In my last blog, I went through a few tips to help your business run an effective agency pitching and selection process. I'm now going to go through the actual selection process in a bit more detail, helping you choose the best possible agency for you.
Take the time to speak with agencies before launching the actual pitching process. You'll often have a specific solution or project in mind when you begin to put together your brief, but it's worth speaking with a few agencies beforehand to get their opinions on the best way to solve your problem.
Often brands are too close to their own product or service, and don't always consider all available options when they construct their briefs. By speaking with agencies beforehand, you can get some initial rough ideas on ways to tackle a project, and they can help you shape your brief. This will also help you answer a number of questions:
All of these will help you to construct a strong brief, and pick the right agencies to pitch for you.
Often brands are too close to their own product or service, and don't always consider all available options when they construct their briefs.
Once you've sent out the brief, try to support participating agencies as much as possible. As an agency, it's frustrating to have questions around a brief, and receive an out-of-office email from a potential client saying they're out on holiday until the date of the pitch! The more you help agencies by providing the right information around your business, the stronger their pitches will be.
If you can, try not to have an old-fashioned procurement process where answers to each agencies' questions are sent over email and shared with all of the competing agencies. The point of the pitching process is to help you select the right agency, and you should reward those asking intelligent questions!
Once you've decided which agency to go with, it's important to start the relationship on the right foot. With that in mind:
Finally, remember that agencies aren't a silver bullet. They won't come in and solve all of your business' issues in a short period of time. Provide as much time and support as the agency needs and try and keep some budget available to deal with future scope creep.