Hiring a Creative Agency

Technology sector B2B client needs to hire a creative agency that has an expertise in print advertising.

SITUATION icon_asses

Client had been using print advertising as an awareness tactic in their local market for several years but they felt they had outgrown the capabilities of their current agency. Client now wanted an agency that would develop ads grounded in its new positioning that would create stronger local awareness for its brand.

ACTIONS icon_act

  • Create a list of potential agencies based on research with marketing peers, the client’s own marketplace knowledge, other referrals and an online search.
  • Initially vetted 10+ agencies via their websites
  • Created a spreadsheet that compared each agency on key factors based on the information provided on their websites including
    • Perceived extent of B2B focus with a rating of high, medium, low
    • Print experience and range based on work shown in online portfolio
    • How much we liked the work in their portfolio based on a rating scale of 1-5
    • Representative clients, potential conflicts and experience in our category
  • Independently reviewed websites and discussed spreadsheet information as a team to identify agencies we were most interested in learning more about
  • Conducted initial phone interviews with five top agencies to better understand:
    • Typical client size by dollar spend
    • Size of team
    • Experience in client’s sector
    • Potential conflicts of interest
    • Agency’s self-identified primary area of expertise
    • Percentage of current accounts that were B2B
  • Asked top three agencies if they would be interested in participating in Request for Information (RFI) process
  • Created streamlined RFI document with dual aim of:
    • Gathering critical information for client
    • Minimizing amount of work required by agency
      • For example, we asked for examples of existing work that solved problems analogous to the challenges we were facing
  • Reviewed RFI’s and identified final round agencies. In this case, all three agencies submitting RFI’s were asked to move forward to the next stage.
    • Client would have been happy to work with any of the three agencies based on the above screenings
  • Client executive team and Argentum Strategy Group met with the three agencies in-person at the agencies’ offices to evaluate proposals and determine best cultural fit.
  • Created agency scorecard for client to rate agencies along key dimensions to help with recall of concrete examples during debrief meeting
  • Led client team debrief and agency selection meeting

SOLUTIONS icon_sol

  • Identified agency that was best fit in terms of both culture and portfolio. In this case, Geile/Leon Marketing Communications in St. Louis was selected.
  • Agency developed differentiated, relevant print that aligned with the client’s brand positioning.
  • Print generated positive response and awareness for client.