TrinityP3 sees a shift to 'hybridization' as brands consider combining in-house teams with external agencies

The 'anti-pitch pitch consultants' also discuss the benefit of an agency / client commercial review as an alternative to putting accounts into pitch-mode

da Carol Mason , AdForum (NYC)



TrinityP3 London
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London, Regno Unito
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Global consultancy TrinityP3 discusses the value of existing client / agency relationships and that undertaking a commercial review can be a more constructive path than going directly into pitch-mode. Read on for the view from Jeremy Taylor, TrinityP3's London-based consultant. 

First, please describe your consultancy – what is your geographic reach; along with pitch consultancy, what other services do you provide to clients; what is your background?

TrinityP3 is a marketing management consultancy. We have a 22 year history of helping our clients optimise their marketing activities, operating across Europe, Australia, Asia Pacific and North America.

We have a diverse and experienced team of consultants, all industry leaders with a minimum of 15 years’ experience in specific marketing disciplines, with broad-range commercial knowledge. We are completely independent - no legacy structures or other commercial interests and service offerings.

At heart, we are passionate marketers with one goal: to improve the marketing output of our clients. Fulfilling this goal is how we deliver our value to our clients – pitch consultancy is one of many services.

Taking a top line look at the industry in 1H 2022, how active has pitching been this year? Do you see this metric as a barometer of industry health?

The early part of 2022 continued the heavy schedule of pitches that we saw in 2021, which we attributed to pent-up demand after the pandemic. Since then pitching is a little quieter, partly because we have been able to talk to clients about looking for better solutions than a pitch.

A comprehensive commercial review of the relationship – not just a survey of how well they get on day-to-day – often uncovers opportunities to rebuild on sound foundations without losing the solid experience that is there. It also avoids the stress and upheaval that goes with appointing a new agency.

The Pitch Positive Pledge has gained momentum in the UK. Brands, consultants and agencies are making a promise to improve the entire pitch process. What can a brand do to improve the process on their side? And the same question about agencies?

We are founder signatories of the Pledge, contributors to its development and committed to its principles. At its heart, the Pledge is about reducing mental stress for agency teams.

So - we run tightly focused pitches tailored to the core issues faced by the client, not one-size-fits-all solutions. Avoiding unnecessary work reduces stress for agency teams. For example, if a workshop - a ‘test drive’ of the agency - is more appropriate than a creative pitch, that’s what we’ll use.

Secondly, we see the pitch as the last-resort solution. It’s much better for agency and client teams to fix the relationship with a commercial review. So that’s us – the “Anti-pitch Pitch Consultants”.

What is your view of the growth in client-side in-housing, do you think this is a trend that will continue?

The difference we’ve noticed over the last year is that marketers are thinking more about ‘hybridisation’ – bringing in-housed teams together with agencies to best effect – rather than the ‘either/or’ approach.

There’s a more transparent approach to road-mapping a route to in-housing, working with the agency to achieve it – we’ve run two pitches recently where it was made clear to the competing agencies that in-housing of certain elements was going to happen over the next 12 months, and part of what the organisation was looking for was a strategic partner to integrate and adapt to that new model over time.

What advice would you give to a small agency looking to land a major client?

Really, what I’d say to any agency – think about what you have to offer that will make a difference to the client, tell them what it is and how it will help them, then use case histories as proof points. So many agencies fall into the trap of just talking about themselves at credentials meetings without telling the client what’s actually in it for them.

Smaller agencies usually have a specialism that attracted the client in the first place. That’s what made you stand out, so there is your start point for the conversation.

And finally, what gets you excited about an agency that you are shortlisting for a pitch?

Clients are asking for a more specific range of skillsets from their agencies. It’s not just about strategy, creative and media – it can be about data and analytics, performance media, CX capabilities, and other areas, all of which means that we need to think harder about which agencies to put on a list.

It’s exciting to dig into agency credentials and find where they really excel that matches the client requirement. Sometimes the agency doesn’t appreciate its own strengths – it can be rewarding to help them analyse the skills they offer that their clients really value.