I suppose in a perfect world, a client in need of an advertising agency would point to an ad campaign they admire and say, “Let’s hire the people who did that.” We wouldn’t need the agency pitch process that is part ‘Dating Game,’ part dog and pony show, part theater, and part…well, part marketing services evaluation. Since we don’t live in that world, we need Peter Levitan and his book The Levitan Pitch: Buy This Book. Win More Pitches.
Peter’s seen and done all during his time in the ad business — he’s been an agency new business director, agency owner, client and now consultant. So what we get is a pretty thorough guide to the idiosyncrasies of the pitch process, starting with how an agency should determine whether to pitch a piece of business or not. Along the way we get preparation tips, do’s and don’ts, some interesting war stories, and some extensive Q&A sections with agency veterans, search consultants, even procurement experts and attorneys.
So who’s going to benefit from The Levitan Pitch? Frankly, any agency whose reputation doesn’t precede them — in other words, most ad agencies should heed Peter’s advice. Account reviews aren’t going away, and they’re becoming more onerous and complex. Even the best talent at good agencies can find themselves flummoxed by the review and pitch process.
By combining his own expertise with a broad range of perspectives from other folks, Peter and The Levitan Pitch give us all a peek behind the curtain at an often mysterious, but extremely vital, part of our industry. And that could potentially be worth quite a lot for agencies willing to listen.
Special thanks to Peter for providing me with a review copy.