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7 Core Essentials To A Pitch

Here is the list of my top 7 essentials to a pitch

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Working on pitches is a way of life, specifically at agencies and having worked on and being a part of core pitch teams I believe that it is time to share some of my real time learnings one of the key pillars in the ecosystem of marketing and advertising, is the creative. Having spent considerable time in this field while working with some of the best minds in integrated media, my take is that broadly, the creative is the centripetal force while media distribution is centrifugal in nature. It is also imperative that distinctive culture of the client and the agency must mesh well.

Sharing my top 7 essentials to a pitch -

Core team with a captain

Depending on the mandate that the pitch is happening for, at the soonest, identify the core team, select the pitch leader & have strategy, creative, communication specialist and media specialist ready. This team need to be aficionados in debriefing as well.

Bottom of the Iceberg

Is equally important as the top. So, when the briefing is on, thinking both wider and deeper to as many questions as possible. At times certain things may remain unsaid, so ensuring everything is ‘said’ is important. My learning is, starting from the bottom of the iceberg helps capture the understanding of the brief better as the Top of the iceberg is easier to spell out and understand. This will help build on our ‘X’ factor or as I call the ‘Xanadu’ factor.


One key is to try and gather the pulse of the client’s mindset during the pitch conversations. This implies that what information (in the form of questions) will actually help both sides to better evaluate the objective and the core KPIs. So, keep the conversation candid and transparent driven by intelligent curiosity.  Gauging how much time is actually required and sticking to that time during the presentation tells a lot about your time management skills and helps not to vamoose.

Displaying Partnership Spirit

The conversation must reflect a partnership / collaboration spirt. Works far better than just a client vendor relationship. The general purpose of life according to me, is to make things better and to enable new things to enable deeper relationship and of course, better business. Hence, having that in our intent, tone and body language along with a consultative and not prescriptive approach, acts as a catalyst.


Creative is a part where it’s like the horizon. Even if the thought is there, it needs a lot of grind and brainstorming to marry it to the essence of the campaign. Creative needs to touch at least one sense/ one emotion deeply and hence subjective. Here my learning is to immediately ‘unlearn’ any past notions (bringing them in only if need be at a slightly later stage of brainstorming) and base the premise on ‘nothing’ is obvious.  This two steps will help asking questions around the product and objective, without any hesitation. And yes, what is more important is asking those questions fast and the ability to answer fast will define one creative team from the other.

Dry Run

The non-shippable part. Never, ever go into a pitch without a dry run. Our mind camouflages over-confidence as confidence that may lead to disaster. Ideally, needs to be done two days before the pitch so as to enable buffer time for any tweaks. Also basis my experience, it is also advisable for the presenters to prepare with a mirror run of the speech, tone, voice and energy. The right amount of energy can work wonders. And I am a strong believer of energy and conviction. Both these are not actually visible yet very much visible.

Whatever happens, nurture the relationship 

Few things translate, few things translate later and few things do not translate. Such is life, however, that does not stop us from nurturing relationships.  It is the vibrancy, the frequency and the energy that connects people for a reason and every connection has a meaning and yet certain connections need to be allowed as impervious. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Ankoor Dasguupta

Ankoor Dasguupta is the Vice President - Media at Hashtag Orange. With two decades of work experience, Ankoor identifies himself as a learner, mentor and a strong believer in network effects and nurturing relationships. Connect with Ankoor on LinkedIn. Twitter handle is @AnkoorNow

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