Agency burnout is nothing new. Creatives have been burning the candle at both ends forever.

And as I’m sure some of you reading this can attest, either from dealings with agency staffers or a previous professional life of your own. But the problem has become exacerbated by fears around COVID, and compounded even further by a loss of talent as part of “The Great Resignation.”

Beyond the obvious issues with burning through employees like this (constant agency turnover and exhausted creative, just to name a few), the problem with the “pitch everything” approach is that it’s never been easier to fall into a subpar agency relationship.

A recent Digiday article points out the potential pitfalls:

“In the last year, for a number of different reasons, agencies are less selective than they were in 2020,” said Greg Paull, principal at R3, adding that some agencies were “more likely to pitch for things that aren’t in their wheelhouse.”

It’s tough to fault agencies for acting  their best interest and landing every possible pitch they can, but we’re seeing more marketers than ever enter partnerships that quickly turn into a rude awakening when the results don’t materialize. It calls for a closer look under the hood, and a more thorough search process to find the right match for you.

Prior to COVID-driven uncertainty, agencies were pickier about the projects they pitched, holding out for opportunities exclusively in the areas in which they excelled. Now? It’s about landing as many projects, and as much cash flow, as possible, regardless of the agency’s confidence in their ability to get the job done to a standard of excellence.

With agencies getting less picky when it comes to opportunities, the self-selection that once served as a pseudo vetting process is gone, it’s imperative for marketers to dig deeper during the search. We’ve always preached asking the tough questions when examining agency candidates – cutting straight to the point about the work they’ve done and the companies they did it for – and it’s more important than ever.

We’re in a unique position at RSW/AgencySearch: our sister company works directly with agencies every day, equipping us with a unique perspective into the other side of the pitch table. It’s a perspective we’ve always found valuable in our work with more than 40 marketers over the last 10+ years, but lately it’s become a crucial piece of ensuring that our clients get the right agency for them, rather than simply becoming another brand name to put on a resume in their next round of pitches.

Give us a call, and let’s take a closer look under the hood of your next prospective agency partners.