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HOW TO: Choose the right agency

Selecting an agency has been compared to getting married. Client meets agency, they get to know each other, the appointment is made and they all live happily ever after, or not. These so-called partnerships, generally, last no longer than a couple of months and for some this is the desired effect – a pick-me-up Thai bride – however for B2B marketers looking for a long-term ally the selection process is key.

With so much to consider it can be bewildering and thus tempting to simplify the process into meet, greet, brief and pitch. And therein the problem lies – no relationship should be entered so hastily, especially in B2B where the communication challenges are doublefold to those in B2C.

The first question to ask is whether a new agency is necessary? If the incumbent is no longer producing quality work or the relationship has deteriorated, then it is time to start looking. However, if it's company policy that the agency is reviewed at year-end, regardless of its performance, is a dubious use of time and perhaps it should be this procedure, not the agency that is reviewed.