Looking at too many agencies when you’re running a search on your own can prove a problem.

less is more

I’m not talking about the initial screening of firms.  I’m talking about reviewing too large a number of RFP or RFI or proposal responses.

It’s fine to scour the planet to find the best agency.  When we start a search, we start by looking into our database to identify 100+ agencies that appear to meet the criteria of what our client is looking for.

You can do a similar thing too.  Search for agencies with specific expertise and with some digging, you’ll be able to create a big list to start with.

I’ve seen too many marketers cast the wide net by seeking responses to an RFP request.  Problem with this approach is you’re going to get any and every agency that thinks their one piece of healthcare business qualifies them to represent a big networked hospital (as an example).

The other problem with that approach is the world of reviewing those requests will blur.

Too many choices

When we run searches, we usually narrow our list of 100+ down to 30.  Those 30 get some pre-qualifying questions to help us further narrow the list of qualifying agencies down.  We then typically only select 7 of those agencies to receive the RFP.

I can tell you from experience that reviewing 7 RFPs is no easy task!

I personally look over each RFP 2-3x to make sure I’ve internalized all responses.  It also takes me that many number of reviews as they often time start blurring together.  You get to #4 or #5 and you continually have to refresh oneself to remind yourself which agency responded to which question.

Think how hard it would be if you threw out a request for RFP responses and you received 15-20!  Talk about a challenging exercise!

So best to do your pre-screening upfront.  Ask your tough pre-qualifying questions before inviting an agency in.  It will make your life simpler.  It will focus your search on only the best firms available to support your business, and you’ll end up with a better outcome.

Make Good Choices

If you’re in the market for a new agency, but don’t know how to start the process on your own.  Contact us.  We can help.

If the task simply seems too daunting and you don’t like the idea of finding yourself in a blurry RFP review state, contact us.  We can help you for a small fee or at no cost – depending on how you want to work with us.

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.