Agencies pitching for new work are used to regarding brand procurement teams as their opponents, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We explore how alternative approaches could mean agencies picking up more business.

Laetitia Zinetti, managing director for continental Europe at Ebiquity, says: ”Procurement should be treated as a business partner, where win-win conversations take place. To build trust, agencies should come to the table with a transparent approach from the beginning, where they open books and processes. Agencies should also proactively recommend KPIs that will measure success and efficiencies (including soft and hard ones) from the pitch, which are transparent, realistic, ambitious and, most importantly, measurable (with clear sources and methodologies).

”Agencies should emphasize the value they are driving for the business, sales they can drive – and focus their presentations on these figures. Demonstrating the value and growth opportunities an agency can provide while demonstrating a practical, responsible approach to media will help both parties better understand the partnership they’re going to engage in and provide more opportunities for negotiating.”

Federica Bowman, chief executive officer at contract compliance specialists FirmDecision, says involving procurement experts from the beginning of an approach can be very valuable. ”Procurement should be a key stakeholder in the agency pitching process. Their contribution provides valuable structure and support to ensure the pitch is managed fairly and with the appropriate rigor. Their involvement will allow the media and marketing teams to focus on the service and outcomes being proposed by the agencies,” she tells The Drum.

”At the beginning of the process, procurement can provide invaluable support in identifying the key terms within their proposed contract or MSA that are mandatory for the business. These terms should be agreed upfront by the agencies or groups so there is clarity on expectations and less negotiation required further down the line. By providing these non-negotiable terms upfront, agencies that are unable to agree have the opportunity to not participate in the pitch, thereby freeing up valuable time and effort on both sides.”

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