So here you sit…mid-way through the year and your business is just alright.
You’re thinking about changing your marketing agency, believing that a move like that could be your ticket to a better tomorrow…or at least make you look good in the eyes of those around you. After all, new agency means new thinking, new energy, and new ideas.
All true and certainly a move to change agencies or just bring in a new agency for a project to inject some new thinking can be good for the business.
But my advice is do it carefully and thoughtfully.
Don’t just jump into it. And don’t just roll with the agency you know from a past life, because what they did for you in another business or another category may not play as well in the world you live in now. If seen this first hand in a search we ran for one of the largest credit unions in California. We brought in three excellent agencies.
The marketing head wanted us to add in an old favorite of his even though their experience didn’t hold water relative to our agencies. They were enamored by some fancy creative they presented (that no other agency did – and frankly wasn’t necessary), and now I come to find out that the relationship has been a miserable failure. They’re suing each other and the work still isn’t done. Feel sorry for them.
So take your time and plan.
Spell out your business and marketing needs.
Outline the skills and experiences you want your future agency to have.
Gain consensus among all those that will have a voice in the search.
Detail pre-qualifying questions and briefly interview on the phone those you want to consider for the search.
Limit the number of agencies to a manageable number.
Ask tough questions in the RFI upfront to help you sort out the real winners from those that are a stretch.
And give your finalist agencies a meaningful, thoughtful, strategic challenge to see how they’ll potentially help you further your business.
And don’t be swayed by “sexy” or “fancy” presentations. Any agency can do those. It’s the great agencies that are going to not look at your assignment as a creative assignment, but rather a business assignment to help you move your brand forward.