Over the past 5-6 searches we managed (helping marketers find better marketing agencies at no cost to them) the marketers have all said the same thing:
The one thing they don’t want is a marketing agency with an ego.
What amazes me is that there are that many agencies out there that think that their stuff is above it all – and that only their opinion counts.
They suffer from marketing agency ego.
In our most current search – helping a major regional beer brand find a new agency – one of the criteria they established was that they didn’t want an agency that owned the brand to the point that it was their way or the highway.
There are plenty of firms out there that believe in good ole’ fashion collaboration.
There are plenty that believe that ideas don’t only come from them but can be birthed by either the client or by both the client and the agency as a team.
- Talk about the times you’ve had to work with other agencies. What role did you play and what was the outcome?
- Detail your most productive client/agency relationship. Why was it so productive?
- Detail your favorite agency and the work they do – why?
- What does the ideal client look like?
- Who will be the primary agency contact and what is their experience?
The other thing you can do (or ask) is offer the agency some suggestions or push them with some probing questions during the review and see how they respond.
Do they get defensive? Do they dismiss your ideas? Or do they embrace them – genuinely?
So what does this all mean for you, the Marketer?
Simply means that chemistry does count. While at the end of the day you want a firm that can deliver creatively, strategically, and from a service standpoint, you want to feel like the agency you’ve selected is an agency you can have an honest conversation with.
Look a little harder and you’re sure to weed out the egos from those that are legitimately solid firms.