Why Onboarding is Crucial After a Media Agency Pitch

Media Agency Pitch

Mar 19, 2024 | Philippe Dominois

Why Onboarding is Crucial After a Media Agency Pitch

Imagine investing countless hours and resources into a media agency pitch, only to realise that the real work begins after the selection process.

Surprisingly, when we first introduced Post-Pitch Onboarding as a crucial phase in our media agency pitch management process, many advertisers requested its removal to compare our offering with competitors.

However, as more advertisers recognise the significance of this step, they now understand that a well-executed Post-Pitch Onboarding process is the secret to a thriving, long-lasting advertiser-media agency relationship.

In this article, we'll delve into what Post-Pitch Onboarding is, how it works, and the consequences of neglecting this critical step in your media agency partnerships.

What is a Post-Pitch Onboarding Session?

A Post-Pitch Onboarding session is a crucial meeting or series of meetings that take place shortly after the completion of a media agency pitch.

The purpose of these sessions is to bring together key stakeholders from both the advertiser and the newly appointed media agency to establish a strong foundation for their working relationship.

Ideally, Post-Pitch Onboarding should occur within the first few weeks after the pitch concludes, while the objectives and commitments made during the pitch process are still fresh in everyone's minds.

How Post-Pitch Onboarding Works?

At Abintus, our experienced pitch consultants manage the Post-Pitch Onboarding sessions to ensure a smooth transition and effective collaboration between the advertiser and the newly appointed media agency.

These sessions involve key participants from both the advertiser and media agency side, including senior leadership, account management, strategy, and operational teams.

The exact composition of the group may vary depending on the size and complexity of the account, but it is essential to have decision-makers and those who will be working on the account day-to-day present.

During the Post-Pitch Onboarding session, a wide range of topics is covered to ensure that both parties are aligned and prepared to work together effectively. These topics include:

1/ Establishing clear communication channels and points of contact:
  • One of the first orders of business is to ensure that everyone knows who to contact for different types of queries or concerns. This includes identifying key points of contact within each organisation and agreeing on preferred methods of communication (e.g., email, phone, or video conferencing).
2/ Defining roles, responsibilities, and expectations:
  • Clarity is key when it comes to roles and responsibilities. During the onboarding session, participants should discuss and agree upon who will be responsible for various tasks and deliverables, as well as what is expected of each party in terms of communication, reporting, and performance.
3/ Alignment on goals, objectives, and KPIs:
  • To work together effectively, the advertiser and media agency must be aligned on what they are trying to achieve. This means discussing and agreeing upon specific goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure success.
4/ Contractual responsibilities and compliance understanding:
  • The post-pitch onboarding session is an opportunity to review and clarify the contractual responsibilities of both parties. This includes discussing the specific commitments made by the media agency during the pitch process, such as any value-added services or resources that will be provided. It is also important to ensure that all team members understand the compliance requirements and procedures outlined in the contract.
5/ Media agency commitments:
  • During the pitch process, the media agency likely made various commitments in terms of media prices, quality, service, and other deliverables. The onboarding session is an opportunity to review these commitments in detail and ensure that everyone is clear on what has been promised and how these will be measured.
6/ Integration of tools and systems:
  • In today's data-driven media landscape, the integration of tools and systems between the advertiser and media agency is critical. During the onboarding session, participants should discuss which tools and platforms will be used, which ones are included in the agency remuneration, and any associated costs or training requirements.
7/ Advertiser's internal processes and reporting requirements:
  • Every advertiser has its own unique processes, approval systems, and reporting requirements. The onboarding session is an opportunity for the media agency to learn about these processes in detail and ask any clarifying questions to ensure a smooth working relationship.
8/ Knowledge transfer:
  • Finally, Post-Pitch Onboarding is an opportunity for knowledge transfer between the advertiser and the media agency. This may include sharing historical data, insights, and learnings from previous campaigns, as well as discussing the advertiser's brand, target audience, and overall marketing strategy.

Consequences of Skipping Onboarding

While it may be tempting to dive straight into work after a media agency pitch is completed, skipping the Post-Pitch Onboarding session can have serious consequences.

Without proper onboarding, there is a high risk of misalignment between the advertiser and media agency in terms of expectations, goals, and responsibilities. This can lead to miscommunication, inefficiencies, and a lack of clarity on contractual obligations and commitments.

Moreover, without a dedicated time to build rapport and establish trust, the advertiser and media agency may struggle to form a strong working relationship. This can make it difficult to navigate challenges or changes that arise during the course of the partnership.

Why We Advocate for Post-Pitch Onboarding

At Abintus, we strongly recommend that all our clients conduct Post-Pitch Onboarding sessions with their newly appointed media agencies.

We have seen firsthand the positive impact that these sessions can have on the long-term success of the partnership.

By taking the time to align expectations, clarify responsibilities, and build trust from the outset, advertisers and media agencies can establish a strong foundation for effective collaboration.

Post-Pitch Onboarding helps to prevent misunderstandings, conflicts, and performance issues down the line, ultimately leading to better results and a more successful partnership.

Whether you are an advertiser about to embark on a new media agency partnership or a media agency looking to start off on the right foot with a new client, investing time and effort into a comprehensive onboarding process will pay dividends in the long run.

So, to all the advertisers out there, I urge you: do not underestimate the power of Post-Pitch Onboarding. Make it a priority, dedicate the necessary time and resources, and work closely with your new media agency partner to build a strong, trusting, and successful relationship from day one.


About the Author

Philippe Dominois Blog Post 2024-1Philippe Dominois is co-founder and CEO of Abintus Consulting, and Head Coach at the Abintus Academy. He has over 25 years of international media experience, having worked on the media agency side, client side, and media auditing side throughout his career. Philippe has authored hundreds of articles over the years that focus on media management best practices.

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