Ad Agency Focus groupsHave you ever been watching a focus group with other marketers, your boss, and maybe your agency…and felt like everybody had their own agenda coming into the groups?

Does it ever seem like some or many of the participants behind the one-way mirror come to the table with their own conclusions and look to try and make out of what they’re hearing to fit their agenda?

I know I’ve been in situations like that during my 10 years as a marketer in the consumer packaged goods industry.

In cases like this, no one wins.

It’s more difficult to get real value from the perspective you’re hearing and the decisions that are made are necessarily the best decisions for the business.

Same holds true of marketing agency searches.

Regardless of whether it’s a search firm managing your search or if you’re managing it on your own.

You need someone managing the search who isn’t tightly tied to you (either because you’ve paid them or they are an employee) who might do what is right for you, versus doing what’s right for your business.

You need someone who can bring fresh, objective perspective to the table who can offer thinking based on previous searches they’ve managed.Neutrality

You need someone who isn’t tied down to a pre-determined set of agencies which at the end of the day will limit the potential for you to get the best possible talent for your business.

You need someone that can work for you under an arrangement that only offers compensation if they do the job their supposed to do – which isn’t just finding a great agency, but also find an agency that can be long-lasting and of value to your firm.