Seeing we are operating a uniquely modeled Agency Search Firm in addition to representing Agencies as their outsourced full-service business development group, we are talking to Marketers on a more regular basis.

We believe that the better informed Marketers can be about issues related to the Agency-Client relationship business, the better relationships will build and last.

In our latest study (RSW/US survey), agencies note all the reasons why they think more Marketers are moving away from using search consultants and either trying to manage the process themselves, or simply not putting their business up for “bid” and picking an agency they have had a past relationship with.

Agency search firms are supposed to help marketers by making the process simpler, more objective, and in some respect, fun. It appears, based on the response from Agencies, that the search process is anything but fun – for them or the Marketer.

Here is just a sampling of some of the reasons Agencies gave us as to why they believe Marketers don’t use search firms as much today as they have in the past:

  • Economic pressures making the cost of hiring a search consultant too great – Limited value (relative to the dollar spent) that search consultants provide
  • Consultants have conflicts of interest
  • Consultants slow the process down

So what does this mean to you…the Marketer?

Marketers need to be careful about what they’re getting into – as do Agencies. There are firms out there that require Agencies to pay to play, firms out there that make Agencies pay to pitch – all practices that can greatly skew the pool of talent presented and the leaning of the agency search firm representing them.

So ask the tough questions – find out how they built their pitch list, make sure you have some input into the process, and don’t let them just run blind. You know your business better than the agency search consultants, so make sure you get what you need…good, objective insight, a neutral party representing you, an unbiased list of agencies, and agencies that are best fit for your needs and the personality of your company.