As an advertising agency CEO, you’ve likely faced the difficult decision of whether or not to pitch for a new account. On the one hand, pitching can be a great way to showcase your agency’s talents and win new business. On the other hand, it can be a costly and time-consuming process, especially if you’re not the incumbent agency.

A recent study by the ANA and the 4A’s found that the average cost of an agency pitch is $408,500 for marketers and $406,092 for agencies. These costs are significant and can have a major impact on your agency’s bottom line.

In addition to the financial costs, agency reviews can also be disruptive to your agency’s workflow and damage relationships with existing clients. When you’re focused on pitching for a new account, it can be difficult to give your full attention to your current clients. This can lead to decreased satisfaction and even client attrition.

So, when should you pitch for a new account? There are a few factors to consider.

Strategic Considerations for Agency CEOs:

#1 Assessing Win Probability:

If your agency isn’t the incumbent, the odds are often stacked against you. It’s critical to evaluate your understanding of the prospective client’s needs and whether your agency can provide a compelling and unique solution.

#2 Financial Preparedness:

Given the hefty cost of pitching, ensure your agency is financially equipped to absorb these expenses without compromising other areas of the business.

#3 Workflow Management:

The resource-intensive nature of pitches means reallocating key personnel and potentially disrupting ongoing projects. This requires strategic planning and management.

#4 Maintaining Client Relationships:

Prioritizing new pitches can sometimes unsettle existing clients. Open and transparent communication is essential to reassure them of your continued commitment.

Optimizing the Pitch Process:

If the decision tilts in favor of pitching, there are strategies to streamline the process:

#1 Selective Engagement:

Focus your resources on pitches where your agency has a competitive edge or a unique value proposition.

#2 Early and Thorough Preparation:

Allow ample time for brainstorming and developing a standout pitch.

#3 Assemble a Stellar Team:

Bring together a mix of your agency’s best talent, ensuring a diverse range of skills and perspectives.

#4 Agency-wide Support:

Cultivate a culture where everyone understands the importance of pitches and is ready to contribute when needed.

#5 Leverage Project Management tools:

Implementing project management tools helps you efficiently manage resources, coordinate tasks, and maintain a clear overview of your agency’s pitching strategies.

Pitching for new accounts is a high-risk, high-reward scenario in the advertising industry. For agency CEOs, it’s a decision that demands careful consideration of the potential returns against the costs and risks involved. Whether or not to pitch can significantly shape the agency’s trajectory, making it a decision that should be approached with strategic foresight and comprehensive planning.

Learn More: Explore in-depth insights and studies on the cost and impact of agency pitches: