The Misuse of Marketing Agencies

At Thump, we love being a Marketing Agency. Our jobs are different every day, we work with brands from all over the world, all different industries, and have to face new and exciting challenges consistently. Naturally, what we do involves pitching for work, however, companies can also abuse marketing agencies through this.

We’ve put together some of pitches that we’ve experienced that misuse the better nature of marketing agencies.

The ‘Out of Creative Ideas’ Pitch

 Writer’s block is a syndrome that everyone who works in a creative industry experiences at some point. Often, as marketing agencies, we are asked to pitch with creative work. This is fun, exciting, but also time-consuming. As with any business, time is money. However, most marketing agencies accept this as a high-risk, high-reward scheme. Naturally, most agencies will cover their work with copyright and rights to intellectual property; however, this red tape is tricky to truly understand. Is a concept intellectual property or is it just the creative design? Recently, Brewdog was singled out as using a creative idea for ‘Punk AF’ that derived from Manifest’s creative pitch. This ‘Punk AF’ concept was not credited, paid for, and was rejected at the time. Seeing it resurface, Manifest took to Social Media to complain; however, the dispute was never settled.  

The ‘Invigorating Your Internal Team’ Pitch

Most Marketing Agencies are used to working with internal marketing teams- in fact, at Thump, it’s something we enjoy. Marketing and creative work is a partnership task and it best achieved when the experts of the industry (client) work together with the experts of marketing (agency). Yet, clients can use these pitches in order to ‘buck up’ the ideas of their internal team. Unlike the ‘Out of Creative Ideas’ pitch, this pitch is primarily strategic based. Finding direction can be difficult, especially when there are limited internal resources. This is the perfect opportunity for a Marketing Agency to help. Marketing Agencies are teams of professionals that can get your marketing on track; but not to simply give direction for an internal team to take over. 

The ‘Scare Your Current Agency’ Pitch

When a Marketing Agency is asked to pitch, there are sometimes agencies already in business with the client. Sometimes this is good as different agencies have different abilities and strengths; yet sometimes this can be another Red Flag. We have experienced pitching for business that can be a ‘catfish amongst the cod’ for agencies. Some businesses work on a basis of threat, therefore if there is potential threat (or at least suggestion thereof), the current agency will work smarter, quicker, and harder. Once again, this creates a waste of time for Marketing Agencies who pitch for the job when realistically, the potential client never wanted to hire them – just to kick their current one into shape.

Ultimately, marketing agencies will continue to pitch and propose business to prospective clients, even with the fear of misuse as it is the backbone of what we do. However, as a business looking for Marketing Agencies, if you want to avoid misusing Marketing Agencies, don’t request for pitches unless you are genuinely interested in hiring an agency. Marketing Agencies are not here for tools for ulterior agendas, but to empower your brand, grow your business, and improve your marketing.

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