Jan Gooding started her career in a full service agency. “I was schooled in the idea of nurturing the relationship you had and trying to fix any problems within existing relationships because of the cost of moving and the desire to have consistency and understanding about [the client’s] brands,” she told the Mediatel Future of Brands conference (London, February 2019). Pitches were a distraction – for both sides.

She subsequently ended up client-side as CMO at insurance business Aviva, where she ran a global media pitch on a couple of occasions. First time round, “the motivation was structural … It was a strategic pitch,” she explained. Aviva had been working in some capacity with every network somewhere around the world, “so I was trying to create some consistency in strategy for the brand, in approach to media for the brand. I wasn’t particularly looking for savings, but I thought there’d be some.”

At the end of the six-month process the amount of savings had been “eye-opening”, she reported: “millions and millions of pounds, mainly from our UK business”. This was a “prize” no-one had expected, but the prize came with downsides. “The procurement people got an appetite for that level of saving.”

A cuts habit