AMC’s new documentary series “The Pitch” features some terrific agencies this first season, including DIGO in Episode 7 scheduled to premier on Monday, June 4th at 9pm. “The Pitch” has spawned a lot of comments within the agency community about the agency pitch process itself. Negative comments. Nasty comments. Prideful, rebellious comments. So, we threw our comment into the mix, and republished it here.
I understand, truly, the feelings behind much of this criticism of the pitch process as many agencies experience it. The sort of rules “the industry” might create would only serve to protect and enrich a guild of established agencies, while it would raise the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. DIGO is sixteen years old. I remember what it was like to start and it was hard enough. It doesn’t seem fair to upstarts or clients, especially entrepreneurial clients, to take the nearest thing to pure evolution and ossify it, even a little. We chose to participate in The Pitch for our own reasons, and have so far really enjoyed and benefited from the experience. We’ll see how we feel after our show airs on June 4th. We participate in relatively few formal pitches – maybe one or two per year – and yet have grown every year since 2003. When we do pitch, we first carefully vet the client and the process, and we set our own rules of engagement, before committing. Frankly $15K doesn’t make a difference in our world. Time is much more valuable than a few bucks. Our strategic thinking may be our most valuable product, but we give it freely and without concern every day. There isn’t some storeroom with a limited inventory of smart ideas. We are smart and strategic every day and if you’re having lunch with us, you get us. Your ability to implement our strategic ideas and your ability to execute on them successfully — well, that is typically the outcome of an uncommon partnership. It’s much more rare. If you’re the sort of person or organization that wants to try it without us, that’s ok. There are plenty that will pay a fair amount for that partnership. Beyond that, anyone who thinks the implementation of strategic ideas — the media, reporting, optimizations, creative, design, production, development — is a commodity, just hasn’t seen it done right.