Nine challenges creative agencies face while pitching

Pitching is an integral part of creative agencies’ DNA for acquiring new business or even retaining the existing business. For something so integral to the success of an agency, it is alarming to know that the pitch process is mostly notoriously distraught. According to a Provoke Insights study done in 2015, approximately 47 per cent of advertising professionals surveyed said that they were dissatisfied with the current approach to pitching.

For agencies, pitching new business is often a drain on resources, time and morale, and it doesn’t always result in the best pairing of clients and their creative partners. BestMediaInfo.com interacted with industry leaders to weigh in the pain points of creative pitches.

Problems related to creative pitches are a vicious circle and to come out of it, one needs to identify them and then find solutions. This listicle is divided into two parts. The first part talks about the problems related to creative pitches and the second part will talk about the solutions.

This compilation is based on the conversation with Govind Pandey, CEO, TBWA; Kapil Arora, President, Ogilvy Group Companies, North, ‎Ogilvy & Mather; Ambarish Ray, Director, COO, Metal Communications; Shiv Sethuraman, The New Business; Vistasp Hodiwala, CCO and Co-Founder, Underdog and Shivil Gupta, ECD, Dentsu Impact.

No time for creatives to ideate

When a pitch is called by clients and a particular time is allotted to the agencies to prepare, most of that time is spent by the strategy and planning people on the pitch and then the creative directors are approached to look for an idea.

Gupta added, “The ratio of time spent by planning and creative is not right. More time is taken by the planning and strategy people and very less is given to the creative ones, which makes difficult to find insights.”

Also, time gap between briefing and calling for presentation is not enough. Sethuraman added, “Most clients don’t plan for enough time between briefing and asking for presentations. As a result, they don’t get great output and have to do multiple rounds.”

Say no to speculative creative pitches

Agencies should be careful before jumping into the speculative pitch well. One should do a proper background check on the brand, its expectations, scope and ambition before even agreeing to pitch. In the run to maintain business P/L, agencies tend to pitch for any brand without giving a much thought. A senior agency official said, “This generally happens with agencies that are either independent or struggling to maintain costs or the bigger ones that have pressures from their parent network and have too many people to deploy on any kind of a pitch.”

Pandey said, “The fact that you have limited number of people, you need to be choosy with the kind of brands you want to work with. A new business pitch is a big cost. A lot of time and resources are spent on it and that itself should limit the number of pitches you want to do.”

Trouble creative agencies for the pitch sake

Another problem that creatives talk about is that at times CMOs call pitches just for the sake of completely mandatory requirements of calling a pitch. At times, the marketers already have a set agency in their mind but call for a pitch for the sake of it. This happens when a marketer joins from another company and favours an agency he has worked with.

Excessive pitching depletes quality of creativity

A major contributor to long working hours, and in some cases staff burnout, is excessive pitching. It’s tough on the creatives because they are constantly being asked for new ideas. It is a demanding process.

Evergreen pitch fee problem

Agencies not being paid for pitching is a vicious problem for the industry. Unity is needed to come to a permanent solution and that is not happening soon. On the one hand, the agencies say they should be paid as a lot of time, money and creativity go in making even a sample presentation. On the other hand, many agencies are willing to present bids for free if clients don’t oblige. Although, there are a few agencies that do not pitch until they are paid a fee.

Pitching for projects

Although projects bring monies to the agencies in the short-term, but preparing for project pitches is a nuisance because it is for the short-term and agencies have to come up with ideas each time. There is no surety that the client would come back to the agency for another project or a longer term agreement as well.

Arora said, “The ticket size is so little that it makes the process very unviable. It is time wastage to spend one month of pitch preparation for a two-month project.”

Money matters!

Generally, the final discussion on money matters happens in the final round of any pitch. The agency charging les to the brand has a chance to be selected which puts the other agency’s hard work in vain. A senior official, who didn’t want to be quoted, said that it has happened with them a few times that in the final round when they are almost about to win the account, the client selects the agency that charged less.

Too many participants in the pitch

It is also another big problem where clients call too many agencies for a pitch. This wastes the client’s as well as the agencies’ time. The flocking number of independent agencies joining pitches throws competition to the bigger ones. Too many ideas also make it difficult for the clients to choose and simultaneously put unnecessary pressure on the agencies to compete with the bunch of fellow colleagues from the industry.

Pandey said, “The clients who don’t know their mind and what they are looking for, generally invite everybody. The pitch meetings become crowded with too many agencies.”

Evaluation metrics of agencies not clear

Sethuraman explains this point really well. He said, “In the best conducted pitches, the clients’ criterion of evaluation is always clear. For example, they might decide to give significant weightage to the past work of the agency and its local office strength and low weightage to the actual pitch campaign. But often this is not transparent so agencies don’t know what they’re being judged on.”

[“Source-bestmediainfo”]

Spotify Signs Sony Royalty Deal While Warner Holds Out: Reports

Spotify Signs Sony Royalty Deal While Warner Holds Out: Reports

Spotify has reached a licensing deal with a second major label, Sony Music Entertainment, according to media reports, setting the stage for a US stock market listing by the music streaming leader.

Recently valued at $13 billion (roughly Rs. 83,810 crores), Sweden’s Spotify is planning a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year or in early 2018, sources told Reuters in May.

Sony agreed to reduce royalties that Spotify must pay in return for the streaming service restricting new albums to paying subscribers for two weeks before offering access to free users, the Financial Times reported, citing a single source.

Sony’s top artists include Adele, Beyonce and Shakira.

Spotify is also in talks with Warner Music Group , Billboard reported.

Favourable royalty terms are crucial for Spotify to attain profitability and to make it a viable long-term holding for investors.

The company reported a EUR 349 million ($400 million) operating loss, a 47 percent increase on a year earlier, even as revenue grew 50 percent to EUR 2.93 billion.

In April, it signed a multi-year licensing deal with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, with a similar two-week release window for new albums and a break on the royalties Spotify pays Universal.

It also signed up digital agency Merlin, on behalf of more than 20,000 independent labels.

Last year, Universal held a 28.9 percent share of global music label revenue, Sony Music generated 22.4 percent and Warner 17.4 percent. Independent labels made up the remaining 31.3 percent, MIDiA Research data showed.

Spotify has fended off competition from rival Apple Music, with nearly double the number of paying subscribers.

In March, Spotify said it had more than 50 million paying subscribers and 140 million active users, including free listeners. Apple reported 27 million music subscribers last month, up from 20 million in December.

The company has faced boycotts from some top music artists who have complained its free services undercut the value of their work but the major label licensing deals have gone some way toward easing these tensions, according to analysts.

Spotify declined to comment. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group did not respond to requests for immediate comment.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Google Photos Removes Option to Backup Media Only While Charging

Google Photos Removes Option to Backup Media Only While Charging

HIGHLIGHTS
The option allowed devices to perform backup only while charging
Users still have the option to stop backup while on cellular data
The option is said to still show up for some people
Google Photos app for Android and iOS has quietly removed the feature that allowed devices to backup images and video files only while charging the device. Users could earlier choose this option to ensure that the backup of media files doesn’t end up draining their device’s battery life but it seems like the search giant has now removed the option without any explanation for why it did so.

While Google Photo users still have the option to switch off backup of media files while on cellular data, they can no longer add the constraint related to charging. As you might expect, this feature was extremely beneficial as it made sure that the backups were only performed when the device was in proximity to a power source and was not running short of juice.

As pointed out in a 9To5Google report, with the release of version 2.17 for Android and 2.18.0 on iOS, this option in the backup settings within the Google Photos app was removed.
The While charging only option is currently not visible with any of our devices, on both platforms, but 9To5Google says that there is a minority that can still see the option available. Interestingly, the option cannot be seen on company’s help page for Google Photos backup settings as well.

Notably, the option to switch off media backup while on roaming is still available within the Google Photos app. Users can always switch the cellular data option off and as Wi-Fi is usually available at either homes or offices, which usually have easily accessible power sources too, they will still be saved from battery drain. However, an extra option at your disposal is something nobody ever complains about – hope you’re listening Google.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Vodafone-SaveLIFE Road Safe App Launched, Disables Calls and Notifications While Driving

Vodafone-SaveLIFE Road Safe App Launched, Disables Calls and Notifications While Driving

Telelcom operator Vodafone has partnered with SaveLIFE Foundation to launch the Road Safe mobile application for Android users in INdia. The app brings a lot of features focused on safety and help during driving and related emergencies. The launch comes soon after Samsung unveiled a similar app, called In-Traffic Reply.

The Vodafone-SaveLIFE Road Safe app has features like ‘Distraction Free Driving’ that will automatically disable calls, SMSes, and push notifications when vehicle speed is above 10 kmph. The Road Safe app also has Road Safety tips and information on traffic fines and offences. Another feature called ‘Automatic Crash Detector’ uses the phone’s accelerometer to detect sudden drop in vehicle speed, and provides automatic voice enabled emergency response assistance. A sudden drop in vehicle speed is usually a major sign of an accident. There’s also a one-touch dial for emergency services, and a feature that will call and SMS to saved emergency contacts.

The app is available for free to download on Google Play, and the interface is really simple to use. Once you complete the Vodafone-SaveLIFE Road Safe app registration, the Home Page has all the features mentioned. The traffic offences and fines section gives you a detailed list of fines depending on state and offence. There’s also an option to report harassment from any officer or individual as well. The Settings menu allows you to change language to Hindi; however the default language is English.

The telco has also released a study alongside reasoning why the app makes sense in today’s smartphone world. It claims that when it asked several passengers, around 96 percent of them feel unsafe when a driver uses a mobile phone while driving. 34 percent of the respondents in the study tend to apply sudden brakes when talking on the phone while driving, and 20 percent of respondents admit to having a near-miss situation or a crash due to the same. The Vodafone-SaveLIFE Road Safe app is essentially a first step of sorts to prevent distracted driving.

 

 
[“source-ndtv”]