It’s been five years since we started RSW/AgencySearch and we’ve amassed our own “Top 10 List” of tips from the front line of pitching, RFI responding, and general review “etiquette” that can help agencies better their chances of winning when in a review.

We thought we’d share these with you, the Marketer, as they can help as you review firms to support your own business.

Wayne's World Top Ten

Here we go:

#10 – Don’t overstate your experience.  Because you’ll be found out if you do.

#9 – Don’t be modest, either.  The way I look at it, is if it’s not you, someone else is going to grab your spotlight.

#8 – Think not of yourself, but of that potential client.  And that’s in everything you do.

#7 – Talk not of yourself, but of your potential client.  Even if they ask you to talk about yourself, start with them.

#6 – Do your homework.  Whether it’s a call, an RFI response, or the final pitch presentation…know your stuff!

#5 – Make them feel like you’re ramping up.  Show them you’re ready and you’re already steps ahead in planning.

#4 – Be organized in how you present/respond.  Showcase a lack of organization now…what happens later in the relationship!

#3 – Build it from the ground, up.  Start with the insights, then the strategy, then the well-connected ideas.

#2 – Bring the “A” team that will work on the business…unless you don’t care about winning the business.


And the #1 tip from the front line is….

#1- Bring energy.  No energy means no fun and sad things for the client’s brand.


So while I’m sure I could come up with another 10 more…these are the ones that are most important to remember when in a pitch, responding to an RFI, or when on a call during a pre-pitch Q&A discussion.

So what does this mean for you, the marketer?

Keep an eye out for these things when you run a search or are involved in a search managed by a client.

They fall down in any one of these areas, it’s right to question the agency and their value to you.  I know it seems a bit harsh, but the way I look at it is, if they can’t get their act together in the process of a review, how are they going to act and operate when they bring you on as a client?


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.