There are typically only seven reasons for launching a media pitch and you need to consider them well, because agencies will be looking to you to explain clearly the rationale behind your decision.
This should indicate precisely what you’re looking for and hence how competing agencies might win it. The reason this is an important step is because agencies will scrutinize your rationale to determine what priority (or not) to assign your pitch amongst the many others they are going to be contesting next year. Having a clear rationale is also a way to galvanize your internal stakeholders, so everyone is aligned on the objectives and outcomes.
Reason 1: Legal
The agency has committed a serious breach of contract that creates the need for change.
Reason 2: Competitive Conflict
Driven either by an agency new business win, the agency having to resign your account or the client acquiring a new business / company which puts agency in a new conflict position.
Reason 3: Performance Issue
The agency performance is below standard and the issue is not something that can be resolved by a good Supplier Relationship Management process.
Reason 4. Change of Share
Significant new billings gained or lost by agency which impacts client standing and value creation potential because it potentially affects negotiation leverage.
Reason 5. Consolidation
The advertiser wants to work with fewer agencies.
Reason 6. Agency Acquisition / Merger
Which prompts the client to want to renegotiate based on a larger billing volume or where the two businesses use different agencies, the desire to consolidation those agencies into a single supplier contract.
Reason 7. Change of Strategy
Brands typically shift between centralization and decentralization at various points and with any centralization comes a need for consolidation of agency resources. Pitching to consolidate into fewer agencies (ideally into one single holding company) has become a popular strategy to facilitate easier agency management and ensure priority status within the winning agency group. This should deliver more value back to the client in the form of access to better pricing, better talent and better tools and technology.
Whichever one of these rationales suits you (or others more specific to your business) it is an important first step to document the reason, purpose and objectives of the pitch. This helps align your internal stakeholder team and ensures consistent communication with participating agencies once you launch.