'Should agencies be paid to pitch' is the on-going debate in Marketing Week at the moment. It's a difficult one, but a pitch is short for 'sales pitch' so if agencies are to be paid, then shouldn't companies pay for all sales presentations? I think not!
To pay or not to pay. That is the question. Or at least, that was the question posed by Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson earlier this month when he asked whether clients should pay agencies to pitch for marketing services. Ritson says this “old chestnut” of an issue has become relevant again with the growth of zero-based budgeting within client-side organisations, whereby companies precisely cost all of their objectives for the year ahead and the tactics used to deliver them. This has made the pitching process more onerous and complex for agencies, suggests Ritson, and led to clients inviting a longer list of agencies to pitch. Given the high expense of pitching – and the rising likelihood it may not succeed – he argues it could be time for clients to pay a fee to their pitching agencies as standard