Why Clients Shouldn’t Do Their Own Agency Searches or Reviews.


I have read that 75% to 80% of clients do their own reviews and they shouldn’t.

Why?  Because clients can’t possibly be current on the agency landscape that is changing quickly and dynamically.

The agency world is much different than it was two years ago. 

Social media wasn’t as ubiquitous two years ago.

A client would be hard pressed keeping up on technology, social and economic changes, their business and the rapidly changing agency world.

Also advertising is an industry of hyperbole and embellishment and separating fact from fiction takes knowledge and scrutiny.

What you see and read is not always totally true.

Like people, like families, like some companies, some agencies are dysfunctional and the people that work there don’t work well together. You certainly don’t want to park your account there. Knowing those things take intelligence and somebody that is operating in those world on a constant basis.

Also conducting an agency search takes a long time.  Generally in my experience at least 12 weeks.  Most clients do not have that amount of additional time to really manage the process in addition to their current workload in this economic environment where positions have been cut while the workload has in most places increased and the need for need for quick responsiveness accelerated.

On occasion I have been brought in to help with a review that the client has started on their own.

I often find that the agencies that have been invited to participate aren’t the right potential partners for the client.  Their cost structures might not align with the client’s budget.  They don’t have the right experience.

These agencies came from recommendations the client received from their marketing friends.  But these people most likely work in different verticals with different issues and their problems and needs are much different.

I could find much better candidates but the timeline often doesn’t allow the process to be restarting.  In the end this leads to situations where the relationship and the tasks to be completed can be compromised from the beginning.

I also advise clients that during their watch they are stewards of the brand.  As such they own the brand a review process that insures the best outcome and that is a review process managed by a skilled agency search profession.

Hank Blank conducts agency reviews and searches for clients.  He completed the searches for Jenny Craig, Villeroy & Boch and Raley’s Supermarkets.


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