After The Martin Agency’s new business machine roared to life in 2020, winning accounts like Axe, Old Navy, Twisted Tea and Century 21, the agency spent 2021 delivering its first work for those brands. On the new business front, the pipeline was cooler, but in 2022, the Richmond-based agency once again is making noise, largely without pitching, reportx Adweek.
Adweek’s reigning back-to-back U.S. Agency of the Year made headlines last month with its win of Bud Light Seltzer, but the agency has also snagged a number of accounts without a pitch, including project work for Google Creators, AOR relationships with LegalShield and Royal Caribbean, lead agency for Santander and more work on Hasbro brands.
In an industry where pitching is increasingly being put under a microscope, adds Adweek, winning accounts through relationships is critical to sustainably driving growth. When agencies are selective in what accounts they pitch for and their leadership maintains relationships with past clients, they can win business without draining resources and burning talent out. CEO Kristen Cavallo said that through the agency’s and her own prior relationships, The Martin Agency has added about $20 million in new revenue without going through the full-blown pitch process, which can often exceed $100,000 in unbillable hours, travel and more per pitch. Overall, in 2022, The Martin Agency’s net new and organic revenue is estimated at $28 million, representing close to 30% growth.
“When we have a lot of cost savings, we can do a lot of other things with that money, which is nice because for agencies, there’s not always a lot of slack in the funding,” Cavallo told Adweek.