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Why we don't pitch at Hunter

It’s fair to say the majority of our new business at Hunter comes via referral. We do a good job for someone, they tell someone else. It's beautifully efficient. And built from our successful work and relationships. It also removes a lot of the risk for us and the new client. Being introduced via a recommendation means we’re both pre-qualified to be suitable for each other. Choosing a brand agency is a big decision for a client. Likewise, so is selecting the right opportunities as an agency. Our time and resources are finite. We like to do a great job for people, products and services we believe in.

The whole "To pitch or not to pitch?" question has plagued agencies since forever. It's easy to get swept away by the seductive open goal of a speculative pitch opportunity. However we've learned through experience not just at Hunter, but at every agency we've collectively worked at, that pitching just doesn't make sense.

We'll use the analogy of a doctor. Imagine you’re a GP and your patient isn’t interested in your analysis of the problem. They’re just wanting the prescription of drugs for the problem which they have diagnosed via Google. This is a bit like a pitch brief which seeks a solution for a self-diagnosed problem. Crazy is not the word.

Which is why we like to begin every client relationship with a simple planning process that helps us truly understand what your business is trying to achieve whilst also getting to know… well, you. From doing that, we often find the problem you think you have isn’t the one we solve first. For instance a rebrand will not help if your e-commerce checkout user experience is broken. Or if you have no idea who your ideal customer looks like. Or if your supply chain is letting down your product experience.

A pitch brief will often ask us to launch a new product or rebrand a company to take it to the next level. Of course we can answer this type of brief; that's our core service. However, responding to a pitch brief means we are in a competition with limited business insight and access to interview C-suite executives who could provide the complete context. Answering a pitch brief under those conditions is a bit like what we were saying about a GP prescribing drugs to a patient who has self-diagnosed the problem.

Another reason why we don't pitch is the cost to our team and existing clients. In every ‘pitching’ agency we've worked at, 50% of the time is spent chasing the next shiny thing. That normally meant the best talent working into the early hours on hastily procured pitches without that true business context, hoping something would stick. It’s brand building with jazz hands. As a result, existing clients are neglected which creates a crisis as the team has less time and energy to do a good job on the real work. That’s not the way we run our business or service yours.

If you’re serious about wanting help solving the bigger business problem or opportunity, then bin the pitch brief and schedule a conversation instead. Ask yourself… is there a fit between what you need and what the brand agency does? Is there chemistry? Does it feel right? Maybe instead of a going down the full-blown pitch brief path, request a paid diagnosis? It’s low-risk and if it doesn’t work out then move on. Either way let’s not waste each other’s time with pitching and get started on the hard work. How can we help change your brand for the better?

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