How to perfect your business pitch – Tips from a Head of Marketing

Being given a brief by a potential new client is often the result of months of careful business development, so the last thing you want to do is throw that work away on a rushed and poorly-presented pitch.

Ben Murphy, the Head of UK Marketing for one of the top five international market research companies in the world, has shared some of his considerable experience with us. Follow his advice below and be sure to stand the best possible chance of winning the next piece of business you pitch for.

It’s a team effort

“It is always a collaborative effort. The research team ensures that at every point we are staying on message, meeting the client brief and not adding information that is not relevant. For the Marketing/Creative team, it is about keeping a visual consistency, but also putting forwards better ways to tell a story, to picture a process etc.”

Don’t overlook the planning

“Map out who is doing what (both from a content writing perspective, but also from the creative angle as well). We have learnt over the last couple of months that to have a content lead and a creative project manager is important. We decide which outputs are not so important should timings slip. Once we have the timings we can then book and direct the necessary resources to each deliverable.

Whilst it is great to have so many ideas from many different internal stakeholders, it can often take time to crystallise these, so ensure there is time to gather up ideas with a final story/solution that meets the client brief. As a creative/marketing team we need to enhance the message/story but be careful not to misrepresent it.”

Know the client

“We can make a nod to [the client’s] imagery style, to their creative assets, but we also go deeper and look at their tone of voice, what style of video they have, how they answer solutions. Is it a straight talking organisation, or an academic one? It is important to talk back to the client in their style, whilst also remaining true to our brand as well.”

Represent the information in the clearest way

“We have found increased traction with clients when we visually demonstrate processes rather than use complicated line diagrams in PowerPoint. So we might have a short talking head video, or a motion graphic which can be voiced over. People like movement, it keeps them engaged, but it is also important not to over use these elements and of course remember that building motion graphics, videos etc takes much longer than a presentation slide.”

Think outside the box

“We like to offer a multichannel approach, and for a recent pitch we created a separate password-protected microsite to house all of our deliverables. We embedded the videos, provided summaries and downloadable materials. We also think about offline, and prepare printed materials that can enhance the delivery of the pitch on the day.”

Ensure that everyone is catered for

“Pitches need to cater for multiple stakeholders within an organisation (this might include Procurement, Research/Insight teams, Marketing Officers and C-Suite Executives). It is therefore important that we provide content in detail as well as in summary form. Typical outputs might include the pitch presentation, TeamBook (outlining key project team), case study materials (to show previous experience of the client’s challenges), testimonials and executive summaries.”

Make sure you have the right talent on the job

“There are many creative agencies you can use where you brief and they prepare the work off site. But this is difficult as often you are not 100% sure of the brief, timings slip and the number of changes you require is often less than the standard two revisions provided. Plus it is a massive advantage to have both the content owner, creative team and a freelancer in the same room! So having a Devonshire freelancer come on site and fit seamlessly with the team is what makes the difference for me. They don’t feel like part-time help, they feel like an integrated extension of our own team. They’re always professional, enthusiastic, creative and they deliver on time.”

Devonshire has a deep pool of talented permanent and freelance Presentation Graphics, Marketing and Creative candidates. If you feel like your pitches need a fresh perspective to make them as strong as they can be, find out more about how we can help you here.

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