What we can learn from Jess Ennis-Hill and Usain Bolt about pitching for new business
SEE HOW THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS HAS INSPIRED OUR MBA CONTENT LEAD, SUSIE DABBS, AND MADE HER REALISE THAT PREPARING FOR A PITCH IS A LOT LIKE PREPARING FOR A SPORTING EVENT..| September 7th, 2015
My own sporting endeavours may only amount to a few weekly trips to the gym, but the recent World Athletics Championships have given me plenty of inspiration – and made me realise how preparing for a major sporting event is similar to the preparation required when working on a new business pitch.
There were two performances that really caught my eye.
Usain Bolt winning the 100m men’s final and Jessica Ennis-Hill getting gold in the women’s heptathlon showed that, no matter how many people write you off and no matter how many challenges you face, you can achieve your goals.
MediaCom Beyond Advertising are a big part of three important pitches coming up and their performances have given me the positivity to think that we can smash them and help our clients to understand their journey, why they should be producing great content and the outcomes and results they will get from using it within their system this year.
But more than that, it made me think about how sport and advertising have changed in the past few years and how data has helped both disciplines become more refined and targeted.
Until recently, preparing for a sporting event used to involve little more than constant practise and dedication to the sport and technique. However, an increase in the amount of data available to coaches and teams mean it’s now about targeted training, individually tailored diets and cutting edge psychology and marginal gains.
Similarly, constructing an advertising campaign used to be based on gut-feelings, vague demographics and who shouted the loudest in meetings.
Now, thanks to a huge increase in the amount of data available to us we can create highly targeted campaigns with robust KPIs that can deliver tangible results for our clients.
This is something that is central to the way we work at MBA. Great creative can only come from truly understanding who we are speaking to, which is why the creative process only starts when we have as much data as possible.
Of course, an increase in the data available to us doesn’t always guarantee success.
There will be pitches lost because a client may prefer another agency’s idea, just as Ennis-Hill or Bolt will occasionally come off second best by the odd hundredth of a second because another athlete was better on the day.
However, we’re putting ourselves in the best possible position to let our creativity come to the fore, produce amazing content for our clients and win new business – just like the advanced training and diet gives the likes of Ennis-Hill or Bolt the chance to show just how brilliant they really are.