Just finished an agency search for North American Breweries on their Labatt and Seagram’s Escapes businesses.

Not only was the agency search a lot of fun, but it also proved to be a very productive search – in large part because of the involvement on the part of the client.

From the get-go, the marketing client was engaged.

They spent a good deal of time in the initial download with me – to help me form the scope of search.

They involved upper management in the initial phases of defining needs and scope, so the downstream process of finding the right agencies and managing the process was a lot smoother.

They read all the RFIs submitted (7 in all) – and read them thoroughly so they could carry on a good discussion with me about the plusses and minuses of each agency.

They dedicated the time to meet with and speak with each of the finalist agencies prior to the final pitch presentation to help each agency make the fullest use of their time during the presentation.

And they were thoroughly engaged in the process as they deliberated over each agency’s performance, thinking, deliverables to ultimately come to the table with a recommendation for each of their two brands.

While all in all, the amount of time that the North American team had to put into the process was minimal, it was well directed, well used, and highly valuable time spent – that in the end will make for the start of a great agency-client partnership.

So What Does this Mean for You, The Marketer?

Organize your search before you begin and get buy-in from those involved in the process before you begin.

Be prepared to dedicate some thoughtful time to review the submissions and presentations that the agencies put in front of you.

If you use a consultant, engage them and use them to the fullest to save you time in all the other areas involved in the search process.