Heart racing, clammy hands. No, this isn’t a first date you’re walking into, it’s a chemistry meeting. But the premise is the same - dress to impress, talk about how great you are and how you’re their missing piece, answer some questions, and come away knowing whether you’re willing to invest your time in this new partner.
A chemistry meeting is a chance for the two sides—agency and brand—to meet and assess the mutual alignment of values, culture and personality. It’s the crucial first impression that indicates the way the (professional) relationship will go. So what first impression should your agency aim to give?
You’re thoroughly creative, able to see the bigger picture and have a vital outsider’s view into their brand, but revenue-focussed brands aren’t concerned with the dreaminess of your vision for them; they need convincing that the numbers will speak for themselves. So you need to prove, straight off the bat, how you can innovate and achieve.
There are a number of ways your past and future achievements can be quantified, to give your chemistry meeting the gravitas needed to convince the brand representatives that your agency can function as a genuine strategic partner for them.
While it’s important to track the effect your efforts are having on the brand after launch, data is also an important optimisation tool, to be deployed even at this early stage in the relationship. Read on to discover the three key uses for data, to perfect your chemistry meetings.
Proving you’ve done your research
While turning up to a first date having done in-depth research into the other person’s life, relationship history and what they had for dinner last night might not give a good first impression, in a chemistry meeting this level of detail shows just how interested you are in the brand’s brief.
It’s common practice to scope out the brand’s social presence and website before the first meeting, but this is surface, and something anyone can do. It doesn’t set you apart. It also only gives an impression of the messaging and image the brand is actively publishing to the world. Crucially, this research doesn’t uncover the underlying sentiments and reception of the messaging with the people that really matter: consumers. With the right data you can know how their own customers, and potential customers, are feeling and talking about them and their key competitors.
Running a single-dip brand tracker, if that’s all you’ve time for in the run up to the meeting, can uncover key quantitative and qualitative metrics that you’d never be able to gauge by only looking at the brand’s own marketing assets.
With a baseline of the brand’s unprompted brand recall , consideration, purchase intent, NPS… and the same metrics for their biggest competitors in the market, you can present a single snapshot of their current marketplace. You also neatly set the groundwork for future brand trackers to measure the impact that your agency is having on this metric (and others).
Your research can also include measures like sentiment, share of wallet and key purchase motivators. Relatedly, you can easily gather general market data from consumers in their own voice, by asking open-ended questions on their purchase behaviour, frustrations and things they’d most like to see change.
This research can help to not only prove you as an agency that has the tools to hand to dig deeper into the current and past levels of success of the brand, it can spark inspiration for what steps need to be taken next, what areas need to be addresses or focussed on.
Proving you’re a thought leader
Brands are (most often) looking for the agencies they work with to be experts in the sector. With a range of agencies chomping at the bit, one key way to choose them is by their knowledge and experience of the industry, so they can be sure to hit the ground running.
With simple consumer insights surveys you can quickly elevate your agency’s position, to both deeply understand and advocate for real-life consumers shopping in this market.
To elevate the chemistry meeting from a one-sided pitch to a two-way discussion, detailed knowledge of the brand’s industry can help immensely. Use the opportunity to educate the brand, by gathering up-to-the minute research and proving the value of keeping abreast of shifts in the industry.
Of course, it also helps if you’re utilising the data to publish white papers (a wonderful source of qualified new leads to boot), land press coverage, and secure invitations to speak at events based on your unique source of knowledge.
Bringing case studies to life
Just like you might scope out your date’s most recent partner on Facebook in the taxi ride over (don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us), agencies may submit case studies during the RFI stage of the process, before the two sides ever meet.
Regardless, case studies will always crop up in a chemistry meeting, and give the agency a perfect opportunity to sing about the notches they’ve got on their bedpost. The problem with notches is, who knows if they were actually any good?
You can use consumer data to illuminate the success of your work with other brands, anchoring the results to tangible measures and avoiding fluffy anecdotes. A simple campaign performance single-dip survey, or the results of brand tracking surveys for the previous brand (anonymised, of course) can illuminate the impact your work had on the ROI for those brands, and more persuasively sell your credentials.
Stand out amongst the dozens of other chemistry meetings a brand might have in any given week, with a data-driven pitch rich in understanding and ideas. Give your opinions, list your credentials and drop some key names, but ground your viewpoints in data, only then will they stick as realistic and truthful.
Using data throughout your meeting can set you off on the right path, starting as you mean to go on as an advocate for the needs and desires of real-life consumers in the brand’s key markets.
Attest can help you use data to secure a second date, and lead to you getting hitched. Get in touch with us today to start implementing research methods in your initial stages, elevate your understanding of the market and consumers, and win more pitches.