Getting into pitches
Photo: NES Jumpman
Winning new business has always been a primary concern for agencies, wherever headquartered. For this article, I spoke with 23 people and most acknowledged that being a second city can affect their ability to get into pitches.
A leading pitch consultant, who asked not to be identified, believes the reluctance of some brands to consider second city agencies stems from perceptions about scale and expertise, in addition to vanity.
"It can be hard to convince some clients to consider [a] second city agency because of fear they lack the resources [and] expertise to serve major accounts. They may also question whether an agency keeps up with digital innovation. Sometimes it comes down to emotional factors, like wanting to feel 'big time', or reluctance to travel to 'Omaha' for meetings."
Quite a few of the folks I spoke with acknowledged that they get their share of questions regarding resources. Most believe that this sort of concern is an issue of perception versus reality.
Tamara Bousquet, Executive Media Director for San Diego-based MEA Digital, said:
"I'd bet my job that our work, our people, are better than most that come out of leading cities and shops. Our clients, who have been working with us for 4 plus years, 8 plus years, are getting better work than they've received at other agencies. These long-standing partnerships are proof of our staff and agency's excellence."
Smart second city agencies recognize opportunities to take advantage of their location by differentiating themselves from the dozens of medium-sized New York shops. Consider Richards Group -- it's spent years selling Dallas as a reason why they are so adept at persuading Middle America.