Most people reading this will either watch or at least be aware of TV's semi-reality shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Currently we are seeing an apparently not ‘once bitten-twice shy’ lady who ‘won’ The Bachelor only to be later cast aside, recovered and is now herself The Bachelorette trying to find a new partner amongst the bevvie of male suitors vying vainly for her affections.
Sometimes, we’d like this process to apply to our business world as well. Finding a business to partner with yours should be a process where you announce your availability, the skill sets you are looking for and the businesses line up, show you who they are and based on what you like, you go through a rose ceremony to whittle them down to the perfect fit. In some ways, this is what a creative &/or strategic pitch process is like.
On the other foot, to show that business your understanding of their objectives and be the one holding the single rose at the end of it all, you are often required to actually do the work or thinking up front. Showing examples of who you are and how you have helped other businesses is partly there and should install some confidence but will it be enough to be ‘chosen’ ? If a business invests the time to think about and deliver some execution-able ideas, should that business be compensated for those ideas regardless of whether they are chosen as the future partner or not ? This is where the term ‘paid pitch’ comes into play. For many years, the creative industry has argued that pitching for work is in fact work in itself. Does any other industry get asked to prove their worth by doing something for free under the guise of receiving more work down the track ?
“Let me eat one of your steaks for free (cooked to my liking) and if I find it meets with my approval more than other steaks I try, I might come back tomorrow and have another one that you can charge me for” – put like this, it sounds quite ridiculous.
It comes down to the value of thought. Because strategy and creative ideas are rarely believed to be tangible products, it is often overlooked that these are extremely valuable and not handed out freely – even under the promise of more opportunities to follow.
It’s hard to know if there is a right answer. In order for a business to choose a partner, they want to know that their business and objectives are understood and that everyone is on the same page. That often requires an investment of time and resources – at the end of the day, who pays for that ? Should it be the business looking for that partner, or the potential partner who sees it as an investment in securing that relationship. Someone has to pay.
Finding the right partner is an investment in the future of your business. It can be a small price to pay to find that perfect match. Perhaps we should all meet in the middle and split the bill.
Here at The Digital Embassy we often start new relationships by kicking off things with a strategy workshop rather than launching head first into the nuts and bolts of a project. These workshops are an effective, low risk method for both parties get to know each other, understand each other's business, capabilities and meet key stakeholders to get a sense of cultural alignment.
In the end we all just want a rose but without the thorns that can make selecting the wrong partner a painful process.
About The Digital Embassy
The Digital Embassy™ is an Australian Certified Digital Agency leading clients through the digital experience. Our core competencies lie in Digital Strategy, Responsive Website Design, Mobile App Development, Content Marketing and Production, Inbound Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), AdWords campaigns, Web Hosting, Education and Training.
These attributes allow us to educate our clients on industry best practice and develop highly engaging digital assets and lead generation channels that deliver a measurable Return on Investment (ROI).
The Digital Embassy™ is a Microsoft and Google Certified Partner, and a pre-qualified ICT service provider for Government in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.