In a recent post by Tom Martin, he provides a list of “tips for pitching” from the Client’s side of the table.

These tips, while certainly valuable to the marketing firm, are also a great tool for marketers looking to determine who the best marketing agency partner will be for their business.

Here is Tom’s list of 7 with some perspective on how to use each of these as you work to determine the right Internet marketing firm, or traditional marketing agency that is right for you:

  1. Follow instructions.  At any point in the search process (RFI, RFP, etc.), if a marketing agency can’t follow the rules, this is clearly a foreshadowing of things to come in the relationship;
  2. Leave behinds work.  Really boils down to how considerate the marketing agency is.  Do they make it easy for you to remember who they are.  With 4 or 5 agencies in a final pitch, how forward thinking are they.  Leaving leave behinds, behind, suggests a level of detailed thinking that could prove helpful as you engage the marketing firm full time;
  3. Everyone must have a role.  If there is one lead dog and he/she does all the presenting, yet many others have tagged along…ask yourself: what’s going to happen when “all these others” take over for the lead dog and try and manage my business?  Will they be lost?
  4. The projector isn’t hiring you.  If the presenters don’t know their material well enough to be able to speak off the cuff, what does this say about their ability to think on their feet for you?
  5. Show passion or stay home.  If the marketing firms presenting don’t show the love of the space they are representing, what does that say about their potential passion for your business?
  6. Show, don’t tell.  Not that you don’t trust the marketing firms that are presenting to you…but more than likely, you don’t know them that well.  If the firm presenting is a digital marketing agency, have them showcase the work and successes.  Don’t have them just tell you about their success.
  7. Get to the point.  My old CEO at SC Johnson used to operate under the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid).  If a marketing agency Principal can’t get to the point quickly, and has a tendency to meander, what kind of confidence does that give you about how he/she is going to manage your business.  You have no time to meander…or maybe you do!

So bottom line is when you’re looking for a new marketing agency (whether you’re doing it on your own or using a firm like RSW/AgencySearch),

look for these cues and clues to provide some look into the future about how your new marketing firm might operate for you.

If they fail to deliver on many or all of the above points, yet come to the table with bang up work, you still might question whether or not this is the right marketing firm for you.  Just give it some careful consideration before you buy.