Just finished up a search for a client in the entertainment/hospitality space.

It always amazes me that when you put the same ask in front of 3-4 agencies, you get very different approaches to how they address the challenge document in a final pitch presentation.

This particular client landed on an agency that they feel very comfortable with and they know can do the job effectively.

The challenge for this search was a big one:  bring together a number of acquired properties under the umbrella of one common enterprise website system and integrate what are very disparate platforms into a unified architecture.

And of course, re-design and make more productive, the look and feel and functionality of each of the property’s websites.

So a big ask…a big technical and design project.

The winning agency won in large part, because they made it about the client.

With the exception of the incumbent, all three agencies we brought into the final pitch presentation were very competent and any of them would have been able to do a great job for this client.

But at the end of the day, the differences you see in how an agency presents, matter.

I often tell our agency clients on the agency new business side of our business, “The Way You Look Today, Is A Reflection Of How You Might Be Perceived As Acting, Tomorrow”.  So the bottom line is “always put your best foot forward”.

And that’s what you, the marketing client needs to look out for…what you need to be aware of as you review a final group of agencies.

One of the three made it too much about themselves.

Did a solid job of presenting their capabilitiies.  The work they have done for other entertainment/hospitality clients was in lock-step with what this client’s needs were.  But when you barely mention the client’s name in the presentation – and another agency makes it all about them…that’s a problem.

The third agency gave some consideration to the client.  They presented some ideas that showed good faith and interest in the client.

But there were little things that rubbed the client the wrong way.

They were told Macs didn’t function in their conference rooms.  They brought a Mac anyway.  They had asked for some time with the client to review the idea they ultimately presented.

Schedules were tight prior to the holidays…and the agency told the client during the meeting that “the holidays got in the way”.  In this client’s world, holidays don’t get in the way.  They are open 24/7.  Suggests that maybe the holidays (and possibly other things) will also get in the way.

So while in the end, it’s certainly possible that any of these three agencies would have done a bang-up job for this client.  It’s clear they all have the chops and have tackled similarly large scoped projects in the past.

But it’s the little things that matter in these final pitch presentations – and you need to keep watch for them.

It amazes me how different agencies can take such markedly different approaches to the same Challenge Document.  For me, it keeps it all interesting and exciting.

And for the client, it gives them the chance to see the different agency personalities, their interest and commitment to the marketer’s business, and of course, the degree to which they are engaged and wanting of a relationship with the marketing client.

If you’re in need of help reviewing agencies – or finding great agencies to review, give us a call (513-559-3101) or drop me a line (msneider@rswagencysearh.com).  Happy to help out!

Happy New Year!