If you’re working toward your master’s degree in communication management, then you understand the incredible value of a well-thought-out creative pitch. This “shootout” is your first (and often only) chance to convince a potential client of your ability to promote their product successfully and therefore win their business. When used correctly, certain elements of your pitch — stage setting and formatting, for example — can increase your likelihood of success.
To learn more, check out the infographic below, created by the University of Southern California’s Master of Communication Management.
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Elements of a Successful Creative Pitch in Advertising
A creative pitch, also known as a shootout in the advertising industry, is a formal presentation to promote ideas, services or products. It explains your product or skill set to the client and tells them why they want those products or skills from you.
The key elements of preparing an advertising pitch are style, format, content and chemistry.
Style is all about your presentation techniques and how you own the room. Setting the stage for an impressive presentation means pulling out all the stops and incorporating elements such as walk-in music, printed itineraries, welcome videos and light refreshments to pamper your prospects. Since presentations are a form of theater, anecdotes and stories will create an engaging and memorable presentation. Using pictures or visual aids like PowerPoint can engage your audience and emphasize your talking points.
The format of a presentation is just as important as its style. The presentation should be well organized, with key points logically building on each other. Avoid talking down to prospects; use easily understandable vocabulary. A key factor of format is structure, which could include casting several people for the presentation and using creative tools to capture attention.
When it comes to content, less is more. Avoid using hyperbole and over-promising. The content should lead to success or a solution. Plan your content around your goal. During the pitch, the content should brand the message.
A successful creative pitch is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue between the presenter and the prospects. Research the prospects and company to identify with their philosophy and make a connection. Use POWN to measure the metrics of your presentation. POWN stands for Problems, Opportunities, Wants and Needs. Using the prospect’s own language to communicate ideas will help you avoid objections and create chemistry.
Elements of Bad Advertising Pitches
Good advertising pitches are welcoming, exciting, and intriguing so potential customers and clients want to learn more about your brand and your products. It isn’t all fun and games, though. Being overly familiar or too vague can turn a potential success into a resounding failure. Make sure to avoid these mistakes.
Copy and Paste
It’s understandable to have a pitch that’s easy to deliver and useful across platforms and clients, but no one likes a pitch that feels like a template or mass message. If your potential client doesn’t feel like you care about them, then they’re probably not going to care about you. Be clear about why you’re reaching out to them specifically.
All Style, No Substance
Being a good seller doesn’t mean much if you don’t have the information to back it up. People know when someone is a good show person but can’t follow through with any facts or research. Do your research and prove that you have the skills, experience, and information to solve their problem.
Focusing Too Much on the Pitch
No one likes to be lectured, so turn your pitch into a conversation. You’re trying to get them to like you, after all. If you’re trying to start a long-term business relationship, then show you will be easy to work with. Listen to their needs to show you’re interested and helpful.
Pitch Tips From the Pros
The best sales reps have charisma and style but also have proven formulas based on science. Here are some tips from professionals.
Contact Your Leads Quickly
A Velocify study shows that calling a lead within one minute of an inquiry doubles the conversion rate. Set notifications for yourself when someone fills out your Google form, emails you or calls.
Don’t Fear Rejection
The National Association of Sales Professionals encourages sellers to ask for the sale. Being told “no” isn’t pleasant, but if you never ask, you’ll never get a “yes.”
Find Your Team
Clients find reassurance in a well-oiled machine of a team. Pitching and selling can take a lot of resources, so make sure you’re committed and ready to push. Everyone on your team should enjoy the work they do.
The Final Shot
A good sales pitch opens the door to a long-lasting relationship and business partnership. Start the conversation quickly and end it with a push. You’ve got something that people want to buy. Show it to them!