Chemistry in an agency search is key.
Finding the right chemistry with the right agency is almost as important as finding the right agency with the right set of experiences and expertise.
I hear this a lot on the agency side too. Agencies wanting to find the right client that works well for them. Trouble on the agency side, is too often they have to compromise on this position to keep the lights on .
So you can help them by making the right choice for you and your company or brand.
Reading chemistry early in an agency search process is important. It will save the agency (and you) time and the agency a lot of expense and heartache.
The “chemistry check” as they call it can happen in at least a couple different places during a search.
The first place is when reviewing an agency’s site. Agencies paint a picture of who they are (whether they want to or not) when they create their agency websites. We typically start with 200 agencies, selected from our database of 6,000 firms and then start diving into each of the agency’s sites. Does the character look like you? Are they too wild for your conservative bank or too conservative for your lifestyle brand?
The second place is during the screening interviews. Typically, we’re narrowing our list of 200 down to 30. We’re then sending pre-qualifying questions out to 30, and then having conversations with about 10-12. You can kind of get a sense of what the agency is like from these calls. Are they serious and buttoned up? Do they seem scattered and busy? How are they answering some of the questions related to the challenges your business is facing? Do they know their stuff?
The third place is the Q&A/Chemistry call, once you’ve narrowed your search down to about 3 agencies. It is here that the face of the agency really starts to present itself. I just got out of a Q&A/Chemistry call the other day and one of the agencies overwhelmed the client with too many people on the call and in the end, the marketing client felt like they were “trying too hard”. The agency isn’t out yet, but they have a hill to climb.
And the final place – where most people start – is the final pitch presentation. Here you can get a real sense of what you’ve got…or rather what they’ve got. Are they organized like you? Do they interact well with your team? Do you see yourself putting them in front of your management, your sales team, the franchisees? Obviously we need to know (most importantly), do they get your challenge and did they respond in a thoughtful and meaningful way?
But if all that’s true and the love isn’t there…probably not the best choice for you.