A Fast, Decisive Approach to Marketing Agency Selection

New age digital companies lead the way in 21st century marketing agency selection

In 2015 Freedman won a number of new clients of different sizes and from a variety of different industries. We are helping them to grow faster and improve their global marketing efficiency.

This wave of exciting new clients has given us a fascinating insight into the ways new companies born into the digital age structure their business and manage their international marketing growth compared with more traditional, established multi-nationals.

Many of Freedman’s client wins in 2015 have followed a similar pattern:

  • They check out our ways of working and costs
  • They identify the services they need
  • They like what they see and sign up
  • The partnership gets off to a fast start with mutual growth objectives under way
  • Huge amounts of time and money are saved from extensive negotiations

Typically within 3 or 4 weeks from initial engagement, we are working together with a scope of work (SOW) or signed contract already in place. This is in contrast to established company contracts which often involve multiple stakeholders buy in, procurement led RFPs with long drawn out negotiations.

The benefits of this fast and decisive approach are numerous:

  • Senior client stakeholders’ time is freed up
  • Client service gaps and problems are solved quickly
  • International growth can move forward
  • You can keep up-to-date with marketing services as you are not losing any time
  • Agency prices are more competitive as they don’t need to recover extensive costs from negotiation

The traditional process can often carry on for months, involving big RFP documents for clients to put together and agencies to fill in with presentations and meetings to follow. This can in itself amount to 100’s of hours work on both sides, often at contractor rates which is hugely expensive. Being honest with yourself; are all elements of these vast RFP documents read and taken into account by all key stakeholders? Despite this wealth of information, the selection often comes down to 2 straight forward criteria: Do we have confidence that the selected agencies can deliver the required service? Once the agencies to which the answer to this question is yes have been identified, it typically comes down to the simple matter of who can deliver the service at the best price.

But I can almost hear you talking to your screen: shouldn’t businesses be doing proper due diligence on the agencies they work with? Shouldn’t they be looking at competitors through an official tender or RFP to make sure they are getting the right service at the right cost? I can also hear you saying: for large, established companies we have a tried and tested process of procurement led negotiations which has yielded great cost savings in the past and ensures we get the right agency solution for our business. Slowing the whole process down means we can ensure getting the right solution at the best possible price.

Digital marketing in 2015 moves super fast, companies who make quick decisions are the ones more likely to succeed. If you snooze, you lose. If it takes you several months to decide on your agency and solution of choice, by the time you start working together the solution can be out of date and you have lost several months of the benefits of working in the new way.

You can usually bypass this long and inefficient process by:

  • Picking the best agency or 2 which fits the bill
  • Testing their credentials by talking to them about relevant client stories
  • Asking to speak to 1 or 2 of their existing clients
  • Doing a few cost comparisons to make sure you are getting the right price
  • And if you like what you hear, get a SOW or contract in place and start working straight away

Put simply: move quickly and efficiently and reap the rewards!

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Freedman International
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