What to Prepare for Creative Agency Pitch

December 26, 2022In Cognition12 Minutes

In this article we will explore and decode both angles of the creative agency pitch—a brand’s side and objectives and agency perspectives.

To successfully conduct a creative agency pitch, brands should thoroughly prepare by defining their objectives, creating a comprehensive brief, and establishing evaluation criteria. Prior to the pitch meeting, brands should provide agencies with necessary information and materials, and may ask them to complete specific tasks or address questions to showcase their capabilities.

A brand should typically engage three to five agencies in the pitch process, ensuring diversity without overwhelming decision-makers. To guarantee a fair and efficient process, brands must provide equal information and access to all participating agencies, communicate the process and criteria clearly, and offer feedback after the pitch.

Agencies aiming to succeed in a creative pitch should conduct extensive research on the client, develop a unique proposition, create a memorable presentation, use storytelling techniques, demonstrate strategic thinking, showcase creative ideas, be passionate and enthusiastic, prepare for objections, close with a clear call-to-action, and follow up after the pitch.

One historic fun fact about the agency pitch process dates back to the “Creative Revolution” in advertising during the 1960s. This period marked a significant shift in advertising, with agencies placing greater emphasis on creativity, bold messaging, and innovative campaigns.


The best way for a brand to prepare for a creative pitch involves thorough planning and clear communication of expectations. Here are some steps a brand can take to ensure a successful pitch process:

  1. Define objectives and scope: Clearly outline the project’s objectives, target audience, budget, and timeline. This information will help agencies develop a tailored proposal that addresses the brand’s specific needs.
  2. Create a comprehensive brief: Develop a detailed creative brief that provides background information on the company, its products/services, market positioning, and competitors. The brief should also highlight any challenges the brand is facing and the goals they aim to achieve.
  3. Decide on evaluation criteria: Establish the criteria that will be used to assess agency proposals, such as creativity, strategic thinking, relevant experience, and cultural fit.

Before the pitch meeting, brands should provide agencies with the creative brief, project scope, and any relevant materials or data. Brands may also ask agencies to address specific questions or complete tasks to help demonstrate their capabilities. These could include:

  1. Developing an initial creative concept or campaign idea based on the brief.
  2. Sharing case studies of past work with similar objectives or challenges.
  3. Outlining their approach to project management, collaboration, and communication.

The number of agencies a brand should engage in the pitch process depends on several factors, such as the size and complexity of the project, the brand’s familiarity with the agency landscape, and the available resources for managing the pitch process. Engaging too few agencies might limit the variety of ideas and perspectives, while inviting too many could make the evaluation process cumbersome and time-consuming.

A general rule of thumb is to engage three to five agencies for a pitch. This allows for a diverse range of ideas and approaches without overwhelming the decision-makers. However, brands should carefully consider their unique requirements and adjust the number of participating agencies accordingly.

To ensure a fair and efficient process, brands should:

  1. Provide all participating agencies with the same information, deadlines, and access to stakeholders.
  2. Clearly communicate the pitch process, evaluation criteria, and decision timeline.
  3. Offer feedback to agencies after the pitch, regardless of whether they win the business, to help them improve and understand the rationale behind the decision.

By following these steps, brands can create a well-structured and effective pitch process that yields the best possible outcome and helps them find the right creative partner.


Agencies are typically invited to a creative pitch by clients or brands seeking new creative partners. The invitation often results from a structured selection process known as the Request for Proposal (RFP) or a more informal scouting process based on an agency’s reputation, past work, or referrals. Clients may compile a shortlist of agencies that they believe are capable of meeting their needs, and then invite those agencies to participate in a competitive pitch process. This allows the clients to evaluate different creative approaches, strategies, and ideas before selecting the agency that best aligns with their goals and vision.

Brands may look for new agencies or consider replacing their current creative providers for several reasons. One primary reason is the need for fresh perspectives and ideas to revitalize their marketing and advertising strategies. This may be due to a change in the target audience, evolving market conditions, or a shift in the brand’s positioning. Additionally, a brand may feel that their current agency is not delivering the desired results, lacks expertise in a specific area, or is unable to adapt to new industry trends and technologies.

Another reason why brands seek new agencies is to improve their return on investment (ROI) and achieve better results in terms of brand awareness, customer engagement, or sales. A new creative agency may offer innovative solutions, a more efficient workflow, or a better understanding of the brand’s objectives. Furthermore, brands often appreciate the competitive aspect of the pitch process, as it can lead to more compelling and creative ideas from participating agencies. This competitive environment encourages agencies to showcase their best work, think outside the box, and push the boundaries of their creativity. In turn, this allows the brand to assess the level of talent, expertise, and innovation that each agency can bring to the table, helping them make an informed decision on which agency will be the best fit for their specific needs and objectives.

A creative agency pitch is an opportunity for your agency to showcase its ideas, talent, and expertise in order to win a potential client’s business. To deliver a successful pitch, follow these steps:

  1. Research and prepare:
    • Understand the client’s background, their target audience, market, competitors, and business objectives.
    • Identify the client’s pain points and challenges they are facing.
    • Research trends in the industry and gather insights that can inform your pitch.
  2. Develop a unique and compelling proposition:
    • Craft a unique selling proposition (USP) that sets your agency apart from competitors.
    • Showcase your agency’s strengths, expertise, and relevant experience.
    • Explain how your approach and solutions will help the client achieve their goals.
  3. Create a memorable presentation:
    • Use a clear and engaging narrative structure to present your ideas.
    • Include visuals, videos, and case studies to support your points and make them more memorable.
    • Keep your presentation concise and focused on the most relevant information.
  4. Tell a story:
    • Use storytelling techniques to connect with your audience emotionally.
    • Create a narrative that highlights the client’s challenges and shows how your solutions will help overcome them.
    • Share examples of your previous work to illustrate your capabilities.
  5. Demonstrate strategic thinking:
    • Show that you have a deep understanding of the client’s business and industry.
    • Explain the rationale behind your creative approach and how it aligns with the client’s objectives.
    • Present a well-thought-out strategy, including a timeline and specific milestones, to help the client visualize the process.
  6. Showcase your creative ideas:
    • Present a variety of creative concepts that address the client’s needs and demonstrate your agency’s versatility.
    • Explain how each concept connects with the target audience and supports the overall strategy.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about your ideas and explain the reasoning behind them.
  7. Be passionate and enthusiastic:
    • Show genuine excitement about the opportunity to work with the client.
    • Speak confidently and passionately about your ideas and the value your agency can bring to the client.
    • Establish a strong rapport with the decision-makers in the room.
  8. Prepare for objections and questions:
    • Anticipate potential concerns or questions the client may have and be prepared to address them.
    • Be flexible and open to feedback, demonstrating your willingness to adapt and collaborate with the client.
    • If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest and offer to follow up with more information later.
  9. Close the pitch with a clear call-to-action:
    • Summarize the key points of your pitch and reiterate
    • the value your agency can bring to the client.
    • Clearly outline the next steps in the process, including any follow-up meetings, deliverables, or deadlines.
    • Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to work together and encourage the client to take action.
  10. Follow up after the pitch:
    • Send a thank-you note to the client, expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to present your ideas.
    • Address any outstanding questions or concerns and provide any additional information requested.
    • Keep the lines of communication open and maintain a professional relationship with the client, even if you don’t win the business immediately.

Remember, a successful creative agency pitch is a combination of thorough research, strategic thinking, captivating storytelling, and genuine enthusiasm. By following these steps, you can create a compelling pitch that will help your agency stand out and win new business.

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