Searching for a new agency is no easy task.  With so many out there to choose from, who wouldn’t want to see as many as possible to make sure they’re getting a full view of all the great possibilities!

Problem is you have no time.

We just completed a study of marketers and agencies that we’ll be releasing next week and marketers do not expect to see dramatic increases in staffing as we move into 2012.  So without more staff, and with what will likely be ever increasing pressure to do more with less, how are you ever going to see them all?

So key in a search is be realistic.

It’s like your mother used to tell you that “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”.  Same holds true here.  When you pick your stable of agencies to review, make it a manageable number.  I just got look at an agency RFP response that was over 100 pages.  Now granted, way too long…but point is how many 100 page RFP responses are you really capable of reading well?  Not many.  I know my eyes started to glaze over after only reading through the first 10 pages.

So what does this mean for you?

Limit your RFI counts to 7-10 and limit your RFP responses to 3-5 and then put a couple agencies head to head in a final pitch presentation to make your ultimate selection.  More realistic, more digestible, and in the end, it will prove more fun and more productive for you and your firm.  And not like this is why you get involved in all of this…but the agencies will be happier too.  And a good start to an agency-client relationship can go a long way.