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Robin Wight

Putting the fizz in new biz

BY Robin Wight

What is it that makes advertising the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

It has to be New Business.

And the analogy with romance (let’s not tarnish this blog with the S word) is obvious: wooing, seduction, consummation, marriage and eventually divorce are all part the New Business lifecycle.

One of the harsh facts of agency life is that, eventually, all clients leave you. Certainly, of the 150 clients that WCRS has had in its distinguished history only one – BMW (God bless them) – remains from our birth. So this means that without New Business an agency will eventually die. Yet the difference between winning and losing in a pitch can be just five per cent.

Next week, I will be sharing some of the stories behind the New Business successes (and failures) of WCRS at the IPA Pitching Legends event. Where did the Carling slogan come from? How did the most effective campaign WCRS ever did emerge during a pitch process with a reluctant scientist carrying out an absurd test? And what almost destroyed our pitch for BMW the night before we were meeting with the client in Munich?

And of course, pitching starts many years before the pitch.  We’ve been stalking some clients for up to 10 years, following them as they move from job to job.

A huge amount has changed in the last 30 years: most notably, the arrival of pitch consultants and procurement. I’ll be telling you about both of these innovations. And what I think of them.

For eight years we didn’t do a creative pitch at WCRS. Yet now I can see how the fizz of the pitch can bring an agency to life – provided of course you don’t neglect your existing, longstanding – and sometimes long-suffering – clients.

And, finally, how do you pull all the different skills together in the world of the multi-disciplinarily pitch (a small plug for the Engine model).

Winning a client’s trust, showing that you have passion and not just PowerPoint…. All these are part of the pitching process which I’ll be talking about next week.

You can ask me any question you like. I promise to give you a fizzy answer.

Robin Wight is being interviewed by Claire Beale at the IPA on Wednesday 23rd May. To book tickets click here.

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