Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

Backing up what we preach

The Rant

I’ve spent a bit of time banging on about why it’s important agencies don’t pitch for free and why creative work should be paid for.

It’s just chance that a few blog posts, podcasts and tweets collided at the same time, rather than a concerted effort to stir this particular pot.

Nonetheless, it’s an incredibly important discussion to have. But as my close friend Darryl Sparey will say, without ‘Hard Numbers’ it’s hot air.

So here’s Don’t Cry Wolf’s first set of figures highlighting where we’ve stayed true to ourselves and where we’ve had a wobble. I have not put specific counts in there as I am not sure I should reveal the actual number of leads we’ve had into our business.

This data is taken from January 2019 to the present day.

Happy to discuss this further and very keen to understand what data is missing to make this relevant. But, before the scrutiny, I ask for the commitment. So, if you want to see more stats from Don’t Cry Wolf, and you’re an agency, I expect skin in the game. Which means publishing the below information yourself first.

The Facts

Overall budgets

  • From all our incoming leads we’ve agreed on budgets upfront, with 71% of them
  • Of the remaining leads without upfront budgets agreed, we declined to pitch for 94%

So 6% of incoming leads where the budget wasn’t agreed on up front, we’ve still gone ahead and pitched, and not been true to ourselves.

Creative budgets

  • From all our incoming leads creative has been paid for just 13% of the time as part of the pitch process
  • Of the remaining leads where budget for creative was not assigned as part of the pitch process, we did not submit creative ideas for 86% of them

So 14% of incoming leads where budget for creative was not available, we’ve still gone ahead and pitched, and not been true to ourselves.

What's next

We want to get that 6% figure and 14% figure down to zero – we’ll report on that again in January 2021.

We want to get the 13% figure (number of businesses not setting aside creative budget as part of the pitch process) up! – we’ll keep banging on about the importance of paying for creative

Check out some more blog posts:

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

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