What Goes Into The Ultimate Pitch?
Pitching is both a choice and a risk. Here at Ultimate, as a leading branding agency in Manchester, we’re really selective about what pitches we go for. They have to be the right fit and we have to feel like we can do really great work for them. As a result, it means we put absolutely everything we have, into every single pitch we do. At Ultimate, we’re in it to win it!
It’s a bit like an audition. You don’t know who you’re up against, how many other agencies are in the running or how far they’ll go. Briefs to pitch rarely say 100% what the client wants. It’s kind of an unwritten rule that they expect more, and we want to give more. With every project we take on, we strive to go above and beyond. For us, it’s a matter of pride. We love what we do. Even though we live and breathe it (or maybe because of that!) there’s something quite daunting about selling your ideas to other people. After all - it’s the unknown, and you never quite know if they’re going to love it as much as you do. Having said that - you just can’t beat that feeling of a win!
Ultimately, we’re in it to ‘wow’ the client, and show them how we could do great work together for years to come!
So, how do we do it?
We’re not going to spill all of our secrets here (sorry!) - but here’s some insight into what happens when Ultimate go into ‘Pitch Mode’. It’s hectic, exciting and hard work, and above all full of energy. ‘Pitch Mode’ often sees us burning the midnight oil: using WhatsApp groups for those late-night sparks of inspiration, which turns into creative team lunches - all of which is necessary for creating that infectious buzz that starts truly great work.
It might sound obvious, but we really do work together. Depending on the brief, every single one of us has a part to play, so we can really pull together something air-tight and meaningful. We’re not scared to question the brief, so we can push ideas as far as possible so we focus on the ideas that are really worth developing. This is something we’re pretty good at - and proud of! Collaboration doesn’t start and stop here, it runs through every stage of the process: we’re constantly refining and making sure we all pull together.
Preparation is absolutely key to a successful pitch. So we research. We look at everything related to the client, no matter how small. We do this so that we can truly get under the skin of the client, the brand, and the campaign, to try and understand as much as we can. This preparation gives us a much greater understanding of the project ahead. Once we’ve located their needs, we can create the perfect strategy to suit them.
We find inspiration everywhere. Creative influences can come from anywhere. We collate as much as possible and analyse (fast!) to see what’s most useful and what we can learn from, to inform our decisions about how exactly we can meet the needs and challenges of the brief.
We think that this research is fundamental, and can often be overlooked - but not by us! It can fuel creativity, ideas and experimentation and in its most exciting form can spark a completely new direction. We believe that we can learn from everything and everyone.
When it comes to inspiration, we constantly review the brief to make sure everything we do is relevant. We keep asking ‘why’, which lets us push the brief and evolve as much as we can. With initial ideas bubbling at the surface, it’s layout pads and Sharpies at the ready! We generally start with a pen and paper before moving on to visuals on a Mac, as this makes us really focus on getting the idea right before thinking about how it looks. We never prioritise style over substance. Everything we do is informed by the research, inspiration, and the all important brief which is vital to crafting the end result.
One of the biggest things thats sets pitches apart from other big creative projects is that often the main restriction is time rather than budget. This means we can have a lot of fun with our ideas. We aim to excite our potential new clients whilst giving them a truly great example of what we could achieve if we worked together. We show clients potential clients what Ultimate are all about: fantastic creative work and great ideas that get them (and us) noticed!
Here’s where we pull it all together - from the Ultimate process, our understanding of the brief and bringing the creative to life. Ultimately, we want to take you, the client, on a journey so you understand what we’ve done, why we’ve done it and where we see it going. Every presenter is different. Personally, I love this part of the process, as this is where you really see the pitch come together, and everyone’s parts align. We like to make sure that we get in all the little details, and make every word and each creative application count!
We craft the pitch. It might sound daft, but we actually say things out loud. We like to be prepared! This is our final opportunity to make sure we’ve answered the brief, make any final amends and polish up on our presenting skills to make sure everything is as slick as possible.
Pitch - The Big Day!
Finally it’s time to present all of our hard work and the adrenaline kicks in. We love meeting new faces, and always fill our pitches with energy and passion - this is what it’s like to work with the Ultimate team. We love what we do, and working with people as passionate as us. We aim to take the entire room on that journey, so they can glean an insight of what it will be like to work together.
There’s nothing more we can do - we always come away knowing we’ve given it our all.
The buzz that fills the office when that winning phone call comes in makes it all worth it!
Don’t just take it from us - hear it from one of our clients! Speedy Freight are a national same-day courier service, who Ultimate pitched for and won back in April this year. Their National Marketing Manager commented:
‘Ultimate clearly articulated their understanding of the brief and demonstrated clear knowledge of our brand, our service and our position in the marketplace.
The pitch team were the team who now manage our account and deliver our work. Being able to meet the team at the pitch meeting enabled us to assess our fit and gave a sense of what working together would be like.
Their creative was well presented and has the ability to build, and evolve to target different industries’.