Just read an article about traditional agency search firms and how they are being squeezed because they haven’t adjusted and changed with the times.

You, the marketer are changing, your needs are changing in how your managing your business and your agency relationships.

Unfortunately these traditional search consultants are stuck.  It’s probably why AAR Partners sold to WINMO.  They just can’t make the money they used to make.

It’s a little sad because their model, for the most part, is still locked in the early days of advertising.

Here’s the way it was:  Big marketer hires big agency to do everything for them under a big retainer for multiple years.

With some marketers “breaking stuff up” and looking for the best-in-class in specific areas, it becomes more difficult for these consultants to make a good buck.

The fees just aren’t there.cocktail

And the smaller spend marketers aren’t going to hire them and pay them big fees.

That’s part of the reason why we started RSW/AgencySearch under a different model, where the winning agency pays the fee.

This approach not only allows for more flexibility on the part of the marketer, it ultimately results in a better search.  We don’t make a buck unless you pick a great agency to support your business.  This puts us in a position where we MUST work extra hard to find great agencies.  We can’t work from pre-determined lists like some do.  Every search is built custom for every marketing client.

Our approach makes it easier for a marketer to come to us to manage either a search for all of their business or parts of their business without having to worry about how much money they’ll have to pay to get a best-in-class group of agencies to review.

The agency search consultant world is really no different than the agency world – or your world. Agencies are being forced to change the way they do business in order to survive.  Technology is driving change and the way you’re managing your business is driving change.  The good ones are changing.  The “stuck in time” ones aren’t.

Traditional search consultants should look at the folks their representing on both sides of the fence and take a few pointers from them – before it’s too late.

Email us if you need some help!  msneider@rswagencysearch.com


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.