The world of agency search firms is changing not because it wants to…but because of the way you, the marketer are managing your business.

In our most recent agency-marketer business survey, 59% of marketers state that 26%+ of the work that they give to agencies is project based.

37% of marketers say that over half of the work they are assigning is project based work.

This can be good for agencies as it gives them more opportunities to work for you.  Gives them a chance to show you what they can do for your business without you having to go all-in.

But no such great news for the traditional search consultants.

Traditional search consultants that rely on big searches, paying big consulting fees, simply aren’t as robust as they once were.  So they’ll either have to find new ways to bring in those big fees to support those big money consultants, or they’ll struggle.

Just because you’re pushing out more work in the form of projects versus full-on retainers doesn’t mean you don’t need help finding better agencies.

While “sampling” agencies with project type work lowers the risk bar, it’s still a commitment you have to make to your business and it still requires time – finding the best agency to meet the needs of what you’re trying to achieve.

At RSW/AgencySearch, we’ve set up our model differently and can manage the needs of marketers differently.

Agency Search Firms Changing

Sure, we’ve done plenty of big searches, but we have also helped marketers find better agencies for smaller assignments and even projects.

How can we do this and still survive you ask?

We can do this because we have a separate business that involves managing 60+ agencies’ outsourced business development programs .  It is this business that keeps the train moving down the tracks.  The revenue from this business feeds most of what we do.

So not only can we more easily help you find a better agency for a special project (could be one of our 60 agencies or agencies from our database of 10k agencies) at not cost to you, but we can also help you find a new digital shop or full service agency to manage all of your business – without charging you a dime.

So if you’re in the market for a new agency – project or not – give us a call.

The traditional agency search firm might be suffering because of the changing nature of how you are operating, but the unique nature of our methodology and our business structure enables us to continue to be of value to you, the marketer…and we’re happy to help!


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.