Just how do agencies win pitches? Especially in today’s complex and rapidly changing landscape? Last week we announced the winners of our annual Oystercatchers Club Awards – which celebrate the best of best agency new business and marketing in 2017. And this week, we take a look inside the decision making.

So, what does delight a brand owner when it comes to picking a new agency partner?
We interviewed Oystercatchers Club Awards 2017 jurors – an eclectic mix of CEOs, CMOs, Heads of Customer. In short, each one a senior business leader who decides who and why they choose the agency partners they want to work to work with.
Talking to camera: Nigel Gilbert, CMO, TSB; Abi Comber, Head of Customer, British Airways; Gabriella Neubecker, Head of Marketing, Experian; Darren Peacock, Director of Brand Marketing EMEA, Avis; Roger Binks, Customer Experience Director, Intu Properties; Andrew Slamin: Marketing Director, Head of European Operations, Kettle Foods; Toby Horry, Customer Propositions Director, Tesco; John Norton: Head of Fundraising, Royal British Legion; Jason King: Marketing Director, Williams & Glynn; Feilim Mackle, CEO Services, Dixons Carphone; Andrew Cocker: Senior Marketing Director, Expedia.

In their own words, this is what it takes to create the Best RFI, the Best New Business Initiative and the Best Agency Film. The interviews can be viewed below.

Best Agency RFI
John Norton/The Royal British Legion: The RFI not only demonstrated experience but strongly showed that the agency wanted the client’s business.
Peter Cowie/Oystercatchers: Beautifully wrought, brilliantly written – drew us in from the first page.
Feilim Mackle/Dixons Carphone: Clear, compelling, full of substance, highly relevant to the pitch request.
Andrew Cocker/Expedia: A clear sense that the agency really wanted to work on the brief.
Left me feeling that I really wanted to pick their brains straight away.

Winner: Wunderman for Samsung
Runners up: Leith for JackPotJoy and BMB for Alpen

Best New Business Initiative
Gabriella Neudecker/Experian: Winner had a very clear strategy. Agency found a niche subject and invited a targeted audience along to an event.
Darren Peacock/Avis: Clever research helped to show agency use of insights which is a great way to deliver success.
Roger Binks/Intu Properties: The agency got me at hello – at the very first email – because the content was so relevant.

Winner: Iris
Runner up: Gyro

Highly Commended: Brainlabs

Best Agency Film
Abi Comber/British Airways: The agency truly differentiated itself in the category of film. As a client I knew it had the ability to make amazing work.
Andrew Slamin/Kettle Foods: The film was stood out as unique among all the ones we looked at. It was emotionally engaging…It showed a strong sense of the agency’s craft and quality of the agency – backed up with good results.
Jason King/Williams & Glynn: We all felt it had a strong, single minded proposition…We liked seeing the personalities behind the agency.

Winner: Grey London
Runners up: ZAK and WCRS

Thank you to all our jurors for being so frank in their views. And once again, huge congratulations to our winners and runners up in 2017. Read all about the Winners’ Reveal in Campaign.

Next Oystercatchers Club event: 24 January 2018 for members. For guest or membership enquiries please contact: danielle.redwood@theoystercatchers.com