Everyone's favourite hated topic

Hi <<First Name>>, welcome to the latest Breaking Bland, Co:definery's quarterly(-ish) collection of ideas to help you stand-out and grow faster.

The theme de jour is one that people love to hate - pitching. Whether they’re your primary path to growth or just the occasional dip-for-the-line, pitches are definitely a thing. 

Below you can explore whether you're relying too much on 'chemistry', why pushing back on client demands really matters and how to change the game before the pitch. There's also a chance to nab yourself a free place at the pitch debate of the century. 

So until next time (who knows, maybe Autumn?), enjoy! 
cheers, Rob 

PS if there’s a topic you think needs exploring next, just let me know. And if you think I’m talking nonsense, you have to shout me down - it’s the law. That’s how we make change happen.

Don't be seduced by chemistry - it can lose you the pitch, but it shouldn't win it

The working title for this article was ‘Nice People, Crap Agency’, but Marketing Week quite rightly face-palmed and patted me on the head. Just as well, because it proved quite contentious enough... agencies really believe that 'people buy from people’.
But there’s definitely more to it than that - not least how clients and agencies view ‘chemistry’ in very different ways.

Anyway, what do you think? Let me know.

A very good reason to push back

Interesting research from Creativebrief - they asked 50 brands if they’d work with agencies that refused to engage in the pitch process. Apparently 67% 'responded positively’. That's a very big number. So if you're calling the shots, then you’re far better-placed to win. 

Adapting to a very un-level playing field

If you thought 67% was a big number... apparently 84% of clients have ‘picked a winner before the pitch’. Now, we all know the 'inside track' is a thing, but seriously? In fairness, Forbes’ headline makes the most of the original research, but if you ever want to make the case for change in new-business, there’s your killer stat. Read all about it here

How to avoid a half-baked proposition

Getting the inside track starts with your value proposition. This cake-powered article explores the pitfalls and opportunities around your most critical business decision. And in a fiendishly unexpected denouement, it reveals whether you have the perspective to nail it yourself. Apols for any sugar cravings.

Event invitation:
Smarter Pitching

Contrary to popular finger-pointing, pitching isn't just an agency issue (who knew?). So, finally, here's a genuinely representative debate on this hardy perennial topic.

You'll have to tolerate me moderating the panel - but do nab a ticket and help me make them argue, rather than bore you with the usual love-in.

When: 8.30-11.30am, Tuesday 12th June
Where: Soho Hotel, London

I have 3x free tickets - first come, first served. Just hit reply.  

And finally... what no GDPR question? 

Like the Y2K-bug, has the GDPR doomsday scenario been overstated - at least in B2B circles? The Direct Marketing Association's guidance suggests that the more relevant legislation may be the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). This states that "legitimate interest" is as sound a basis for contact as consent. Hence no opt-in-or-out hokey-cokeying here. 

You can read Co:definery's updated privacy policy here. And naturally you can unsubscribe at any time ...although fair warning: the Breaking Bland list is also the Christmas card list.

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