To pitch or not to pitch: Trust more important than share of wallet

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 22 July 2015
TNW panel session held this morning.

Trust is crucial in day-to-day relationships and especially in the relationships between the client, agency and publisher Holy Trinity. But is it difficult to maintain trust when the industry feels like it is being driven by procurement? Especially when the global media landscape is littered with major and far reaching pitches.

These are the big issues that a panel hosted by The Newspaper Works comprising of Match Media CEO John Preston, Fairfax investigative journalist Kate McClymont, Seven West Media director of client partnerships Rowena Millward and Taronga Zoo's head of carnivores Deb Price, aimed to solve this morning.

It could not be overlooked that several major global clients are currently looking to change up their global agency rosters and Millward who formerly worked client-side before joining Seven West said that when it comes to pitching for new business there's a huge of focus on cost efficiency.

“It's driven by the rise of procurement on the client side and the strength of procurement backed by finance,” she said. “If you talk to the most of the clients who are responsible for the outcome of that agency relationship, many of them did not necessarily pitch. They're trying to balance: “How do I get efficiencies and how do I find new ways to unlock value to have that really close partnership.” It's not always clear how to do that.”

Preston agreed saying that he believes a lot of the pitches that are going on the moment are based in confusion. “The whole market has changed,” he said. “Within that, they [clients] just want to make sure they're getting the right story. Trust is more important at a time of change - that ability to have a really strong relationship - there needs to be a feeling that clients are getting the best advice at times of change.”

Millward added that when clients just focus on cost that's when the relationships all fall apart.

“When the conversation is only about share of wallet, it comes undone. It then goes to pitch without it necessarily being about trust, I think the market will start to see that trust is more important that share of wallet.”

Millward operates by the principals of share of mind, heart and wallet all being in alignment. So are all parties on equal footing when it comes to remuneration, control over, and influence over ideas, as well as commitment to the project, that's when the stars align.

“If you have fair share of wallet, good share of mind and great share of heart why would you pitch? Because together your doing great things.”

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