As the current economic climate continues to fuel ad spend cautiousness, and many commentators predicting widespread budget cuts, brand advertisers may find themselves in the market for a new agency to maximise media value. The pitch process can be a complex one at the best of times; different internal departments usually require varying levels of information from prospective agencies, and the agency teams often have to jump through hoops to deliver this.
It’s a particularly stressful process for brand procurement teams, who are mostly responsible for the decision-making and for reporting cost implications to the C-suite. So at a time when further pressure is piling on both sides of the equation due to the need for efficiency to make every penny count, what can be done to make the process smoother, fairer and ultimately help procurement teams make the best decision, rather than simply selecting the cheapest option?
Pragmatic or just plain frugal?
During times of financial uncertainty, it’s natural for brands to be extra careful of how and where their budgets are being spent. However, blanket cuts can often do more harm than good. Procurement teams may be so hyper-focused on saving brand advertisers money that they might actually miss out on fantastic agency partnerships that could bring the brand more profitability in the long run. For example, budget cuts may lead to diminished market presence, meaning the company becomes less competitive; spending smartly rather than excessive penny pinching is often a better option.
However, it can be difficult for procurement teams to know if their cost assessments are accurate. Agency evaluations tend to be quite subjective and complex. Multiple markets, target audiences and media types must be taken into account, along with price. Procurement teams need a standardised system to aid their decision-making process and ultimately ensure every penny is well spent.
Striking the right balance
And of course, the pitching process isn’t a walk in the park for agencies, either. They can lack sufficient resources to keep pitches efficient, meaning teams become overstretched, leading to stress and burnout.
A solution such as Redmill’s Pitch-IT could be the answer to both sides’ difficulties. Pitch-IT is an auditable pitch pricing procurement platform, which collates pitch submissions from media agencies in one accessible programme. This allows advertisers to easily evaluate pitch submissions and make informed agency selection decisions, as the tool also analyses historical media activity to predict future outcomes and to create quality parameters by market.
Not only does Pitch-IT streamline the briefing and reporting process for advertisers, but it also increases transparency for media agencies, making the process smoother and promoting greater communication between both sides.
In these uncertain times, it’s never been more important for procurement teams to optimise value. Having clear, auditable pricing parameters for agency selection is paramount to making the right decision, and enlisting the help of robust tech solutions can lead to long term gains.