Spent two great days at the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference a couple weeks ago and unlike the last two years, this year proved to be much more enlightening.

I met a lot of great marketers and agencies at the ANA, and introduced them to our unique-to-the-industry model for finding best-in-class marketing agencies (of all types/sizes).  More people are aware of us now and consequently, more people took the time to stop by our booth.

But despite all of this good news, and despite the fact that our agency search business has been good these last 5 years, I’ve often wondered “what’s holding more marketers back from using us?”g-t-held_down
I knew the “free” thing would be a hurdle – after all, who ever gets anything that’s really good for free?

And while that would seem to be the logical barrier, I don’t think that it is the reason.

I can point to any marketer that’s engaged with us – large and small – and they’ll all tell you that free actually is really good when it comes to our offering.  We deliver great, best-in-class agencies and help develop long-term partnerships. Some of our earliest relationships formed by our search process (like GoToMeeting and Jack-in-the-Box) are still rock solid.

But it wasn’t until this year that it dawned on me…the real reasons why some marketers are a bit hesitant.

There seems to be an underlying belief that because we ask the winning agency to pay us a small commission over the first year of their relationship with their new marketing partner, that not all agencies will want to play – and this will make our searches less than the best they can be.


I can tell you that every agency we have approached to get involved in a search has found our process fair and reasonable.

We’ve never had an agency turn us down.

Even the big boys like DDB, Edelman, Y&R…they all have agreed to play.

The other concern (and I just ran into this again with a food marketer that ultimately decided to come on board) is that marketers believe that because we are taking a commission from the agency, the commission will just be dropped back into the fee that they are charged by the agency.

Not true!

Our fees are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and the payment of the fees is spread out over an entire first year (then we go away), that it would be foolish of an agency to try and recoup what is “chump change” to them when compared to the overall fee they receive.

So fear no more!
Marketers love our costs and our results!
Agencies embrace our process!