Efficient selection of a Digital B2B Agency: Tips for Client-Side

Freestyle
3 min readJun 14, 2018

Freestyle founder Alan Cooper reveals useful insights for B2Bs when choosing a new agency partner at pitch stage.

Pitching is a complex journey. Especially for B2B Agencies

It can also be a rather lengthy one, intricate and costly. Agencies can burn through tens of thousands of pounds on a pitch with no certain outcome. Pitching for B2B versus B2C clients is different; there’s more complexity, less readily available information and often caution when engaging with the agency early in the process.

Agencies that understand B2B well will dig further into the client’s brief to identify the deeper challenges and likely solutions

In a recent presentation at the Figaro Digital B2B Marketing Roundtable, our founder, Alan Cooper opened the lid on the best and worst practices “before, during and after the pitch”. We’ve extracted the best pieces of advice for client-side marketers, to help make the pitch stage a more successful one, for both parties.

48% of agencies say that “lack of face-to-face time” with the client is one of the biggest challenges of the pitch process — C&IT

Pitching insights to remember next time:

1. Make sure the project is agreed and signed off

If you’re using the pitch as a business case, make sure the agency is aware

2. Answer agencies’ questions

They often need to find out more details about the challenges you face

3. Schedule face-to-face time with the agencies

4. B2B pitching typically takes longer than B2C due to the complexity of the sector

For one of the world’s leading adhesive manufacturer it took about 9 months and resulted in an award-winning web ecosystem for one of the most important international adhesive companies

5. Be more generous with your agency assumptions

There is less information available on B2Bs than there is on B2Cs

6. Don’t bring the main decision maker late in the pitch

7. B2B decisions are harder and often protracted

8. We’re not afraid of “multiple stages” projects

Tell us what the format is up front and how you want to engage with us

9. Provide as much information about your customers and audiences as possible

And be prepared to talk about them like B2Cs

10. Embrace the fact that we need to drill into your products and services, more than we would with a household B2C brand

11. B2B relationships often last longer than B2C ones

Look for agencies with long-standing relationships and stable staff

12. If your audiences are highly complex, look for agencies that can demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of B2B customer experiences

If you don’t know the agency, they shouldn’t be in the room — Citroen

For more best practice on B2B pitching, watch Alan’s presentation “The B2B Pitch: Getting It Right For Client And Agency”.

Alan Cooper is Freestyle’s Founder and New Business Director.

Originally published at www.freestyle.agency.

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Freestyle

Freestyle is the digital transformation agency that keeps brands at the top of their game.