ensure the best insights, scheduling deadlines for the various pitch phases with inbuilt contingency and collaborative brainstorming for effective ideation. For remote brainstorming I love Mural which enables teams to think and collaborate visually with a slight element of gamification to ensure everyone's engaged. However, even a remote workshop or brainstorming session requires planning to get the best out of your team. Another new tool in this space is Pitch which provides collaborative software for effective and smart pitch collaboration.
2. The Right Team
The pitch experience is often made or broken by the collective team and synergy, this doesn't necessarily mean many hands make light work! It's more important to have the right people at the right time representing different disciplines from creative to commercial to specialists all leaving their egos at the door. Each team member needs to have an element of accountability united behind a common purpose to win the pitch. A pitch lead should inspire, motivate and keep the team and process on track whilst making key decisions based on experience and knowledge available.
3. Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk
Whatever you're pitching for ensure you're showing up as an expert in that field. If you're pitching to look after a clients brand then ensure your own brand is perfectly represented. If you're pitching for a virtual event then make sure your own virtual pitch is perfected and represents what they client can expect.
4. Make it Memorable
A pitch done properly may lead to work that doesn't get presented, a pitch is won on quality not quantity. Hello short and snappy solutions delivered with an element of pitch theatre, goodbye death by PowerPoint.
I have won pitches through dynamic 60" mood films, Virtual Reality and theatrical unexpected moments over 100+ page documents.
What is the client asking for? Can you show them your creative concept in an innovative way without a traditional presentation? Can you go beyond the brief and suggest something truly disruptive and different to what the client thinks they need?