Introducing the Modern Marketing Pitch

Earlier this year, Oystercatchers formally announced an evolution to our pitch process, for a more effective, true-to-life process, with creativity, innovation and financial rigour at its heart.

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In 2016, the Oystercatchers Club re-ignited industry conversation around the merit of a fixed pitch process.  General consensus was that there must be another way of working, a model that identifies agency-client partnership and trust as pivotal factors of success, alongside capability and outstanding ability, working in a more agile and collaborative way. The Club debate became a catalyst for a journey to reshape and evolve the pitch process.

The Modern Marketing Pitch comes out of that journey of consultancy, testing and learning with brands and agency leadership, strategists, digital and procurement specialists, and cues from other industries to refine the pitch.

The pitch has become over-manufactured and process led as well as time consuming and expensive, and it doesn’t always lead to great partnerships. Our new Modern Marketing Pitch [MMP] recognises that a more agile, inclusive and transparent process is required. Looking at an agency purely though the lens of a procurement brief and process is not a great start to a relationship.

We focus on the brief, allow for time spent together working on the problem collaboratively, and time to help the relationship work and evolve. We get rid of pointless RFI’s, but make sure financials and other legal requirements are analysed upfront and that the agency and client have a transparent approach to their business.

Ellie Norman, Marketing Director, Formula 1 worked with Oystercatchers and the new pitch process last year. She said “The consultancy collaboration and transparency brought us agility, innovation, financial rigour, and, a perfect partnership with Wavemaker and Brainlabs which has already delivered on our ambition. For Formula 1, Oystercatchers remains at the forefront of pitch innovation.”

We’ve developed two ways of working:

The Modern Marketing Pitch

A simple, agile, collaborative process that halves the timeline to decision from three months to six/seven weeks:

  • Ambition Kick Off: Big picture business objectives made central to the brief
  • Focussed Selection: The big three questions
  • Beta Brief to Briefing: Collaborative and immersive
  • Test and learn iterations (Strategic & Creative): Mirrors real-life working process between client and agency
  • Final Response & Decision: Swift, decisive, transparent procurement process
  • Ignition: Creating the perfect relationship

The Sprint Pitch

  • Five-day process – agile, collaborative, ideas and outcomes-focussed.

It’s about choosing an agency for a long-lasting relationship, not just pitch winning work, with a collaborative, transparent process that sets the bar for the ongoing client/agency relationship.

To find out more about how the Modern Marketing Pitch is a better way for clients to find the right agency partners call us on 020 7970 4785 or email

Sam Jones

Business Development Executive, W+K