Agency Search and Selection

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Agency Search and Selection

Are you looking to find the right advertising agency for your business? Do you want to appoint an agency but don’t know which are best in class?

Do your company’s agency search processes consider the complexities of the marketing and communication industry?  How do you test agencies to ensure that you identify all of the required skills and competencies?

The advertising pitch process can be expensive, time consuming, disruptive, and can drain company resources if not well managed. Running a successful advertising pitch requires a high level of due diligence and governance to ensure the outcome is positive for all participants, and to avoid any potential reputation damage.  

As advertising pitch consultants, Yardstick has developed MatchMaker™, a proprietary pitch facilitation process. MatchMaker™ has been very well received by the marketing and communication industry, as it enhances the transparency and credibility of the creative pitch process, one that is often perceived to be subjective and ineffective.  

Yardstick has unequaled experience in facilitating large and complex agency tender and pitch processes. We facilitate more than 30 agency appointment processes, screen more than 450 agency credentials and facilitate at least 120 pitch presentations per year. The overall term value of the contracts entered into is close to R 5-billion.

We have successfully facilitated pitches for clients based in South Africa, as well as other countries in Africa, and in Europe. We have assisted clients in appointing global networks, integrated holding agencies and specialist agencies.

Our pitch management work has resulted in Yardstick being voted the Most Admired Pitch Consultancy in SA in 2014 and 2015

What are the benefits?

By entrusting the facilitation of your pitch to Yardstick, you will receive the following benefits:

  • A truly transparent, professional, credible, and auditable process that enhances good corporate governance, guarantees commercial peace of mind and leaves less chance of any undue influencing of the final selection.
  • The ability to remain focused on your core business, as Yardstick takes on many of the time-consuming administrative tasks usually associated with pitching the advertising, PR, digital, or media account.
  • Access to skilled and experienced marketing resources, as well as the latest industry trends and best practices.
  • Access to tried and tested advertising pitch tables, templates and scorecards vital for advertising and marketing RFIs and RFPs.
  • Development of succinct pitch briefs, that test for the correct skills and competencies required by your business.
  • A full analysis of commercial, legal, and resource requirements.

Case studies

Setting Pitch Benchmark in SA

When one of SA’s largest advertisers decided to put their account out to pitch, Yardstick persuaded them to depart from the usual ‘full strategy and creative’ pitch.  Whilst skeptical at first, they agreed to a brave, new pitch approach.  It took a carefully crafted brief, well thought through pitch tasks, detailed evaluation criteria and a well-constructed pitch scorecard to allow pitching agencies to demonstrate all required capabilities.  The pitch set a new benchmark in SA and has won the client much deserved accolades and respect from the industry.

Non Advertising Pitch

When South Africa’s multi-million rand media industry needed to appoint new research companies to conduct radio, print, digital and TV audience currency surveys as well as a new Establishment Survey they needed to work with consultants who could guarantee faultless governance and robust processes. Yardstick was appointed to run the entire tender process.  We assisted in scoping the research requirements and worked alongside global experts to ensure that SA’s studies were on par with global Gold Standards. To ensure a speedy conclusion of contracts, we prepared detailed negotiation term sheets and guided the negotiation team through the process.

Pitches outside SA

1. Yardstick’s reputation for running well governed, fair and transparent pitches extends beyond the borders of SA.  When the relationship between a telecommunications provider and its TTL agency terminated, they did not want a repeat of the industry outcry that accompanied their previous pitch process.  Yardstick’s in-depth knowledge of agencies and agency networks – not only in SA, but also in the rest of Africa – allowed a search and selection process that included all qualifying agencies in their country and resulted in them selecting the best qualified partner through a tightly governed process. Compliments, instead of complaints, rolled in.

2. Yardstick has had the opportunity to assist clients with the selection and appointment of agency partners internationally. A multi-national client in the liquor industry required an agency partner to look after one of their global brands in the French market. Yardstick is part of an international network of agency selection consultants and collaborated with a consultant based in Paris to gain access to local market knowledge on agencies. Through their global best practices, Yardstick was then able to facilitate the entire selection and appointment of a suitable agency for the brand including running the pitch process in Paris.