Searching for a new agency is no easy business.  I read a stat recently that said there are over 70,000 agencies (of varying types and sizes) in the U.S.  While there were many that fell off the radar during the recent economic downturn, there were just as many new agencies springing up – particularly in the digital space.

If you decide to go at it alone, this post provides some good counsel on how to best organize a search and how to manage your way through one.

One thing they mention that is particularly important to keep focused on as you move through a search….

keep your emotions in check.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to establish a strong emotional connection with the agency you hire.  You want to feel great about them, their work, their smarts, and their ability to operate as a strong strategic partner that can assist your business long-term.

The emotions I’m talking about are the emotions that often surface when “the show” presented by the agency is so whiz bang and the principal is so PT Barnum like that you feel giddy with excitement and enthusiasm.

Easy to get lost in the “show” and lose sight of the real value that you are looking for.

So what to do?

Make a list of the qualifiers you’re looking for before you start your  search and consistently refer back to them and remind yourself over and over again that while a strong emotional connection is a good thing, there are many other more functional elements that you’re looking for as well.


Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.