If you’re aiming to run a best-in-class agency selection process, you’re likely already aware of the benefits of using a media agency pitch consultant.
For challenger brands everywhere, a good media agency pitch consultant can be the difference between a successful agency partnership and long-term brand growth, or wasteful media spending that fails to advance your market position.
But with so many media agency consultants on the market, how can you assess the qualities of each one? How can you confidently and accurately understand the strengths and weaknesses they possess? And, with so much on the line both in terms of your immediate financial budgets and your long-term prospects, how can you be sure that you’re making the right decision?
In this article, we’ll reveal the five-point plan that helps you make confident choices about media agency pitch consultants. Consider it a due diligence checklist.
If your favoured consultant can answer these five criteria positively, you’re on the way to finding someone you can rely on – and someone who can deliver all the benefits you expect from working with an established expert.
Five key criteria for assessing media agency pitch consultants
1. A proven media agency pitch process
A credible media agency pitch consultant is likely to have spent years working with clients trying to maximise the effectiveness of their agency pitch processes. Through this real-world experience, they’ll have come to understand what works and what doesn’t. The truly exceptional media agency pitch consultants will have spent time using that experience to codify a pitch process that they know generates results.
At Abintus, we have developed a six-step process that has been proven to deliver successful agency agreements. In brief, it includes:
The Preparation Phase
The Baseline Collection Phase
The Agency Shortlist Phase
The RFP Phase
The Decision Phase
The Onboarding Phase
2. Strong media agency pitch experience
Credible media agency pitch consultants can point to considerable personal experience. This reassures you that they understand the challenges you face, the objectives you set, and the market in which you operate.
Abintus co-founders Philippe Dominois and Tatjana Slykova, for example, have enjoyed long careers working in relevant fields.
CEO Philippe has more than 25 years of internal media experience and an MBA in Marketing from Central Michigan University. He has previously held director-level roles at Ebiquity, Wavemaker, Carat, and Leo Burnett.
Chartered accountant (CGMA, ACMA) Tatjana uses her 20 years of financial and transformation experience in her role as Abintus’s COO. She was previously the Chief Accounting Officer at Publicis Groupe.
This experience all helps to create an environment in which the needs of challenger brands navigating a complex media pitch process are deeply understood.
In 2021 alone, for example, Abintus assisted with media agency pitches in Benelux, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy, and the United Kingdom with clients as diverse as Betway, Pernod Ricard, and Kao Corporation.
3. Proven results and happy clients
Successful media agency pitch consultants should be able to show you a bank of happy client testimonials and the real-world results of their work. Take time to ask your potential consultant if they can demonstrate the impact of their services in clear financial terms.
For example, in 2021 Abintus helped its clients reduce their media agency fees by 30%, cut their media prices by 36%, and increased their AVBs or cash rebates by 29%. We also helped our clients secure stronger media agency contracts, more effective PRFs/PRIPs, and reduced digital media technical costs.
“Abintus has demonstrated not only the ability to deliver a working process, but also flexibility to adapt to the local specifications. We love the process from top to bottom!”
Ricardo Zafra Perez, Head of Communications, Pernod Ricard España
“The Abintus team has been fantastic in supporting us through our media agency pitch process. Their expertise, processes and strong relationship management have enabled us to achieve a great result. Thank you!”
Wendy Brown, UK Customer Director, Kao Corporation
4. Access to independent media agency intelligence
It is impossible for a media agency pitch consultant to do their job well without access to unbiased and detailed media agency intelligence. This information helps your consultant to establish which media agencies are suited to your needs.
At Abintus, we use COMvergence reports to establish which agencies have a conflict of interest (i.e. they are already working with one of your competitors), which agencies have the largest market share (based on billings), and which agencies are winning and retaining clients versus those who are losing clients.
Using COMvergence is critical. It shows that we do not collect ‘claimed’ information about agencies from other agencies. Instead, we only rely on trusted, unbiased, and independent sources. And by doing this, we can often eliminate the traditional RFI stage of a pitch process.
Take time to ask your consultant how they gather information about the media agency landscape. Their answer could be very revealing.
5. Appropriate systems and project management tools
Professional media agency pitch consultants understand that their job is complex and fast-moving. They know that the organisation of information is a critical aspect of their success, so they invest in systems and project management tools that minimize the risk of something being overlooked.
If you are in discussions with a media agency pitch consultant, ask them how they organise their work and the processes that surround it.
At Abintus, for example, we are happy to talk through this in detail. We use:
Monday.com for effective project management and keeping you informed of the status of your pitch process.
Box.com for safe, secure, quick, and effective file sharing. This ensures all confidential information is always protected.
DocuSign for the delivery and signature of all formal agreements, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and media agency contracts.
MS Teams for weekly calls that keep you up-to-date with every aspect of your pitch process.
Abintus Academy for the provision of extra training material and information that can help you to understand how best to maximize the impact of your pitch process.
Don’t leave it to chance
Running a media agency pitch successfully is critical for challenger brands. The success of your decision about your next media agency can have huge implications for your growth trajectory.
Running a media agency pitch can help you maximise the effectiveness of your media spend, help you secure a best-in-class media agency contract, and generate significant savings. But it can also easily go wrong.
That’s why choosing to run a media agency pitch without the support of a professional pitch consultant is such a high-risk decision. It jeopardises your business’s future in so many different ways, leaving you open to potentially significant risks at every turn.
Contact us today to book a free, no obligation consultation about your next media agency pitch process.