Many are the MNCs who work on the global pitch model. The selected agency, typically a global player, wins the mandate across multiple countries where the client has a presence. Now there are several reasons this isn’t the best of practices around:
The Client’s POV: The local agency in each country did not win the account. Rather the account was gifted to them by their global headquarters. The local agency therefore had limited or no contribution towards winning the business. Similarly, the local client SPOC had a limited role in the decision-making process since the same was implemented not at the regional, but at the global stakeholder level.
In such cases, ownership is low at both ends because representatives of neither agency nor clientele had skin in the game from the outset.
Another factor that becomes a challenge from the client’s perspective is that beyond a point, complacency seeps in since the agency knows that the mandate will not shift. The client thus ends up losing out not only by dint of their own actions, but oft by dint of their inaction.
The Agency’s POV: There are enough, and more instances of global clientele being serviced by agencies locally and successfully so. Suddenly, the global mandate changes and an agency that was doing some truly exceptional work loses out in favour of an agency that might not even understand the category. In such cases what really rankles is the amount of additional effort agencies put in, in order to make sure that the client is happy over and above the requirements of the mandate.
As importantly, what is the long-term incentive to service a MNC client religiously if one may lose the account all of a sudden owing to global calls?
Market POV – Local clientele understand their requirements, call for a local pitch and know which agency within the geography can handle it. Besides many other things evaluated at the pitch, as important is the inter-team connect. Global pitches don’t offer that chance. What they do bring to the table is transparency and uniformity of sorts. To achieve this, global can work with the local office to set criteria, standardise brief templates and perhaps introduce an evaluation process to make sure the choice is objective and process unbiased. Secondly, each country has its own good and not-so-good agencies. Bundling an account with just one player across continents does not allow one to optimise the best talent for the brand by geography.
The decision should therefore be left as far as possible with the local client. After all, the world is moving to a hyperlocal approach and to, at this point of time, employ a cookie cutter approach would be hara kiri. Way better then, is the horses-for-courses approach, one that allows clientele to tap into the best servicing talent globally with the best local understanding to achieve the best results.