What are the big brands looking for in an agency?

By Jason Swenk on August 12, 2014

Do you want to know the #1 thing is that you need to stop doing when pitching to a big brand?

In this episode I sat down with Carlos Tribino, CMO of GiftCards.com. Carlos has been on both the agency and large brand side of the pitch and has 20 years of experience in marketing.

He’s going to tell us why you should understand your prospect before you pitch and what big brands are looking for when picking an agency.

What are the big brands looking for in an agency?

The number one thing they want is for you to understand their business. By really understanding your prospect’s industry you can tap into smart insights and develop strong, compelling, and relevant ideas for brand positioning.

Not to mention, this level of understanding will help you go beyond the obvious and craft original, compelling position statements.

Carlos also points out that big brands aren’t typically looking for full service agencies but rather agencies that are specialists in a particular area. There are so many new technologies out there, it’s hard to be knowledgeable enough on all of them. Pick an area and excel in it.

The no-no’s that agencies need to stop doing.

Not surprisingly, the biggest no-no is failing to understand the prospect’s business. Or worse – pretending to understand it.

Be real, not just opportunistic.

If you’re calling up prospects and giving some generic pitch you need to stop. Do your homework and make sure that when you call you express that not only can help them accomplish XYZ but also how you’re going to do it. It’s not only impressive to the prospect that you’ve done your homework but also shows that you really understand their business.

How often should I be following up?

Don’t be afraid to follow up! It’s okay to keep in contact, especially if you’re adding value each time. Check in and include a white paper, or perhaps forward along an article related to the prospect’s industry.

You want to show interest and willingness, but not go overboard with the follow ups. Check in every couple of weeks or once a month. Or whenever there’s a big change in the industry or with the company. You can use those opportunities to come up with a cool idea to throw their way.

The one thing you need to do differently right now.

Find yourself a cool client with a lot of potential and help them realize their awesomeness. People appreciate when you stick by them, and help to create something out of nothing. Once the client reaches their full potential, people will be asking who helped them get there, and your name is sure to come up.

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