As part of our quarterly surveys, we ask Marketers several agency-based questions on initial pitches, introductory meetings and meeting follow-up, and then post those comments unedited at the end of each survey.

These comments sometimes get lost amidst the initial survey findings, but as an agency, you can find some insightful comments there.

To give you an idea: each question we asked below and a few of the comments that follow each (with spelling, punctuation, etc. left as-is from the original comment).

If you had one piece of advice to give to advertising agencies about their marketing efforts to get your attention what would it be?

  • Help me understand how spending finite budget resources in the manner they recommend will translate into tangible sales results.
  • Please know who we are!
  • Create an actual piece with the company you are pitching. Direct mail, etc. have it all thought out with matrix, target, ROI, and cost. Copyright it and then pitch the project — not the whole job. Get in the door with one solution to an identified problem. Earn trust with one project and then take the work — over time.
  • know our market – don’t assume you know our market – learn about our products before you come into pitch your services

Advertising Agencies


If you had one piece of advice to agencies about their pitches/presentations (other than making them shorter) what would it be?


  • Emphasize the client’s needs, not what you’ve done for others in the past.
  • Try to make them relevant to our business; we don’t have good imagination about how it would work for us.
  • Bring the account team that is being considered for the new client, don’t put the sales team up front and switch to another team after the business is won.


If you had one piece of advice to agencies about their follow-up after initial introductory meetings what would it be?

  • Do not be a pest!
  • Be patient, yet persistent. Email rather than call.
  • Write a succinct thank you note, without going “over the top.”
  • Submit a “debrief” document within 24 hours of meeting. Keep everyone on the same page.

We plan to take a deeper look at more comments in the future. These are only a few, as there are 15 pages of them in total.  Ideally these help improve your efforts if you’re able to pinpoint your own agency in any of these.

(For the full list of comments, you can download our surveys here.)

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.