Agencies often thiagency mumbo jumbonk that because they’re strategic and hard working that this is something that differentiates them from other agencies on the planet.

Agencies believe that because they don’t bait and switch and Marketers will only work with senior talent that somehow this makes them unique.

And Agencies believe that their 360 view of the world and the fact that they think about a client’s problem in an integrated fashion makes them special.

It doesn’t and they don’t.  In our view, all of these things are basic costs of entry for an Agency.

If an Agency can’t be strategic, and can’t deliver top talent on your account, and can’t think about my business across all platforms, I don’t want to work with them.  Or so a Marketer should say.

What I would want to unearth about an Agency I might be considering for my business is: How have you applied these things (above) to address challenges that are similar to the problems I face in my business today?

Fine to show me your work….but best to give me context.  Why are you showing me this particular piece of work?

What relevance does it have to my world?Beiber

I’ve seen case studies presented in final pitch presentations that not only had no relevance to the issue at hand, but really didn’t relate to the client’s size/scope of their resources to support their business.

A $30M program showcased in a beautiful case study doesn’t translate well into my $1M budget.

So what does this mean for you, the Marketer?

Means that when you are looking for new firms as part of an agency search, look past the hyperboles and the deliverables you would expect every firm to do.  They all do the same stuff.  Key is seeing them bring these things to life with real clients that face real problems just like you.

Ideally they will take it one step further, sooner rather than later in your review of them, to show you how they can apply these things to your world.

Frankly, it’s the agency that thinks in this forward manner that is more than likely to think in a forward manner about your business long-term.

So peel it back, don’t let the rose-colored glasses blind you, and find the partner that can make you and your business look at your world in a new and better way.