Find the Right Agency Partner

Advertising and Digital Agency Partner Search Services

Every client and agency relationship is unique and subject to change. An agency you worked with in the past may have been the right fit at the time because of the people on the team, available budget, the scope of work or even your team’s marketing maturity level. But those things change and it’s not uncommon for one party to “outgrow” the other.

In 1984, the average length of the client-agency relationship was 7.2 years. By 1997, it was down to 5.3 years. Today many estimate the relationship is now three years or less.

Some believe the shorter relationships are a function of clients having more choices—there more agency types and sheer number of agencies than ever before. Others believe higher agency “divorce” rates are due to a decline in consultants being used to match up clients and agencies.

Regardless, there are compelling reasons to hire an independent agency partner search consultant, like Brand Mentoring, to help you.

Why hire an agency partner search consultant?

Conducting an agency partner search internally can be a real challenge. Plus, advertising and digital agency professionals are some of the best sales people on the planet! Which means, it’s easy to get “caught up” in the excitement of agency pitches. And traditional RFPs have become much less effective for this type of partner selection. So consider the role of a search consultant, like Brand Mentoring, and how that can reduce your risk of selecting the wrong advertising or digital agency partner.

6  Reasons to Hire Brand Mentoring to Find Your Next Agency Partner

1. Objective Point of View— An outside point of view on things, like which agency to select, what to pay and what to insist be included in the contract, can help ensure expectations are understood and met. Plus an outside search consultant can also serve as a tie-breaker.

2. Timely Buffer— If you are a time-starved client, having a search consultant serve as the main point of contact for the agencies can help ensure the process is timely, fair and also gives you back your time! Taking individual agency calls and meetings can be quite time consuming.

3. Timely Project Management— When you let an agency search consultant handle the project, it frees you up to really pay attention to the potential partners themselves. Plus there are lots of great project management software tools, like Trello.com, that can keep all the stakeholders on the same page. Empowering someone else with project management also provides you an advocate throughout the process.

4. Consistency and Fairness— In a competitive situation, like an agency partner search, it’s VERY important that all prospective agencies get the same information. The last thing you want is to wonder if one agency got an unfair advantage by way of additional information being shared.

5. Inclusiveness— A facilitated and fair process that allows for your stakeholders to be heard and incorporated at strategic points in the process is key to being inclusive.

6. Agency Experience— Many times hiring an agency can be a career-altering move. If you hire the “right” agency, you’re a hero. If you hire the wrong one, we won’t go there. Having an agency search consultant who knows how agencies work (and how they make their money) can really help you avoid common pitfalls and set very clear expectations.

How to align your team before starting the advertising or digital agency search?

Below are 9 questions to discuss with the internal stakeholders who will be involved in the agency decision-making.

Shared Vision Questions

1. Change | If we could wave a magic wand and change one thing about our marketing today, what would it be?

2. Time Bound Goals | With our new advertising or digital agency partner, what do we plan to accomplish and by when?

3. Measurement | How will we measure the impact of our new advertising or digital agency? (ex. changes in sales, quantity or quality of leads, impressions/views, social shares, brand image)

4. Scope and Budget | What is the initial scope of work and related marketing budget? Note: a budget range is fine

5. Culture and Preferences | What do we like and dislike about our current or past agency partner(s)?

Practical Readiness Questions

6. Leadership | Who will take the lead on the agency search process?

7. Leadership | Who will take the lead on orienting our new advertising or digital agency?

8. Asset Readiness | What assets will we have ready to share at the start of the new advertising or digital agency relationship? (ex. current strategic plan, current marketing plan, brand/trademark/nomenclature guide, buyer personas, website analytics, competitive insight/intelligence/landscape analysis, customer feedback/survey results, overview of current marketing systems)

9. Status Quo Challenge | What if we don’t hire a new agency, what is the worst that could happen? Do we really need a new agency?

The cost of a bad agency hire amounts to lost time and opportunity— what could you have accomplished if you had only chosen more wisely? And it comes with a hassle “tax”— what frustration could you have avoided had you chosen differently?

Contact us to discuss the specifics of your next advertising or digital agency search.