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I Got 99 Problems But A Pitch Ain’t One

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Written By: Rachel Goodman, Account Executive for AdReady

Breaking through the clutter is a major challenge in digital. Hundreds of players compete in the ad tech industry and many of them have overlapping products and services. Companies, understandably, have a huge issue differentiating themselves from competitors. A quality pitch is a great way to help your company stand out from the competition, but many people are overwhelmed by presenting to an agency or don’t take the necessary steps to deliver quality messaging in their presentation. Here are some of my tips to turn your pitch “problem” into an interactive opportunity.


Do the Research

Before pitching, do your homework. Research the company and come prepared to answer the base questions. Know how to respond to common pain points like reporting, transparency and “managed services.” The agency ultimately wants to know, “What can you do for us?” I have yet to be in a meeting where these topics were not brought up, so be ready to speak to these points and be aware of the agency’s history and get to know those who will be in the room with you during your pitch.


Be Aware of the “Ask” Beneath the Surface

Whether it’s vetting a new partner or creating multiple unique buys, agencies aren’t always forthcoming with their “asks.” It’s your job to find their agenda and meet those needs. It’s also important to know the agency’s point of view. Coming from the agency side (I worked at GroupM for almost 3 years), I’ve learned how agencies think and operate. Although they still may be confused and not fully aware of all the opportunities that are possible within the digital landscape, agencies are comfortable and secure in their core business. You must be able to see that each agency has specific pain points and understand that there are digital topics they might not fully understand, and you must educate them accordingly.


Know Your “Why”

The most engaging pitches are the ones that answer the “why” questions. Before every pitch I ask myself, “Why should this client work with us?” “Why should they trust our capabilities?” “Why should they give us a shot?” There is no right or wrong answer to this, and sometimes it is more about your confidence than anything else. But finding the right answers to the “why” questions comes from a strong understanding of how your company meets real demands in the market. This is essential to being a problem-solver, not a product seller. You want to be able to clearly understand the agency’s “problem” and how you can solve it – and this can be done by knowing your “why.”


 Create a Dialogue

Answering all the right questions, however, isn’t enough – you must also be able to hold the audience’s attention. It helps, as you stand in a room full of strangers, to make your meeting a dialogue. In the end, it’s really not a pitch.  It’s a conversation. I like to ask a lot of questions and never assume I know everything. Yes, I may be standing in front of a PowerPoint slide and presenting, but I keep it an open forum. After all, it is more valuable to hear the audience’s opinions and challenges because you’re there to solve their problems.

All in all, it’s important to be on your feet, have confidence in yourself and always know the deeper purpose you serve. These pitching tips will help you achieve that and they’ll help turn your pitching “problem” into a problem-solving opportunity. While we all know the 99 problems we have in ad:tech, your pitch shouldn’t be one.

Like what Rachel had to say? Keep an eye on the AdReady and CPXi blogs for more CPXian insights!