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Ebiquity on the virtual pitching lessons the industry will keep

The pandemic lockdown measures may have completely changed the way pitches are run for the marketing industry, Ebiquity believes some of these changes should be kept forever.

Speaking as part of The Drum’s Can-Do festival, Leela Nair, managing director for South East Asia at Ebiquity, shared how the company had completely overhauled the pitch process to be entirely virtual.

In a market like South East Asia, where prior to Coronavirus key talent from agencies would often spend time on planes for pitches, being virtual meant putting top talent in the room became much easier, and cheaper, for agencies. This is a key change that Nair believes is worth keeping once lockdown restrictions ease and business travel resumes.

She says this has been particularly recognisable in an attitude change from the client-side, “Their whole thinking has changed through this experience. Increasingly we're finding clients coming to us saying, ‘it's worked so well in this way. Perhaps it doesn't matter that our agency team member is sitting in Country X, perhaps as long as we get the talent and the thinking, and the creativity on our business, it doesn't matter where they are geographically located’.

“This is because what they’re looking to do is transform the business and approach to marketing and advertising. It’s super interesting how people's perception of things have changed.”

Nair also said she’s been surprised by the high level of quality from virtual pitching, adding that she’s seen some of the best pitching presentations she’s ever seen from agencies during the lockdown.

It paints a positive picture of how businesses are adapting and changing to new digital ways of life and how both clients and agencies should take lessons from this period into their future ways of working.

Nair spoke with The Drum's publisher, APAC, Charlotte McEleny as part of The Drum's Can-Do Festival, an online event celebrating the positive energy, innovation and creative thinking that can make the marketing community such a powerful force for good. You can watch the interview in full here.

Sign up to watch forthcoming sessions and see the full can do schedule here.