Recently the 4A’s set forth a proclamation that “feedback” should be built into contracts between Marketers and the traditional agency search firms they hire (4A’s article).

Here’s what these “old school” search consultants say:   “It’s Good Idea, but Practical Issues Remain”.

Somebody help me here….

An agency pours its heart and soul (not to mention its time and money) into trying to win a client’s business and these “old school” agency search consultants aren’t giving the agencies feedback on why they didn’t win the business.  How are they going to learn what they’re doing wrong and improve upon their efforts the next time?

We just concluded a search and I had to call the two agencies that did not move ahead.  It was painful and heart wrenching, but it was necessary.  I spent some time on the phone with the marketer and they kindly mapped out the issues/opportunity areas for each agency that did not win…and as much as they didn’t like to hear the news, they appreciated it.

Why has it come to this with these traditional consulting firms?  Why has it gotten so bad that the 4A’s had to come out strongly recommending that marketers build contractual statements into agreements with agency search consultants.

If they had just been doing it all along, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Is it they’re not “manly” enough to step up and deliver bad news?
Are they trying to “preserve” relationships with agencies and they figure no news is good news?
Or are they simply so focused on the “next search”, that they don’t want to take the time to do it?

Regardless, it’s bad practice.

What if we never helped our kids by teaching them where they fell down and how to improve going forward?  What kind of society would we be living in?

It’s no surprise agencies don’t like the RFP process.  This is another reason why these “old school” search firms need to take a hard look in the mirror and start thinking about doing it all a different way.

Transparency and neutrality is key.  It’s how RSW/AgencySearch was founded and how it’s grounded.