pitching to marketing agencies

The Do’s (and Don’ts) of Pitching to Marketing Agencies

For anyone looking to pitch a product and/or service to a marketing agency, lend me your ears, because I’m going to give you a gold mine of insider information on what we marketing agencies are looking for.


I’ve sat on both sides of the desk. I worked for 15 years pitching media solutions to agencies, and now 22 years into my career, I’m running a marketing agency, handling domestic and international campaigns for our clients around the United States.

I can remember how frustrating it was to mindlessly blast out email after email to agencies pitching the newest product or service for their clients, only to get no response.  Now sitting on the buyer’s side of the table, I can understand why I was snuffed out left and right by agencies.

You see, decision makers in agencies are usually barely floating with their nose above water, so you only have micro-moments to interest us.  That sounds harsh, but it’s not meant to be.  It doesn’t take much to interest us in wanting to know more.

I’ll let you in on a secret — if you do your research and propose a product or solution that you TRULY believe can make sense for a specific client of ours, I personally will ALWAYS listen. I’m looking for whether you’re trying to sell me, or if you have an actual solution that makes sense for my client.  These are two very different things.


This is easier than you think.  Remember, don’t fluff up your communications with sales-speak or try to spin value into an unvalued component — it’s not necessary.

Instead, outline the values you’re proposing, and why it makes sense for my client.  Numbers are your friend here.  Show me the reach, engagement, and (depending on product) conversion opportunities.  Talk to me about the audience demographics and geographics. Break down numbers in to cost-per-thousand.

Focus on the essentials and you’ll get much more consideration from a buyer.


Sure! But you need to schedule a time.  And in this instance, I can only speak for myself here because I feel like I’m more willing to hop on a call than some of my peers in the agency world.

But because agencies are running as fast paced as you, clear, efficient communication is what we’re looking for.  Most media buyers, creative directors, or decision makers in agencies have a scheduling link (usually in their signature) for you to schedule a time.  Believe me, we appreciate it, and it goes a long way in demonstrating that you’re cognizant of our time, which there’s never enough of in the day.


This is a super important one.  I get the sense a lot of times that salespeople are in front of their computer clicking “send” at warp speed to as many leads as possible with the canned copy/paste content.

Believe me, I get it.  Heck, I’ve done it!

And if you’re operating off a manager-assigned GAP plan or daily quotas, it’s probably necessary.  But what if I told you that you could get more responses while sending out fewer emails?  It’s true!

All you need to do is take a bit more time, customize a plan you’d buy if you were my client, and present it to me.  But if you wouldn’t buy it because (for example) your pricing is out of line with the industry norm with no valid reason as to why, I can’t in good conscience buy it.  I’ll also forever wonder why you presented it to me in the first place.

Remember, we’re in the same world that you’re in — we have a client that we want to keep happy with our stellar service.  Stellar service = ROAS in the agency world every day and twice on Sundays.


When you’re sending me information, write it knowing that I’m most likely going to copy, paste and revise.  When I was a media marketing consultant working with agencies, I learned very quickly that agencies appreciate the formatting of your presentation.

Pitch to us as if you were pitching to our client directly because that’s what you’re basically doing.  Our role is to make sure we’re putting strategic and effective marketing solutions in front of our clients, and if you’re information is presented in an easy to digest way, I’m going to take advantage of that and copy, paste and format.  Super simple!

At the end of the day, every agency is different.  At our agency, we are sympathetic to the pains that salespeople must go through because we were once in your shoes, and honestly still are to a degree.  Other agencies may be less lenient.

Help make our jobs just a little bit easier so we can help our clients by purchasing your valuable product and/or service.  When in doubt, ask your contact what and how the best ways are to present information to them.  Taking the time to ask that question will slingshot you ahead of the mounds of other salespeople trying to sell us the next best thing.

If you are a marketing salesperson working for a member of the MDDC Press Association, email me at kberrier@mddcpress.com.  I’m happy to get a call scheduled with you to review your information and provide coaching and feedback to help you with your agency proposals.