Agency Search Consultants
Agency: a business or organization established to provide a particular service, typically one that involves organizing transactions between two other parties
Search: try to find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly
Consultants: a person who provides expert advice professionally
“Old school” agency search consultants don’t live up to the definition.
I’ll give them “agency”. They do match marketers to agencies.
But “search” isn’t something they do a lot of.
And operating as a “consultant” isn’t something many do well.
In this year’s New Year Outlook Survey, we asked marketers and agencies if they have used agency search consultants – and if they did, what they thought about the experience.
66% of agencies have been involved in searches led by consultants. Only 19% of them liked it.
16% of marketers have used search consultants. Only 47% of them found the experience positive.
Why are the satisfaction numbers so low?
Problem is too many agency search consultants work with predefined lists – or lists of agencies that sign up for their “special services” – so the need to “search” isn’t a huge requirement.
Why would a search consultant avoid a meaningful search? Frankly it’s hard work. I know first-hand because we build each list custom for every search.
And too many search consultants don’t do much consulting. They shepherd the process and any consulting they do tends to be pretty one sided – favoring the marketer.
There’s value in helping the agencies involved. Few do it. Being there to answer agency questions and being there to help them put their best foot forward proves of great value to the ultimate quality of what marketers see from marketing firms and in the end makes for better long-term relationships.
So I’m not saying don’t use agency search consultants – after all we’re one…just not a traditional “old school” kind of consultant. You’ll end up with more of the same.
We work at it. We put our hearts into it.
We make it tough for marketers to make a decision because we deliver great agencies that meet a marketer’s needs.
How and why? We understand agencies better than any search consultant in the market today because we have represented agencies for the past 10 years on the new business side of our business – we know how to look under the hood. We know what kind of questions to ask. We know how to unearth the gems that make for great agency partners.