Is how they look today a foreshadowing of how they will operate tomorrow?

I believe that what you see at any point during the agency evaluation process…is what you’ll get if you bring them on board.

This is one of the principles I follow when I’m managing a search for a marketing client.

foreshadow

And one of the principles I share with our marketing agency clients on the agency new business side of our business when they are engaging with marketers like you.

Think about it, if you asked agencies that you were considering for a long-term partnership to submit a proposal for some project work (as a test) and one or more of the agencies submitted what looked like a cookie-cutter response, how would that make you feel?

Like they were going to do a bang-up job when you brought them on board?  Don’t think so.

I wrote a post back in February titled “The Lazy Marketing Agency” and in it I talked about how marketers should be keenly aware of how a marketing agency operates at every stage of the “dating” process.

It starts with how they reach out to you.  Are they just talking about themselves or are they making it more about you?

When they respond to that RFI, does it feel like it’s been written for you or does it feel like the one they delivered to the last marketer they tried to engage?

copy paste

And when they present as part of a pitch or basic presentation, do they appear cohesive in their approach, have they done their homework and exceeded your expectations?

A marketing agency can do a bang up job opening up a door and impressing you with their value, but the real question in my mind (particularly when managing a search process) is, do they carry that same enthusiasm and energy and focus on you – throughout the entire search process?

If they don’t, I’m afraid you have to question whether or not they’re really in it to be that trusted long-term partner.

It’s hard work to keep the pedal to the metal all the time…but smart, well organized, and strategic agencies get it and can do it.

So keep your eyes peeled.  Be critical when you evaluate agencies.  At all phases of the engagement.

Need help finding a new marketing agency?  Need help managing and keeping tabs on a search process?

We can help – at no cost to you.  Just drop me a line:  msneider@rswagencysearch.com

About 

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.