There’s a line we like to cite when talking about, or even to, the agencies that we deal with.
“At the end of the day, all agencies do the same stuff.”
Surprising to hear from an agency search firm?
After all, isn’t our business about cutting through the agency wilderness, plucking you that perfect match from the endless field of varied offerings? What’s going on here?
The truth is, while most agencies have similar goals, and even similar tools to reach them, there’s two big reasons why, even though agencies have a lot in common at first glance, you can get overwhelmed fast when conducting a search on your own:
- Agencies generally do a poor job of differentiating themselves
Part of the reason for this “sea of sameness” is because agencies simply aren’t very good at talking about themselves. Some of the responses we get when asking agencies about their “unique” positioning are things like “hard-working,” “focused on x industry,” “strategic,” and plenty more that, while desirable, are hardly unique in the grand scheme.
What an agency thinks is its “special sauce”, and what it actually is, can be two very different things.
It’s up to you to dig deeper and find the diamond in the rough when it comes to an agency uniquely suited to your needs. Ask the hard questions, do the homework on your end, and as intuitive as it may seem don’t count on prospective agencies alone to tell their own story.
- The details matter
The more similarities that agencies share, the more the minutiae matters.
When both candidates boast a solid pitch, competitive pricing, and capabilities that match up to your needs, it becomes more important than ever to roll up your sleeves and dig deeper to find the match that will lead you to marketing success.
Perhaps one of them has the edge in experience with your industry, for example, or simply avoided the subtle warning signs of others in the running. It’s these small details that can easily snowball down the line, potentially costing you a winning partnership.
We’ve seen too many brands pick agencies according to well-intentioned but flawed criteria.
When agencies start looking the same, it’s easy to pick based on things like location, glitzy reels, even favors to old friends. These are things that can cost you a solid, fruitful marketing partnership, and usually come about due to a lack of digging past the surface. This deep dive has been a specialty of ours since our start in 2010.