I’ve been reading with interest and asking colleagues about their views on ‘free pitching’ this week after visiting www.no-spec.com - a forum for designers to unite with each other against free pitching. One internal discussion on the subject, included a theoretical game of ‘What would you do for £1million?’ – and answers mostly involved nudity. I guess the concept of running naked down Oxford Street seems palatable with a guaranteed outcome of £1m - although I would question who puts up this metaphorical £1m and what their motivation might be?
This supports my view about Free pitching. I don’t believe there is a valuable item or service offered for ‘Free’. I’ve owned ballpoint pens advertising double glazing and I've experienced ‘executive’ stress-toys and ‘highly visual’ drinks mats promoting home insurance or website hosting. They all took up valuable space on my desktop where I could have had something more worthwhile… Chocolate digestives & a mug of tea would have made worthy replacements for that space.
And the same is true with pitching. A successful agency, winning new clients on reputation and results is chaotically busy. At Pull Digital it’s certainly true. It's no accident our clients have more successful campaigns. Every piece of our work we produce for them is realised through collaborative discussion where we learn more about their business and learn how marketing, design & development affects their businesses. We ask questions, we experiment and we analyse the results. Together.
For our clients, it’s more than a financial investment – it’s an exchange of experiences, transparent discussion and ultimately a partnership where knowledge is shared and ideas are shaped together. Compare this to a free model offered by other agencies and you have to ask who’s paying for all that time? Will it be you once they have won your account? Will they be as focused on your account when they are pitching to newer, shinier clients?