“Behind-the-Scenes Agency Search Expertise for Marketing Clients and Procurement” by Lee Anne Morgan & Arthur Anderson

‘Tools + Counsel

Situation

More and more agency searches are being conducted by marketers today, and an increasing number are done “hands on” by corporate procurement with input from corporate marketing and without external consultants.  Since the agency search and selection process is a combination of art + science, for some time now there has been a need for procurement in particular to have ready access to tools + counsel deemed “best practice” by agencies and marketers for this area.  This is why Morgan Anderson has launched a new agency search service that is cost effective and provides best practice ‘Tools + Counsel’ to corporate procurement and marketing.

‘Tools + Counsel’ has not before been available from any independent consultant expert and is now provided on a cost effective basis by Morgan Anderson as a stand-alone service to clients who wish to manage their own agency search.  This service is in addition to Morgan Anderson’s “hands on” external management of agency search/selection for marketers.

Basic Service

Feature 1:  Tools & Templates

With this new Basic Service, Morgan Anderson provides an extensive suite of proprietary “best practice” management tools in the form of proven templates that support a client’s self-management of its agency search.

These templates are derived from Morgan Anderson’s experience over the past 20 years managing the agency search/selection process for marketers. And, they span all aspects of a “best practice” agency search that can be readily customized by a client to the extent needed for the areas that comprise an agency search process:

Search/Selection Criteria. A template for determining Agency search and selection criteria, including rating/weighting factors, which are critical to achieving internal alignment among stakeholders. This is the first of several critical documents that helps to maintain a level playing field for the agencies throughout the process.

Agency Vetting. A data/content gathering template for creating the Master Agency List from which a ‘qualified’ Long List is determined (Excel format).

The RFI. The contents, structure, and clarity of the RFI are critical to assessing and trimming to a Long List, then to a Finalist List. We provide an outline for the Agency RFI that can, and should, be customized to the Client’s needs.

The NDA. Prior to submitting the RFI to a “qualified” Long List, a mutual Client/Agency NDA template is provided, which protects the Client and Agencies.

Agency Snapshot. This is an effective “internal” management tool and template for a written “agency snapshot” in summing up each Finalist Agency’s strengths/limitations for internal corporate use.

Briefing Finalist Agencies. We provide a composite Briefing outline, drawn from state-of-the-art major marketer briefings, to use for Finalist Agencies. An example of an Agency Finalist presentation assignment is included in the Briefing document. The content and manner in which the Agency Briefing is conducted can help, or hinder, a level-playing field.

Scope of Work (SOW). This is a ‘how to’ develop a SOW together with Scope of Work template examples. This is yet another critical, touchstone document to help establish and maintain a level playing field in the search process.

Staffing + Compensation. Using Morgan Anderson methodology, definitions, and terms, our comprehensive agency staffing and compensation Questionnaire template results in comparable agency fee information and helps maintain a level playing field.

Strategic Work Sessions. Agenda items for “strategic” work sessions with Finalist Agencies are discussed and finalized per Client needs.

Creative Work Sessions. As above for “creative” work sessions with Finalist Agencies.

Best Practice Agency Contract. Best practice contract provisions, often overlooked or not stated clearly enough, are provided for consideration in the corporation’s full legal contract.

Evaluations. We provide a clear, succinct one-page evaluation format for each milestone in the process. These are for internal use and contain a rating and weighting methodology. These can/should be customized by each Client to meet its needs. These templates are useful for internal stakeholder deliberations and help make subjective aspects of the search process more objective.

Feature 2:  Expert Counsel & Advice

Complementing and expanding on Feature 1, principals of Morgan Anderson will personally advise procurement and marketing behind-the-scenes on any aspect of the search process needed. The Basic Service offering comprises telephone and e-mail communications throughout.  To the extent customized additional services are needed above and beyond the Basic Service, these can be provided.

Benefits

  • Client receives the work product and advice of highly experienced search consultants who know how to work with procurement, marketing, C-suite, franchise, and other stakeholders
  • This is a low-cost way to assure yourself of Morgan Anderson knowledge and quality for an agency search that is internally managed
  • Client receives “proven” major marketer best practice management tools, as well as Morgan Anderson counsel, emanating from a broad range of types and sizes of agency searches
  • The value-add fixed fee for ‘Tools + Counsel’ for the Basic Service is $18,000 per search.

Conditions: For this Basic Service offering, we do not go into the field, or on site at agencies or client, nor write the client’s actual search documents.  We do, however, comment on client documents forwarded to us for review and give counsel when and how needed.

Additional Services

An agency search can go in different directions and there may be issues or needs that the client encounters that go beyond our Basic Service.  For example, additional (optional) services could use Morgan Anderson for one or more of the following highly customized offerings:

Conduct the agency vetting process

Conduct the agency RFI process

Counsel client on developing a best practice Scope of Work

Manage the screening process to identify finalists

Facilitate communications with the agencies up to the Finalist meetings

Write, submit, and analyze the agency Staffing and Compensation Questionnaire

Develop and apply benchmarks relevant to the situation

Negotiate and interface with finalist agencies to resolve contract and compensation issues

On-site training (you name the subject)

We can discuss the cost regarding the addition of some, or all, of these services should you decide you need supplemental support beyond our Basic Services offering.


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