Too often, marketers or traditional search consultants, don’t take the time to ask agencies the tough questions upfront in a search.

There’s a tendency to focus on the functional elements associated with an agency versus diving into the degree to which they’ve faced challenges like yours.

Just because an agency is well resourced or have been around a long time or present themselves in an alluring manner on their site, doesn’t mean their equipped to manage your business.

Before you start a search, think about what you’re trying to achieve?

We’re in the middle of two searches right now – one for a large regional casino brand and one for a multi-brand consumer products company.

They each have different issues and challenges.

The casino client needs to bring together and better organize disparate websites that they have come to own as they have acquired new casino brands.

There’s a tremendous amount of disorganization, a great need for greater integration, and a desire to make the user experience much more seamless and enjoyable than it is right now.

Simply asking if an agency has the bench strength isn’t enough.

We’re presenting case study-based questions to see to what degree the agencies in consideration have dealt with situations similar to the client.

We want to understand what they did, what resources they used, what process they employed, and what the outcome of their efforts were.  It is questions like these, among others, that help us better diagnose the degree to which an agency is up to the task.

The CPG client’s challenges involve a common problem we see among marketers that engage with us to help them find better agencies:  knowing that their current firms aren’t keeping them ahead of the curve and feeling like each of their brands isn’t capitalizing on the myriad of advances in marketing.

So again…if all we did was ask, “do you have CPG experience”, we’d do the client a major disservice.

We need to dive into each agency’s experience in keeping their clients ahead of the curve and need to understand how they’ve dealt with similar challenges and what they did to help move their client’s business forward.

It’s a bit Lean Six-Sigma-like.

You work to get the best possible information upfront and in the end, you’ll end up with better results in the end.  I think this is why so many of our marketer clients have continued their relationships with their agencies well beyond the industry norms.

So if you’re thinking about looking for a new marketing agency, take the time to prepare and think about what problems you’re trying to solve first, before you start painting a picture of what the ideal agency looks like.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to best start the process or want some counsel as you move your way through the process, happy to help out.  Just drop us a line (msneider@rswagencysearch.com) or give us a call (513-559-3101).