Pitch: What is a pitch? Marketing, Business & Advertising – Preparation and Procedure

For pitches with customers, or for projects for investors and potential financiers, the analysis of social media is becoming more and more important because they are a decisive factor in marketing. Whether it’s cooperation with bloggers or influencers and their instagram channel analysis, our potential in the market, facts and figures, these things should not be missing in your next pitch!

What is a pitch? Definition & Help

Larger projects are usually advertised so that several potential cooperation partners can apply for the job. The various participants then prepare their concept and present it. There are different forms of pitches and representation possibilities.

Pitches in advertising agencies: how the presentation works

Especially for creative ideas, large companies and firms like to draw on the expertise of several agencies. No matter whether it’s an advertising film, a creative online campaign or a viral social media campaign. For all these marketing methods it always takes a lot of good ideas. Since tastes are always different, even the best ideas often do not reach the customer, just as often there are bad ideas of which one is not really convinced. It is therefore advantageous to invite several cooperation partners to a pitch. Here they present their concepts in a short and clear presentation. What ideas and strategies are behind our concept? What does the media package look like? What goals have we set ourselves and what success do we expect from them? All this is presented in a pitch.

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As a rule, there is a certain framework budget for the development of such detailed pitches. Such an advertising agency pitch is often worthwhile, because behind a copy, several large jobs stand. If then only three, or four agencies are allowed to contribute their ideas, after all most pitches are paid and you can’t commission infinite agencies, you have realistic chances to win the tender and achieve success.

In addition to all the success factors and key figures, such as the potential sales volume, there are usually figures that provide information about reach and performance. This is where social analytics comes into play and the ability to view Instagram channels in detail. Not only in competitor analyses to position yourself in competition, but also for advertising and promotion by bloggers and influencers. Here it helps to include very meaningful numbers and statistical values in the presentation.

Pitches for investors: preparation for start ups

Investors also expect a detailed presentation of the project at their pitches. As a rule, it is a matter of gathering the necessary capital for a new company. Anyone who provides capital wants to get a return on it. The return prospects for an investor are clarified in a pitch by the entrepreneur. Here, too, the reach plays a particularly important role, because the more people know about you, the more you might buy the product. The analysis in social networks, especially Instagram, is also becoming more important for investors because they also make their decisions on the basis of figures and data. Of course also out of faith in the entrepreneur himself, but in the end the figures must always be correct and convincing.

Social Analytics helps analyze the followers of bloggers and influencers for Instagram so they can provide meaningful data about the potential of your project. However, they can also use statistics and diagrams, as well as CSV exports, to demonstrate how their growth can be calculated on a sound basis. Instagram plays an extremely important role in many industries that deal with personal banking. Almost one billion people use their Instagram account several times a day. Brands that show presence here benefit from an incredible reach that founders would never have dreamed of ten years ago. At that time, you had to buy your reach through expensive campaigns, for start ups it was usually the flyer, very large companies placed advertisements in newspapers at high prices. If you have a large number of fans behind you on Instagram who support you, you will get this reach every day for free direct and indirect advertising of products. With every Like that is distributed and with every new comment, new people who follow the people who have interacted with us will see our contributions. In this way we can generate organic growth!

3 Tips for your first presentation on a pitch

Here we have prepared three practical tips for your first pitch presentation, which will certainly help you.

Be brief

Investors are often from the same or similar industry, but often do not have the same depth that you have invested in your project. So you should bring in the important key figures, but not get too deeply into the individual processes. For example, when pitching a software application, you should look at the benefits to users, the uniqueness and differentiation from the competition, and the key growth and return figures. It doesn’t matter which office furniture you should buy, or whether you choose Mac or Windows computers.

Demonstrate your presentation simply

If you use too many colors or animations, you’ll quickly become too playful. Investors prefer to see good old Excel lists that are clean and neatly structured! Here are clear facts and figures, provable, calculable, calculable. Your presentation should be structured in exactly the same way, avoiding all kinds of bells and whistles and adhering to facts and verifiable information. Avoid too much color play and animations. Many want to show through animation that you are creative, but investors are looking for people who can calculate well themselves and understand something about their job!

Take your audience with

If you inspire your audience, even if it only concerns a few people, then you have already achieved a lot. Most people who invest in a project do not invest directly in the hard figures, but also to a large extent in the trust in the respective cooperation partner. So if you manage to communicate your own idea with enthusiasm right from the start, you will often experience enthusiasm the same way back. On the one hand it helps to use small techniques, e.g. to rebuild oneself shortly before the presentation and to motivate oneself. It is also important to look the people you are talking to in the eye so that they feel addressed. You will usually always find a person who is relatively benevolent towards you. Grab this person, but don’t forget the others, make eye contact, get confirmation and feedback in between. Maybe you’re even lucky and this person is the one who is decisive, who gives the yes or no in the end. It is important not to be closed, radiate enthusiasm that you love your product yourself.

If you have internalized all these points, then you will definitely get your pitch through the stage well! The next step: Exercise, exercise, exercise!

You should always keep this in mind during preparation:

  1. Pitch – max. 10 minutes
  2. Elevator Pitch – 15 to 45 seconds
  3. Why?
    Project Approval > Internal
    Investment > External
    Order > Customer

Do’s & Don’ts at pitches in agencies and before investors

A lot of theory – but what does the investor say in practice? What does a pitch have to be like in order to become an investor? The core statements of a very interesting, albeit spontaneous interview with investor icon Frank Thelen get to the heart of the matter. Frank Thelen himself was a Tech founder and is now a full-time investor. Accordingly, he not only invests in companies, he also actively looks after their interests and concerns. Accordingly, he is critical and selective when it comes to choosing the right companies; after all, you have a completely different bond when your own money is involved! In this spontaneous interview at the airport, he answers central questions very dotted. You should read through the most important learnings and core statements.

The full interview can be seen on the channel Start Up TV, titled: “Frank Thelen about: Investments, good and bad pitches & cave of the lions”:

Frank Thelens central statements as investor (interview statements)

What annoys you about pitches?

  • “I have 1% market share and it’s a billion business idea”
  • Buzzwords like “big data with blockchain”, although you don’t know what you’re talking about (buzzwords without substance).
  • Founders do not bring over ideas (taking an extra 3 minutes). Ergo: The pitch must be prepared.

Should founders address problems?

  • Yes, e.g. the CTO is missing. This is much better than hiding deficits
  • I am impressed: “These are my strengths, these are my weaknesses, so I would like to fix that, you can help me”

What do you bring in when you invest?

  • Cash is the smallest part. Finance to technology, server scaling, design, sales.
  • 6 persons help as team plus network (and own start ups; experiences).
  • We call 1x week, sometimes daily (PS: Frank Thelen is only investor, that is his core business).

What do you pay attention to when you invest in a start-up?

  • Liabilities, outstanding receivables, patents (applied for or granted), market
  • … Pitches are information on “espresso base”
  • I don’t want 70% from a “bad founder”. I want to have 20%, with good company, take up new capital and in the end I go out with 10%

What makes a good founding team?

  • The team is the basis – Ingenious idea, weak team? No investment
  • Are the right people on board to move the product forward?
  • “Unfair advantage”, e.g. 20 years of sales experience because sales is important or a technical genius who develops the algorithm because the company lives from generating high data quality. The team must fit the product!

You know the theory. You heard the practice. Let’s pitch!

Elevator Pitch: 15 seconds for all facts

The fastest form of self-presentation is the Elevator Pitch. The Elevator Pitch can not only be used for business models, but also for the presentation of the own person this fast variant of the presentation is suitable, especially after the Pitch, if it goes into the personal or as a component to the own presentation in the complete Pitch.

For an elevator pitch you have 15 to 45 seconds. So your task is to pack as many key messages as possible into a limited period of time. So forget details, it’s about attention and your USPs. First of all here is a rough model for the fast elevator pitch: attention / problem / business idea / qualifications. In the shortest form possible, you don’t even get your business idea across. This super short elevator pitch is created when a certain person has just heard about your business model and wants to quickly find out who you are between the door and the hinge. If your counterpart already knows what your project is about, it is now only about you as a person. The chance (for you) to get a coveted business card if, for example, you are a potential business agent or investor.

Elevator Pitch – Person (Career)

  1. Get your attention (who are you? [start of conversation])
  2. Note your career steps, goals and experiences (such as Photoshop or Design)
  3. emphasize qualifications (like businessman/businesswoman)
  4. Highlight (for the task) special qualifications (such as awards or 15 years mother [e.g. at Start Up online shop for baby needs])
  5. Finish with open questions like “If you had time, I’d like to know more about your company and the opportunities”

And then it’s practice, practice, practice again. Training in front of the mirror is worth it. Every training is worthwhile to talk to employees, friends or already the first potential prospects or customers: “Oh, you are the founder of XY, how did you come up with the idea?

Elevator Pitch – Business (Project)

When it comes to your business model, it is worth using templates. The danger that you lose too much time with details is great without much experience and practice. Therefore I have here excellent templates for the fast, first Elevator Business Pitch. Find the structure that suits your business model best and convert the text modules accordingly.

Pitches are about convincing in every situation that the more secure your pitch elements are, the better your live performance will be.

Ask a question that identifies a pain point + introduce what you do + state your unique value proposition.

by Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls

For (target customer) who (statement of the need or opportunity), our (product or service name) is (product category) that (statement of benefit). Unlike (our competitors), we offer (main point of differentiation).

by Adrian Salamunovic, Co-author, FREE PR Book

Sentence 1 (Your name, your title that everyone will understand/what it is you do, and your company affiliation) + Sentence 2 (Identify target client + Identify target client’s desired result + Identify the why, the unwanted or inconvenient steps you help the client avoid so he or she can achieve that desired result).

by Bridgett McGowen, Awarded International Professional Speaker, BMcTALKS Academy

Elevator Pitch – Example

To give us a direct practical example, I have applied two text modules to my companies here. Let us now look directly at the example of what such a formulation could look like. The simple construction, plus a breeze of entertainment then make up the pitch in the end. Here is best practice according to Paige Arnof-Fenns: “Ask a question that identifies a pain point + introduce what you do + state your unique value proposition.”

Example – Social Media One (Social Media / Influencer Agency):

How do companies actually reach young people with advertising – in times of social media? We have Germany’s largest Instagram and Tik Tok Influencer database. Companies and multipliers (influencers) can thus bring together and thus help both parties to succeed. The enterprises can buy so favorably range and attention with target groups of 12-18 years.

Example – Influencer Free:

What does an influencer cost for advertising? Nobody knows. Influencer Fee makes prices transparent for everyone. Influence Fee calculates prices for postings on Instagram with reach and interaction – 100% free. Companies, agencies or influencers who need calculations more frequently buy the Premium Model.

The Elevator Pitch was the shortest possible summary of your business plan. The mix of elevator pitch and business plan is then the normal pitch with an average duration of about 5 to 10 minutes. Of course you know the contents of the pitch through your work on the business plan. Now it’s time for you to compress the contents of your business plan in such a way that you bring a lot of information in a short form and, of course, entertainment as well. Now we come to the grand finale, how do you prepare your page? The success factors for yours are the timing, the storytelling and the topics focusing.

How much time do I have for the pitch?

As a rule, you have a maximum of 10 minutes, but even here, “less is sometimes more” applies.

But much more important is that in many situations you have to react individually and above all spontaneously. Maybe your potential investor has a lot of time and you have 10 or even 12 minutes to explain your business model and the structures behind it. Maybe the connection date is very close behind yours and he or she only has a few minutes for you. Depending on the situation you have to adapt spontaneously to the situation and to your counterpart, not easy! A second chance is rare with busy people, so it is important to prepare your pitch on different levels, in different time windows. You should also practice the pitch, because you never know when the next situation will occur spontaneously, when a relevant person develops an interest in your business model for a moment. Only regularity gives you a certain security.

Therefore note the following time factors:

  1. If you say “I need 10 minutes”, the pitch should last 9 minutes; always 1 minute less than predicted
  2. If your opponent says “you have 10 minutes”, the pitch should last 5 minutes; only half of the given time
  3. “Finally I wanted to say… “, after that your end must really come, because it is expected
  4. do not rush, always tell calmly and appropriately in speed, otherwise the whole presentation does not achieve its purpose
  5. When using slides, maximum 3 minutes, per slide

Storytelling: arousing emotions and attracting attention

Attracting attention, that’s your goal at the pitch. Ultimately, this short situation is never about understanding all the facts and figures at first go. The investor wants to see that you are a good businessman or a good businesswoman and have a clear view of what is relevant. Accordingly, emotionality also plays a role in investors’ decisions. Storytelling can captivate your audience accordingly. The easiest way is, for example, with stories from childhood, which seem familiar to everyone and arouse sympathy. The story doesn’t have to have anything to do with a product directly, it gives an emotional introduction to the people who are spontaneously confronted with your business idea. The emotional bond simplifies perception and thus also understanding.

  1. stories attract attention and keep them
  2. Find your way much easier possible
  3. Investors are bored with Excel spreadsheets and statistics
  4. Develop it into a spirit / basic ideas for your project
  5. Everyone loves a good story

After the storytelling and the emotional introduction it goes back to the facts. Your product, your USP, your service, your target group, your marketing, your revenue model. Revenue model? You will find out what this is directly after the most important key points on the topic of focusing in the pitch.

focusing on core elements: The 6 most important steps

  1. Get attention:
    Time is a scarce commodity, especially with investors, so focus on absolute core statements
  2. Explain exactly what your product or service is, what it is aimed at
    Stick to core statements, the product doesn’t matter in the end, if the profit is right
  3. Explain exactly what the USP is
  4. Explain exactly who the target group looks like
  5. Explain exactly how to win customers
  6. Revenue Model (business model) and Return of Invest
    Answer the question: “How does my company make you rich(er)”

Exkurs: Revenue Model

How do you make money? Here are all the important technical terms for your business plan! Here you will find the Revenue Model explained only in the form of key points. Why so short? The subject of revenue models is very complex, income from rights of use through images, rights of use of musical works, retail sales or even subscriber products. You can quickly open up the individual models to yourself. It is important that you have heard one or the other technical term for your future life as an entrepreneur. But more important is the question how exactly do you make money?

  • Commerce and Retail
  • Physical Products, Digital, Service in Units (Freelancer), as well as Service in Many Price Segments, Future Use Services, Daily Deals
  • Subscriptions And Usage Fee – Subscriptions, Usage Fee, Rentals (Rental)
  • Licensing – Licences Of Usage, Certifications
  • Auctions and Betting – Auctions, Dynamic Pricing
  • Advertising (Advertising)
  • Advertisements (banner, text, etc.), Promoted Content (Sponsored), Sponsorships
  • Data – Databases
  • Transactions – Brokerage (trading of securities), Enablers, Affiliate, Marketplace
  • Freemium – Paid version without advertising / restrictions, features, etc.

Pitch preparation and sequence

Now we summarize everything on 2 questions! Just like a good elevator pitch, from the reasons to the financing to the revenue model, our conclusion is that there are exactly two elements that every business plan, every pitch and every elevator pitch must contain. The mental component and the content component must be addressed. Entertainment and facts. Whether business plan or pitch, answer these two key questions for employees, customers, bankers and investors.

Who spends money on it? – Mental

  1. Prepare well
    Facts about the company + questions (plan)
  2. Know your audience, PS: Storytelling
  3. Conspicuous information
    Who, what, why? No technical details
  4. entertain the audience
    Mix: Realism and exaggeration
    Capital and profit expectations
  5. Compare yourself
    “The Tinder for dog owners”
  6. CTA – Call to action
    “Do you want to test the app?”
    “… together to stir up the market”

How do we make money? – Content

  1. Presentation of the founding team
  2. Description of the basic problem
  3. Description of the solution to the problem
  4. Product presentation
  5. Unique selling proposition
  6. Market including competition
  7. Proof of Concept
  8. Business model
  9. Financing requirements and appropriation of funds

Let’s go. You know everything now. Good luck!