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Chemistry, pitching and smarter ways?

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Here’s a challenge for pitches for both clients and agencies, that might help soothe what has become an often-broken partner picking process


Based on the reality check that every agency can pull together a decent creds.


Crafted. Slick. But not especially live or real world.


So a useful pre-selection tease perhaps, but not the core of a chemistry session.



Instead focus on a few key questions that can peel back the layers.


Ask the agency to talk about a failure and how they dealt with it/shifted focus for a client.


Ask for a controversial view the agency holds on their part of the marketing mix. Challenges to the status quo. Fresh thinking.


Ask them for opinions on who they think is communicating well or badly at the moment. Not their own clients, but in the wider world. See what good looks like in their eyes.


Get their view on a challenge you are facing. This isn’t about free advice, but it’s about seeing how ‘your team’ thinks on their feet.


Find out what frustrates them in a client.


Ask them what a brief from you should look like .


Ask to spend at least 20 mins 1 on 1 with the person who you will be the day to day account lead, behind the front of house leadership.


When every agency is tickbox ‘passionate, creative, results focused, with award winning case studies...' you have to look beyond the blah to find proper chemistry.


And as an agency, take the lead in reinventing chemistry meetings of value in the same vein and find the advantage position.


For both sides, perhaps spend less time on pitching, and more time on collaborating for the right plan that will land.


Competitiveness can be good, but it doesn’t beat joined up thinking and time spent together workshopping on alignment.


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