By Andy Dyer


Choosing a New Agency



Your Epik Pitch Scorecard

Running a pitch between agencies? How you do you know which one to go with? Get it wrong and it could be costly, not just in terms of money, but in time and for your brand’s reputation.

From an agency perspective; blood, sweat and tears go in to pitches. Days and weeks of time with no guarantee of success. It’s one thing to lose a pitch to better creative work, but another to be told you lost because, for example, you were too small. In that case the agency should have been weeded out earlier.

So before you ask agencies to do any expensive pitch work, let’s assume you’re down to the last three, and they all:

  • Offer services you want to buy
  • Have the right experience
  • Are easily accessible and nearby
  • Are big enough (or small enough) to handle your business
  • Are affordable
  • Handle no competing business (or if they do, you’re confident it won’t be an issue)
  • Have integrity and ethical standards that match yours
  • Fit culturally and you could see yourself working comfortably with them
  • Have provided assurances around their financial strength/ stability


If all these boxes have been ticked, you should be able work with any of the final three and they should be pretty similar in size and competencies.

Ok, so it’s pitch day. How do you select your final choice of agency?  Try our handy Epik scorecard:

Chemistry (25 marks)
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your agency. Do you like the team? Senior as well as junior? Do you like your day-to-day contact?  (If you haven’t met them yet, put a big fat zero in your scoresheet.) Will they ‘play nicely’ with other agencies on your roster?  Will they collaborate well with your team? What’s the atmosphere in the room? The body language? You can’t fake these things. You’ll know when you have good chemistry.

Desire (10 marks)
Which agency wants it the most? Who has done the most impressive work (quality and quantity)? Who is hungriest for your business?

Pro-active (15 marks)
How has the agency been since first contact? How they’ve treated you so far is a good indicator of how you’ll be treated going forward.  Did they ask the right questions? Did they call you?  Respond to emails quickly? Has their prep for the pitch been spot on? Most importantly, are they pro-active?

Is the work on brief? (5 marks)
Unfortunately agencies can miss the mark and interpret your brief in a way that delivers work that isn’t what you want. Being pro-active (see above) makes this very unlikely.

Challenge (5 marks)
Have they challenged the brief and not just been ‘Yes’ people? Have they suggested ways to expand on it? Healthy debate and challenge is important for a productive ongoing relationship.

Creative and strategy (30 marks)
Does the work demonstrate sound thinking?  You don’t just want it to look beautiful, but to be built on insight. Is the creative idea strong? Is it executed brilliantly? Does it encapsulate sound strategy?

Delivery and timings (5 marks)
Are you convinced the agency can deliver within the time frame you need them to?

Evaluation (5 marks)
Have they explained their approach to evaluation?  How will they measure success and prove an ROI?

Epik scores
Here at Epik, we’re confident of scoring highly. Not out of any sense of arrogance, but simply because we’ve seen pitches from both sides of the table. It’s why we place such high value on chemistry, energy and client service. To put us to the test, call +44 207 459 4433

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