Relying on hope – to find a better marketing agency if your current agency is falling down isn’t the best strategy.

Looking at agencies without a clearly defined scope of what you’re after is no way to find your next, best-in-class marketing agency.  Hope is not the answer.

You need to be meticulous about defining what you’re challenges are, what you need in a new agency, and where you’re trying to take your business if you expect to put yourself in a better position with a new firm.

And not getting buy-in on the Scope is also no way to manage a search process.

I’ve seen marketers start moving down the line – without buy-in from upper management and more often than not, those searches become extremely challenging.

So define your scope thoroughly and properly.

What I’d recommend is outlining the following:

Business situation & challenges
Always good to define the current situation so all are bought into what is going on and what kind of challenges your business is facing.  Without it, some may feel differently and that could impact your search.

Current agency “fall-downs”
How are your current agencies doing?  Are there areas where they are falling down on their performance – areas that you’d ultimately like to see them step up their game?  If so, spell it out for all to see.  This will help you guide your questioning as you develop your RFI or RFP.

What you’re looking for in a new agency
This is tied in part, with the “fall-downs” but it really speaks to the needs your business has and how a new agency can help you fulfill your dreams.  In this section it’s important to be as specific as you can be.  Outline size of agency, locations of agency, experience – both technical and industry.  Clearly detailing all of this will help you better sort out the good agencies from those that clearly aren’t a good match.

Be specific.  Outline exactly what you need.  Get buy-in from those that work with you.

It’s just like any Kaizen project…good inputs in…great outputs out.

You do your due diligence upfront and you will end up in a better place at the end of the search.

If you are struggling to figure where to best start…give us a call (513-559-3101) or drop us a line ( and we can talk through your current situation and how we can help you better help yourself.


Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.