The process of finding a new and better agency should be a painful one.


“Say what?” you say.  Why would I want it to be a painful one?

In our world of helping marketers find new and better agencies, I often tell my marketing clients that I see my job as one that needs to make your job as hard as possible – not because I’m a pain in the rear to work with or because I run a miserably disorganized search – quite the opposite!

I say this because I want to make the decision of picking from a final list of 2-3 agencies a very difficult one – because any of them could potentially make for a great partner.

So you ask (because you’re thinking you want to run a search on your own), “how do I accomplish that end?”.

You do it by creating a great set of inputs that lead your search.

Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Take an inventory of what you like and dislike about your current agency (or agencies)
  2. Outline where the agency excels and where they fall short
  3. Define what your specific needs are today and what you anticipate your needs to be in the future
  4. Prioritize what’s most important to you when selecting a new agency – start to create that scorecard for rating agencies today – don’t wait until the final pitch
  5. And think about more functional and emotional things like:
    1. Do you want a small, medium-size, or large agency
    2. Do you want separate agencies with different specialties or a single agency that can do it all
    3. Does geography make a difference
    4. If you could paint a picture of the personality of the agency, what would that be

If you take the time (you and the other stakeholders responsible for selecting and working with the agency) upfront to address these central issues, and use this “scope of search” to guide the evaluation and selection of agencies, you’ll find yourself in a much better place.

You’ll end up with agencies that can all effectively meet your needs.  The decision will be painful, but the output will be great!

If you find you just simply don’t have the time to manage a process like this or don’t think you can be as objective as you’ll need to be to make it a great search, give us a call or drop us a line (

We’d be happy to make it a pain for you!