Smaller budgets isn’t the only reason pitching new business is hard right now. New hurdles for agencies seem to be cropping up every day. 

A recent Adweek survey found nearly 60% of brands have cut their agency budgets and almost 40% could be on the hunt for a new agency over the next six to 12 months.

But all is not lost – you just need to adapt and grow to be even better. In this climate, pitching mindfully is the way to succeed.

Here are some key challenges agencies are facing and opportunities to overcome them.


Insightfulness is harder to find 

Way more market research content is being published right now – and at record speed. Keeping that competitive edge by saying something new, interesting, and relevant is harder than ever.

Accuracy lacks trust 

All the uncertainty makes it hard to trust the accuracy of data. With things changing every day, clients don’t feel convinced yesterday’s data will be true tomorrow, let alone next month. 

Showcasing the human link

Human connection is the backbone of connecting with a client and landing strong insights. Without meeting face-to-face, it’s harder to convey the human emotion behind your data. This means reading the reaction to your insights and navigating the presentation is more of a challenge.

Jumping into the action 

As our environment shifts, there’s more unrest and economic uncertainty. This makes clients more reserved and hesitant than ever to move forward quickly with confidence.


Know what’s already out there

To cut through the noise, you need to listen to it. Spend time consuming thought leadership and research content to know what insights are already out there. Dedicate some time every day to develop a sharper perspective.

Connect the facts with the fun 

Many platforms are working tirelessly to make sure they’re providing accurate and up-to-date data. Matching the numbers with anecdotes and consumer quotes helps build confidence in it being true. Consumer stories and quotes bring data and insights to life in a way that makes them more real.

Connect data to shared experiences

The pre-meeting small talk has never been so important. Use this time to understand your client’s situation and state of mind so you can adapt to it. Make your storytelling feel real and relatable. This helps them feel confident in you, your work, and, importantly, your data.

Match up consumer needs and client concerns

Clients are hesitant about activation these days, and who can blame them? But with roadblocks being so clear, you can get ahead of them. Show your client how your ideas don’t just circumvent consumer needs during this time, but help address and solve them.

The future of pitching 

The truth is that, of course, no one knows what’s going to happen next and what problems may turn up in 2021. But for now, identifying and acknowledging the challenges means you can meet them head-on – just make sure you’re clued into the facts.

This is an excerpt from our guide on winning business pitches with insight.

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Written by

Devon is the Founder and CEO of First & First Consulting, a boutique strategy and analytics consultancy. Her firm helps brands such as Facebook, Netflix, Estée Lauder, and Nike uncover data-driven insights that inform brand, marketing, and product innovation strategies. She founded the firm in 2016 with the vision of leveraging innovative techniques and best-in-class technology to streamline the path to insights. Prior to starting the firm, Devon spent 10 years in the advertising industry as both a strategist and analyst at agencies such as BBDO and Ogilvy. First & First Consulting is a WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprise.

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