I often hear about marketing agency searches being run directly by the marketers running the business.

On the other side of our business we help manage new business outreach for over 50 agencies and it’s great when our agency clients get the opportunity to pitch/present for new pieces of a marketer’s business.marketing agency search pitfalls

Because we’re so tight in with our agency clients – often reviewing the RFIs marketers release and helping our clients prepare for final pitch presentations, we see a lot.  We see how marketers sometimes manage searches and the problems and challenges they run into when trying to do so.

So I thought I’d share some insights I’ve picked up over the last 10 years running this business that might help you if you try to go at it on your own.

Pitfall #1:  Limiting your search.  A lot of agencies reach out to you.  You see and hear about a lot of agencies.  While that might seem like a lot, there are 20,000+ agencies in the U.S. that potentially can service your needs.  I’ve looked at some of the agencies given to me by clients that have called them.  Often times the fit is simply not there.  Save yourself time in the long-run and look broader than what is in front of you when the search is at hand.

Pitfall #2:  Gathering up more information than you really need.  I’ve seen Request for Information (RFI) that run miles long, asking for information that is truly hard to understand – how – the information will help the marketer make a truly informed decision.  Your time is limited.  Limit the questions to only those you need.

Pitfall#3: Issuing an RFI and not an “RFT” (Request for Thinking).  I don’t really call it that…I use that term metaphorically in that if all you ask for is information and not thinking (e.g. how the agency will deal with challenges that look like yours) it will make it harder for you to sort out the good from the not-so-good early on in the process.

Pitfall #4: Issuing too many RFIs and involving too many agencies.  The tendency is to want to look at as many as you can.  Bad move.  In our searches, we limit the RFIs to about 7 highly qualified agencies.  I read, re-read and then re-read again each RFI – and even with only 7, my head spins. There’s so much information to absorb – so while you might feel like you’re doing your due diligence by looking at so many…you’re really doing yourself a disservice by trying to get them all in.

So keep an eye out for these 4.  I’ll come back with some others in follow-up posts, but these 4 should be good places to start for now.

Hopefully the counsel I’ve offered up based on our personal experience managing searches at RSW/AgencySearch will help you if you  decide to go at it on your own.

Happy to talk or help if there’s a need or interest.  Thanks!