FINDING A GOOD AGENCY
A FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCE MADE SIMPLE
One of the most frustrating aspects for brands and companies to have to work on is their marketing and communications strategies. How they become positioned in the market, who they are trying to expand to, and their future growth potential all has skin in the game. For some brand managers and communications executives at these companies it can be exhilarating, and to some, it can be quite frightening. It all depends on what is on the line and where they are in their career.
So, imagine the stakes that are up for large and massive brands like those that already have a deep well of exposure and a foundation to build on. But what about the new brands, the ones that nobody even knows about? Life and death of your brand may be at stake and the important decision of where to find a good agency has major effects.
So where do you go?
There are obviously searches you can do online by combining a bunch of seemingly unrelated words together to see if there is an agency out there for you, but that won’t always be helpful. You could come up with the perfect “boutique coffee retailer agency” but if they are in Hawaii then they are probably not going to be much use to you since they won’t know all that much about your market.
A great place to start is an agency list that allows you to select by a region or city that is close to your business, such as AgencyList.org They allow to you search specifically for the city that you are located in and then you have access to all of the top ad agencies, web design firms, or video production companies, amongst others, that are in your area. This is your best place to begin.
Some companies have very good relationships with other companies and are able to ask for a referral to some agencies that may be good for them. Unfortunately, if the agency already is representing one of your competitors then they will probably have to turn you away on ethical grounds unless there is enough separation between the brands.
Don’t get too caught up in flashy presentations and promises made in order to get a retainer check, but another great place to start is building a list of agencies that may be a good fit for your brand and then sending each one an RFP, or Request For Proposal. This will get you in the door and will be the kickoff to a series of meetings and consultations with them so that they can pitch their agency to you. This is not all for fun though. You should limit the number that you engage in this manner because these sorts of things take up a lot of resources as they court your brand.
All in all there are many ways that a new brand to agency relationship develops and they all happen in different ways. You really have to just try what works for you in particular. Take a look at agencies’ previous work and if you feel like you mesh well with the people involved.