Oftentimes, marketers and some search firms will look for agencies based solely on what is functional and ignore the principal of relevancy.
They’ll focus on the degree to which the agencies in consideration are the:
Have the right experience
Are situated in the right location
Bring the right expertise to the table
And showcase the right kind of results
And what they’ll ignore…because it takes more time to really think about it – is relevancy. And I’m not just talking about relevancy in the context of do they have relevant experience….this is important.
What I’m talking about is…have they entered this search thinking about you, the marketing client, within the context of everything they do?
Starts with the first connect. Do they seem to have a good handle on your industry and your business? Are they talking about your competitive set and/or some of the challenges facing your industry?
When they respond to your RFI, are they merely answering the questions? Or are they helping you understand why they are answering them the way they are? Are they showcasing for you why what they’ve given you is relevant to your world?
When they share case studies, do they make the same connection? Or are they just showcasing some flashy work that is impressive in and of itself, but lacks any sizzle when paired with your business and its needs.
And when they present, is it all about you? Or are they more about their ideas and their personalities and their clients?
Relevancy can play out within any step in a marketing agency search….and honestly should rear its wonderful head at every step of the process – if the agency is worth its weight.
The easy way out for a marketing agency is to “cut and paste” their way along the process.
The harder, more thoughtful way is to take the time to think hard about what you’re saying or doing and to put yourself in the body of the marketing client – and think about their needs.
This takes thinking and time. It’s the harder road to travel, but the one any good agency knows is the best way to not only win a marketer’s business…but the best way to think throughout their partnership with you.