I was on a fairly long train journey with the CEO of brand experience agency iD last week. One of several such journeys we’ve shared of late.
We were on our way to a pitch – with most of the usual positive pre-pitch emotions very much in play…
The self-questioning... Had we absolutely nailed the idea that we continued to hone in our last precious hours, in its most succinctly, buy-able way? The adrenaline... Could we present it as well as we’d delivered it in the run-through? The anticipation... Was it really as good as we thought it was? The conjecture... Had we pitched the budget right, were we asking too much? And of course, the usual guarded anxiety... Who was on the train, who did they work for, were they really eaves-dropping?
All part of the pre-pitch buzz, coupled with the customary healthy dose of pre-match nerves. Yet some of the more negative emotions were notably absent…
The paranoia... Had one of the other agencies come up with the same idea, only better?
The speculation... Who else was pitching, in what order, was that ex-employee part of their pitch team?
The soul-searching... Would they just prefer someone else and tell us we were a close second?
The pessimism... Was this an incumbent shoe-in, was it just a cost-reduction exercise, or no more than a box-ticking beauty parade.
The self-doubt... Had we got the casting right, would the other agencies have fielded a more impressive line-up?
None of these negative, back-foot emotions were at play. They weren’t at play because no-one else was pitching. No one else was pitching because after 25 years leadership in the sector, iD are now shifting the balance from reactive, to proactive pitching.
In a nutshell. The Agency are only targeting the clients and sectors they are best placed to help. An optimistic, yet nonetheless mutual win-win strategy. They proactively write (with a painstaking research, and expert-led verification process) their own briefs. They then take the answers to the briefs they’ve written themselves directly to their audience.
As a result, at a stroke, from the moment we set foot on the train to the moment we set foot in the client’s presentation room, we were firmly on the front-foot. Just as the pro's are outweighing the con's of proactive pitching right now for iD; the positive is certainly trumping the negative energy surrounding it.
The train journey was better for it. The presentation undoubtedly was. So too that recurrent uber-emotional release of them all, the post-pitch drink.
Founding Partner of Treacy indigo Partnership and former Arnold KLP chief currently working in conjunction with iD on proactive pitching projects.