This article was originally published by Creative Salon.

2024 is forecast to be a turbulent year in terms of new business pitching, with the economy still in crisis the drama won’t subside anytime soon. And the nature of pitching itself is changing. Potential shifts could include a return to more face-to-face interactions, streamlining the process with fewer stages, and more widespread adoption of initiatives like Pitch Positive. So we asked the intermediaries and pitch consultants for their prognosis for 2024’s pitching landscape.

Richard Robinson, Managing Director, Oystercatchers

Whenever a new year of pitching starts it’s wise to remember the words of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who, the year after the French Revolution, said “”plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose””. [The more things change, the more they stay the same].

So, peering ahead into 2024 maybe the better question is what will change and what will stay the same?

The three things clients want most from pitches remain universal and timeless: Help, guidance and capability.

  • Help to understand today’s market dynamics
  • Guidance to find the right path through to tangible action
  • Capability to upskill their knowledge and plans with the best tools and services

Three human qualities, driven from a genuine need to seek out the trusted advisors and practitioners to lift the bar and exceed strategic goals. Within this, CMOs and marketing leaders are increasingly aware effective marketing needs to include the long and the short: brand-building and sales excellence, the tortoise and the hare, winning together, at the same time, in unison.

The key question for prospective partners is how to prepare for twin-speed pitches, when it may not be immediately obvious which gear the client is in. Ensuring this is known before the process begins to enable resource, time and effort to be commensurate with reward. It’s important for the client to share this information, but equally important for the agency to not proceed before the answer is known.

A tactic we’re seeing agencies deploying with devastating brilliance is shadow pitch teams. Designating people by category well ahead of a pitch being commissioned or known of to create centres of excellence for finance, pharma, FMCG and more; ensuring immediate understanding vs the need skill up. From the minute first contact is made the agency has unfair human advantage, and when deployed correctly the tactic delivers a will to win few can surpass. Time and again we see the agency most likely to win the pitch is the agency that most wants to win the pitch. These Tiny Noticeable Things (or TNTs for short) are the things that regularly make the biggest difference in a world where every agency has creative excellence, strategic mastery, and operational discipline.

So, pushing into 2024 consider how help, guidance and capability can be at the heart of pitching. And within this, consider that for every new business win there will be an old business loss. The agencies who deliver for their existing clients with the same passion, hunger and desire they covet another agency’s will be the ones who stand out as we look forward into 2025 in twelve months’ time.

You can read the full article on Creative Salon.