What you see is likely what you’re going to get when it comes to marketing agencies.

I am a huge proponent of making it real from the moment the agency reaches out to you in their attempt to speak with you.

How they communicate with you on the phone is important.  In our first post we talked about relevancy.  If they are taking the time to get to know a bit about you and come in with good smart questions…that’s a good start.

If they do a great job of making their proposal or the RFI response more about you and less about them, then we’re on to something.

What you see is what you get

And if in the final pitch, they show the love by showing that they spent a lot of time getting to know you and your consumer and your brand and the industry…now we’re talking.

It’s the agency that’s lazy in how they connect or how they respond or how they present that really gets my goat.

In my world as I evaluate agency responses to RFIs, if they look like they were lazily put together, suggests to me that this agency might be equally lazy when they ultimately partner with you.

I believe that how an agency acts throughout the process – starting with that first outreach is a reflection of what they’ll be like when they ultimately work with you.

If they’re showing laziness or lack of attention to detail now, when it matters most…ask yourself “why?”.

Do they really want your business?  They might state such, but does their work and presentation suggest such?

So before you waste your time carrying what you think or heard was a great firm down the line, take a close look at what you’re seeing now.

Likelihood is that lack of attention to detail and lack of meaningful response isn’t going to go away…even when you start paying them.

Might just get worse!


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.