In-person pitches haven’t happened for months now, and the way things are going – agency video pitches may be here to stay. This presents some challenges for agencies, but also opportunities. Many of them.
Being in-person for a pitch is helpful when it comes to “reading the room” and changing up your approach mid-stream, as needed. But agencies can still do that, and so much more, when interacting virtually. We’ll explore that here, as well as:
- Using the latest in AI-powered market intelligence and social analytics insight to educate companies about their clients and prepare them for virtual meetings
- Taking “pitch theatre’ to the living room and using new and, some could argue, improved ways to read the room and connect
And here are some video stats to keep in mind as you strategize your approach:
- In April there were over 300 million daily participants using Zoom.
- 58% of Fortune 500 companies were Zoom customers as of 2017
- Forrester predicts that 25% of companies that are only using product research will pivot to consumer and market intelligence
- The average pitch meeting via online is 45 minutes to 1 hour
Being Over-prepared for Your Pitch
Creating the perfect “pitch theatre” (pitch atmosphere) can seem challenging via video chat. This is where digital intelligence comes in.
So far in 2020, we’ve seen data science and analytics come into sharper focus, helping to boost budgets. It makes sense, as data-driven insights fine-tune potential client, and pitch, targeting.
Let’s look at each side of the digital intelligence coin – from both the market and consumer standpoint – to see how both can help to bring warmth and intelligence to your next online pitch.
Market Intelligence is great for overarching category understanding, such as:
- Helping brands understand key talking points, share of voice, sentiment
- Spotting and tracking trends over a designated period
- Evaluating media coverage and competitor perception
Using the Fitness Industry as the basis of our search, the market intelligence conversation cluster provides a trove of valuable and focused information. We can see intel on the industry, brand or subtopics we would want to know about.
And we can create a timeline comparison to see how the voice within a specific category has shifted over a selected period of time. If our client falls into the Online Fitness category, for example, we can see how conversation there was strong at the beginning of April, but has shrunk significantly coming to the end of June.
Or maybe we want to get a better idea of how our client is being mentioned, as well as who their competition is.
Below, we have six competitors within the fitness apparel side of the industry and their share of voice within various categories. Adidas dominates Sports and Fashion, where Lululemon largest share covers Fitness and Retail.
The sentiment graph below reveals how our top categories in the fitness industry are being perceived. The Global Fitness Equipment Market is overwhelmingly positive in the past few months, whereas Exercise Tips is taking a dip.
And if you want to know more about how consumers are viewing your client, social analytics has your bases covered.
Social Analytics Reveal Consumer Concerns and Celebrations
The other side of the coin is knowing what consumers are saying, and more importantly what they are feeling. It’s emotion that is the driving force behind consumer purchases and opinions, after all, so this intel is important. Social Analytics offers insights that will reveal:
- How your brand/client is perceived across the industry
- All consumer data from the social web for aggregation and analysis
- Opportunities to increase engagement and improve satisfaction
- Brand sentiment and passion over time to measure and/or anticipate growth/challenges
And we’ve run next generation AI-powered consumer analysis to see what consumers are saying about our Fitness Industry theme.
The main topic within the fitness industry coming up among consumers are gyms and fitness centers. We can see this in our word cloud which also tracks top terms, hashtags, emotions, brands and even emojis.
Clicking on these terms reveals popular posts by consumer and media that reveals deeper understanding of what resonates with this target audience.
We can see influencers to be aware of as well as breaking news that can affect campaign planning. And there are lots of things happening in the consumer realm that can, and at breakneck speed.
As Forrester predicts, 25% of companies that are only using product research will pivot to consumer and market intelligence, and there’s good reason for that. It’s pretty fatal not to. So, showing the company you’re pitching that you’re keeping pace with the most robust consumer and market intel is a definite selling point for any agency.
Combing these tools with virtual meetings, and having the ability to pop in and capture new intel mid-presentation could be what sets your business apart from competitors. It’s all in how you read the room . . .
Reading the Virtual Room
Steadily growing over the last five years, Zoom meetings play host to 300 million daily participants. In 2017, 58% of Fortune 500 hundred companies used Zoom for meetings. And that number has certainly exploded since.
Pre COVID-19, pitch meetings were about eye contact, sounds, slide presentation and visual cues. With meetings going virtual, many are wondering how to proceed and still remain personable.
Let’s explore some ideas.
Meeting each client in their homes while kids run around and animals sabotage the scene may seem problematic, however businesses report feeling ‘closer’ to their clients in this virtual space. Even though they can’t meet face-to-face and meeting times have been shortened to 45 minutes to an hour.
AAR’s Victoria Fox and Duncan Wood (Ingenuity) explain that having good team chemistry before meeting with clients is a must. This sentiment is echoed by Greg Paull, “Agencies need to show the power of real collaboration amongst themselves first before they extend that to their clients and prospects.”
And ZOOM’s own blog emphasizes the importance of knowing your client prior to meeting them. “Even if you find out very little before-hand, you will still impress them by asking the right questions during the meeting. To sum up, researching your client prior to meeting them is crucial to establishing a strong relationship.” Consumer and market research can be your ace in the hole.
Some Quick Zoom Tips
Other key points to remember when presenting via Zoom are:
- Addressing your clients by their names engages them and creates a more intimate setting
- Use less charts and more smarts. Charts block the screen keeping you from seeing people’s faces, make the pitch feel impersonal
- Rehearse to make your presentation flow
- Bring energy and get chatty to avoid awkward silences while waiting for others to join the meeting
And finally, prep, prep, prep! Know your audience, know your skill set, and if you’re going to overcompensate somewhere, do it by listening. There’s no better way to come prepared with listening ears than preparing for it with some next generation AI-powered social listening! Reach out for a demo!