Creating the perfect marketing agency search is no easy task.

Especially when time is in short supply, information is incomplete, and change is needed now.

I have had the opportunity to sit through close to 100 final pitch presentations over the roughly 30 searches we’ve managed since the start of RSW/AgencySearch in 2010.

Over that time, I’ve seen many different types of marketing organizations and many different ways in which marketers choose to manage the search process when we’re involved.

Here are 10 things to consider if you ever decide to manage a search on your own.

They will help you streamline your efforts and should result in a more enjoyable and productive search:

The perfect agency search:

  1. Is driven by a limited number of people in your organization
  2. Consumes very little of your time
  3. Lasts no more than two months
  4. Uses resources that help identify the best agencies for review
  5. Asks the right questions upfront to discriminate the agencies effectively
  6. Makes time for conversations with the agencies before you actually have them present to you in a final pitch
  7. Offers the agencies comprehensive background information to help them maximize the value of their presentations to you
  8. Gives agencies at least a few weeks to prepare their final pitch presentations
  9. Incorporates an agency visit either prior to, or immediately after the final pitch presentation
  10. Has some discussion of compensation expectations and costs prior to agency selections are made

If you try and rush things and take short-cuts you’ll end up with a less than perfect outcome.

If you get too many cooks in the kitchen, you’ll compromise yourself into mediocrity.

If you only rely on friends and family to make agency suggestions, you’re missing out on opportunities to find “the perfect agency”.

If you remain secretive and not forthcoming in the sharing of information, you’ll start the relationship on the wrong foot.

And if you don’t ask the tough questions upfront, you’ll waste a lot of your time on the back-end.

Searches can be managed effectively…if they are well thought through and given the proper attention to manage them well.