Archives for category: Client Pitching

Today I’ll talk about something that affects my working life every single day: briefs.

Briefs take a lot of thought and the whole point of it is to ensure that you allocate your resources to hit your marketing/campaign objectives. The right brief leads to the right campaign execution and the right campaign execution leads to the right results, which is what agency and client want to achieve.

Do you have a marketing challenge? Or perhaps a full campaign that you want an agency to plan and create for you? Or maybe you just need an advert designing?

Whatever it is, it all starts with the brief. If you are new to briefing or even if you have been doing it for a long time, here are my 8 top points to be considered.

1. Give background information.

Get together as much information as you can about the company and the product or service you want to promote. What has and hasn’t worked before is also a great help.  Any information of how you have communicated before is not a waste of space in your brief, as it will give more insight into your audience, which nicely leads me to the next point…

2. Find out about your audience.

Campaigns work because you know everything (you can) about the people you are targeting.  It is these people that you are hoping will ultimately want to respond and buy. Research and analyse your data to figure out what makes your target audience tick, what they want and what they may expect from you. And then go and exceed their expectations.

3. One line says it all.

Think about what you are trying to achieve with your marketing and then put this in one line. Think: ‘if I could achieve one thing and one thing only, what would this be?” This helps you with prioritising your objectives and focusing on your main proposition.

4. Think about how daring you want to be.

Whatever you are promoting, chances are that you know your audience better than most people. So tell us if you think it’s time to shake things up. Tell us if you want to surprise them. This type of information can completely change the way things are developed.

5. Don’t like this, don’t like that.

Yes, we want to know your (and your audience’s) likes and dislikes. If there is a particular colour/tone/image that you/they hate don’t be shy, put it in the brief.

There is nothing worse than producing good creative work that doesn’t hit the spot because of likes and dislikes. So get them out of the way at the start.

6. There is always a price tag

Be clear on the budget. If you are not entirely sure, try to give some level of indication. The budget has to be realistic and in accordance to the scope of your campaign. It’s also good practice to say how you intend to measure success, so we can put some steps in place along the process to help you be able to do that. There should always be a response rate in mind so we can calculate the success of the activity in real ROI terms.

7. Say what you expect

Include your requirements, particularly in terms of timings.  Then everyone knows what is required for when.  Not doing this at the start can result in a whole heap of confusion and can lead to expensive mistakes. By being exact with what you need to have planned, created, produced and reported will aid in the cost effectiveness and success of your activity. By being precise with what you need, the success of the communication is greatly improved.

8. ‘I know that now!’

When all is done and dusted, a good tip is to look at the brief you supplied and take into account how your project or marketing activity went on that occasion. It’s good to think about what went well, what didn’t go well and what can be done better next time. If you create a process and follow all the steps consistently, with refinements over time, you will be on the way to creating great outcomes for your business in every brief you write.

And now you know all about the perfect brief, what are you waiting for?

Marilia Spindler is an Account Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

How many people are really good at their sales pitch?

Most people (in business or any walk of life) can’t deliver a monologue. This might seem like a superfluous observation, like pointing out that designers aren’t all great ‘pencil drawers,’ but being able to write and perform a decent monologue are incredibly useful for a great sales pitch.  

So how do you craft a good business monologue? How do you add punch to your pitch? Like any other craft, follow the directions and practice, practice, practice.

1. Reduce your pitch down to its essence – the BIG differentiator

This is the main idea, the proposition.  For instance, “Our unique, dodecahedron packaging will be the standard in five years, so introduce it to your portfolio now.” Your proposition itself should have drive, focus  and be dynamic.

It should have a complexity in that it’s more than just “Purchase my product please.” But it should also be simple, clean and obvious, to help you focus your pitch.

2. Outline, outline, outline

Ask yourself, what are the few core ideas I want to illustrate? Write those down. One common tactic is to first write the beat—the most important points you want to get across.

You can then move the ideas around and get a sense of how your pitch will flow. After the outline is organized, write down the order.

3. Get your pitch on paper, in one draft if possible

This is the first draft, and it will flow best if you get it down in as few sittings as possible and write what is essentially your script. Use your sheet to guide you through this process.

4. Have someone ‘constructively critisise’ your pitch

Getting positive, constructive feedback from trusted colleagues is essential. Ask the person giving the notes: Does anything sound off-target with my pitch? Is it too long? Is it too short? Would you ever buy anything from me? Ask them to be critical.

5. Take the notes, edit and polish

Polishing the pitch is the last step before you start practicing the performance. You don’t have to follow every suggestion from your critics, but pay attention to patterns. If every person who read your pitch thought one section seemed long, it’s probably best to cut it down.

6. Read the pitch aloud to see how it sounds

After your pitch is written to your liking, start working on the delivery.

Read the pitch aloud. It doesn’t hurt to do this a little during Step 2, but here is when you really start practicing the performance. Get a feel for the rhythm of your pitch.

7. Record yourself performing the pitch

Record yourself pitching. Try to convince the camera to buy your packaging. It’s ridiculous, I know, but so is pitching. So, get as good as you can at doing it. Watch your performance, and note how you look and sound to others.

8. Perform your pitch for someone

It’s time to put it out there and pitch. Performing for another person and noting reactions is useful. What areas spike their interest? What makes them start to nod off? Take notes on how people react to your pitch, and adjust accordingly.

9. Anticipate questions

There is a useful pitching preparation technique. Play devil’s advocate. Have a friend or colleague pretend to be your own negative client. Do they poke big holes in your pitch? Prepare responses in line with your proposition.

10. Go off book

When you know your pitch inside and out, go off book. You know the essence, and you know the questions to anticipate. You know the rhythm so it sounds right. You know it’s going to work.

Now there is a wee secret ingredient that so many people forget or just can’t realize in a pitch situation. If you can achieve Number 11, you will engage and inspire the customer on a plane that your competitors won’t or can’t.

11. Be yourself, be strong, be committed, be passionate, be flamboyant, be a purveyor of your product and brand!

It doesn’t matter what industry, level, intensity, importance the scenario – you have to express your sheer belief and passion for your product. Not in a fake way. This will become transparent if you do.

Go out there and pitch your heart out – make the most unbelievable lasting impression and engage beautifully!

Mike Emmett is a Director at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

 

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