10 Tips for Finding an Agency
If you don't use a consultant, use other available resources. Ask colleagues who have conducted searches for suggestions. Consult resources such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies, The Direct Marketing Association and the Advertising Red Book for lists of appropriate agencies.
4. Notify your agency.
Once you have a plan for interim work, let your agency go. Check your contract terms to make sure you give the appropriate amount of notice and give it to the agency in writing. Visit the head of your agency team and be direct about your reasons for leaving. Discuss options for a smooth transition.
While most agencies respond professionally, some may have more drastic reactions. It's not unheard of for an agency to immediately quit work on unfinished projects.
Note: It has never been my experience that keeping an existing agency in the review is wise. In most cases, all you get from your current agency is a temporary improvement and a return to old habits. Be prepared for this request and have an answer ready.
5. Set your criteria.
Gather the decision-makers in your company and get their wish list of agency needs. What do they love or hate in an agency? Prioritize these needs into a specific itemized list of criteria. Quantifiable objectives help keep the selection process on track. These criteria are used to prepare questionnaires, evaluate responses and choose an agency. For instance, if your programs are primarily direct marketing, make that experience a high priority.
Determine the size of agency you require. If you choose too large an agency, your account may get lost in the shuffle. Likewise, if it is too small you may overwhelm it.
6. Start your search.
Prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) to screen agencies. A good RFP contains an overview of your company and its current programs and gathers information from the agency, such as contact information and ownership, questions about specific client relationships and experience, staff and their backgrounds, and how the agency charges. Be specific and keep the RFP brief.