When you’re looking for the next agency to add to your roster, rarely do you set out for more of the same.

You want something shiny, new, and different – otherwise, well, you wouldn’t be looking. It’s a fair criteria, as the best marketing often comes from these new perspectives, but here’s the catch: most agencies are challenged when it comes to talking about their own differentiation.

We recently conducted a survey that gave more than 5,000 marketing agency principles a chance to share their thoughts on a variety of topics, including the degree to which their positioning was unique.

Here’s what we found: 85% of agencies find their positioning to be at least somewhat unique!

Not entirely surprising; very few agencies want to be the shop to say that they fall into the “more of the same” category we talked about earlier.

What’s more telling, however, were a few qualitative answers about what they felt was their differentiating factor.

Without calling them out, some answers we got for this unique positioning were things like “hard-working,” “focused on specific industry,” “strategic,” and plenty more that, while desirable, are hardly unique in a sea of agencies.

So what does this mean for you, the marketer?

Quite simply, it means that 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 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.

As we’ve seen in our dealings with agencies at our sister company RSW/US, these shops are often their own biggest blind spot – even those that do exceptional work.

An agency search of any kind is a daunting task, and an effective search is even more so. But taking the time to dive beneath the surface to find what you consider to be an agency’s x-factor is something that many marketers can’t afford not to do.

That’s why we start our searches with our database of 10,000 agencies, but very quickly narrow down to the specifications set by you.

It allows us to start with a pool of agencies that might be a fit for your company, and filter it through that lens until we find the fit for your company.

It’s a process that allows us to take a deep dive into your search candidates, and determine the characteristics that are going to unlock a long and fruitful marketing partnership. We’ve been doing it for over a decade, and we can do it for you – shoot us an email at msneider@rswagencysearch.com and let’s start the conversation.