5 Tips for Killer Creative Pitches at Your Ad Agency

Being creative and having the knack for coming up with a killer concept, is great, but creativity, the quality and the direction of creative work, can be subjective, as each client perceives things differently. There isn’t a silver bullet or a winning formula as such, but there are certain measures one should take that should lead you closer to successful outcome.

1. Know Your Clients and Their Requirements

It is extremely important to know your client well. Familiarize yourself with their company culture, values, the general style and direction of similar projects they have had commissioned in the past. This will help ensure all parties are on the ‘same page’. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, which will help you shape your concept into a viable idea that will most likely fit the bill.

2. Know Your Target Market

Whether your idea is for print, online, digital or broadcasting, generally your concept will be geared towards a specific audience or target market. So what are their age, gender, habits & values? These tidbits of information should help your personalize your approach and ‘connect’ with your audience. In addition to your clients’ creative brief, doing some valuable market research, including conducting surveys to select groups, should help you understand what people want and expect, and lastly, what direction you should shoot for.

3. Present Your Ideas to a Test Audience

You’ve gathered all the information you need and have progressed your idea from concept, into a first draft worthy of sharing with others. Finally, you’re ready to show your idea to your client… or are you? Not so fast. One of the great things about working in a creative agency is that you are surrounded with creative people, all of which who have their own sense of aesthetic and point of view. Arrange a meeting with a couple of your colleagues, show them your idea and ask for objective feedback & suggestions. It is always useful to consider another perspective.

They say that a picture is worth a thousands words. There are many ways you may choose to present your idea. A visual design/storyboard a slideshow-style presentation or using an AI paraphrase tool to present your words in a different way is always a good start. For something a bit more interactive that will have your audience engaged, consider a short pre-recorded video that clearly illustrates your vision, while hitting all the goals and requirements your client has outlined. In other words, present to your team as if you were presenting to the client and aim to impress! The feedback that you will receive will prove to be valuable in refining your concept before presenting your idea to the client. You may even choose to present to a small group of individuals outside of the agency to correctly gauge market response. Of course, keep in mind to protect your intellectual property and that of your clients, by carefully choosing your test audience and venue. Facilitate non-disclosure agreements if necessary.

4. Be Confident With Your Direction

In many ways, you are your own boss. You make and have made decisions that have impacted on how your idea has taken shape. All the feedback that you have been able to get thus far, should allow you to fine tune your concept into a truly show stopping piece! Your skill-set and experience should give you a solid foundation plus the confidence and belief in the decisions made to get to a particular outcome. Don’t be afraid to be challenged, and at the same time, don’t be intimidated to stand your ground and clearly communicate your reasons about your intent and the direction you’ve chosen. Always try to keep your audience engaged and involved in your presentation.

5. It’s Time to Shine

The big day has come and you are now ready to ‘WOW’ the client. Dress for success, show them what you’ve got and own it. Be prepared to take on feedback and implement it into a future revision. Now if you’ve done your job well, there may not be a need for revision, in which case, know that you’ve nailed it!

This artcile was written by former Function Point team member, Daniel Pantic

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