Why are paid tenders our very likely future? Because they are in their own way beneficial to both customers and agencies. Yes, these benefits are different, but they are, and let's consider them.
Scene number 1
Take the current situation, a typical tender in the recent past and present.
Customers conduct a tender to select the best offer for their budget. Some customers are tempted to invite 15 agencies to the tender, hoping there will be more ideas. Someone from these agencies will come up with something interesting. The customer complains that he spends a lot of time, so he can not meet and deeply brief all 15 agencies. Instead of meeting, he offers to hold a conference call or simply answer all questions in writing. All agencies are on an equal footing, he says.
On the other hand, 15 agencies, knowing that there are 15, understand that their chances are about 7%. So you need to participate carefully. It is better to participate in a tender where there will be 3-4 participants and 25-33% probability of winning. Choosing between several attractive tenders, the agency will refuse in cases where their chances and profits are lower.
Often agencies synchronously refuse “strange” tenders. Since the chance of winning is small, it is risky to spend expensive (literally expensive) resources - the time of good creators, designs, copywriters.
Sometimes it’s difficult to refuse, especially if the customer is interesting. But then the agencies prepare the proposal "through the sleeves", reduce training costs, minimizing risks. Leading agencies in such tenders prepare an “average” proposal from the old blocks of presentations, or instruct to prepare a passing proposal by the forces of young employees, interns. Why do this: there is hope to go into the second round and finalize there; so you can save resources for those tenders where there are more chances.
Meanwhile, new agencies (small or without good experience) are happy to try to break through. Ignoring the risks, they create "extras" in such tenders. But they do not have good creative creators, design-copywriters, since hiring good specialists is banal expensive, a beginner’s agency cannot afford. So, often, they send something “raw” to the tender proposal.
What is the result? Everyone is busy!
Novice agencies write 10 sentences a day and do not understand why they lose in 90-95% of cases. They consider this the norm of the market and simply try to increase the number of tenders and offers.
Then the customer reads 15 mediocre, “raw” presentations and then at professional conferences complains that the creativity of the Russian agencies is “not really ...”. Although, perhaps, they did not receive anything from such leading tenders from leading agencies.
Having received a mediocre presentation, choosing a mediocre idea, the customer gets a mediocre result and gets angry. The next time, the customer invites even more participants, hoping that "some of these agencies will come up with something interesting."
Scene number 2
Near future. Let's consider another way.
The REMA recommendation is a paid tender, with a certain payment (Pitch Fee) at the level of 100-150 thousand rubles.
Yes, for this you will have to conduct a preliminary selection of the invited agencies. Check their reputation, awards, evaluate the quality of management and choose not just 15 random agencies, but 3-4 really suitable ones, with experience in this particular segment. They are easy to defend before the procurement service, because they have a good reputation and have resources.
What does this mean for an agency? This means that at least the direct costs of several days of work of creators, designs, copywriters will be partially compensated. That is, the risk that the time of expensive specialists will be wasted is borne not only by the agency, but also partially (!) By the customer. 100-150 thousand do not compensate all the expenses of the agency for the preparation of a complex tender. But on the other hand, they reduce the cost of preparing a tender, and therefore increase its attractiveness.
What is the result? The quality is much higher! Much!
It is unlikely that there will be many participants with a payment of 100-150 thousand. More than 3-4 selected agencies should not be invited, because of the 5-10 good ideas it will be difficult to choose anyway.
Since there are not many participants, then the agencies will know that the chances are high and will try. They will spend resources on brand research, on design and creativity, and will be able to concentrate on this work. The risks that the agency assumes become acceptable.
Other things being equal, agencies will not refuse such a tender, because with a paid tender, the agency assumes obligations. This means that the customer will be sure that experts from leading agencies will undertake their tender.
The client, on the other hand, receives a guaranteed high-quality offer from trusted agencies with a proven reputation, and not an “unsubscribe”. A professional team of creative designers-copywriters will definitely work on the tender.
If even they don’t have good ideas, alas: it means that the work on selecting 3-4 suitable companies was not done properly.
From a financial point of view, Pitch Fee is only a small part of the overall project budget and will not play a significant role.