Agency consulting


Chooseagency tracks the majority of most advertising, design, media, and digital communication agencies in Norway. Chooseagency aims to simplify and professionalise the process of choosing an agency for customers. For agencies we aim to offer a more predictable, transparent and less time-consuming process. We recommend all agencies to register – and update their profile information – on www.adstrument.com, a very strong “agency bank”. A solid registration here will improve your chances for an invitation to any pitch.

Agency consulting

Agency consulting is still relatively new in Norway, but it is common worldwide. It quite simply is about helping customers choosing the right agency for the assignments at hand and help them through the process.

Chooseagency is the only Norwegian agency that is a member of ANAC, an organisation for Nordic agency consultants. We are also associated to AdForum, which negotiates contracts worth more than three billion dollars a year worldwide.

Our process

Exceptions and variations aside; this describes the core of our process:

  • The customer defines its needs and wishes
  • We approach these analytically, follow up with control questions and create an internal document. Here the customer’s ambitions are balanced with realistic ambitions. Potential requirements are defined, for instance minimum size of agency, formal requirements, strategic or creative abilities, weight given to awards or not, project manager skills, linguistic aptitude etc.
  • These requirements are measured up against the agencies. Based on agreed-upon criteria we select a smaller number of agencies that we present for the customer. In dialogue with the customer a new number of agencies are eliminated. At this point we are often left with ten or less. The agencies are given seven days to answer a questionnaire divided into formal and strategic sections, giving the agencies a maximum of two pages to answer. The formal section includes confirming formalities about the company, making potential conflicts of interest known, as well as providing the agencies with a more accurate description of the desired qualifications. The strategic section is typically a small challenge set to define the customers potential.
  • Based on the questionnaire five agencies are invited to a “chemistry meeting”. These are meetings of 45 minutes, where we get to know each other and go through the agency’s questionnaire answers.
  • After the “chemistry meeting” three to five agencies are invited to join the actual agency competition.
  • The competitions can vary both in size and complexity. We recommend simple and specific challenges with a modest remuneration. Again there are many alternatives. Usually one provides the agencies with confidential insight and four weeks to solve the challenge. We recommend a workshop with all the agencies in question.
  • There are great variations in formality requirements throughout the process. International and large customers often have their own procurement departments involved either early on or later in the process, and a requirement for an Excel sheet might present itself. We promise to do what we can to keep it as simple as possible.

Our role

Chooseagency focuses on steady progress, impartiality and sincere feedback to the agencies that are eliminated. The agencies can trust that they will receive predictable communication as to how the process will be carried through. They are also guaranteed that they are not wasting their time along with an unnecessary large amount of agencies being invited to the final. Their first competition task should require no more than one to two days worth of work; come the final the agency will know that they are competing with two to four others. Chooseagency assists the customers with templates, models, and evaluation and progress forms. We never make the choice. We advise and counsel, notably in the initial phase, but the final decision is always the customer’s.

Advice to agencies

Agencies that get cut often have this in common:

  • A lack of strategic or industry insight
  • The agency chief executives present the team; the team keeps silent – the customer is scared to choose them
  • The project managers do not present themselves adequately. The customer is far more interested in the project managers than the project manager or the agency understands.
  • The team is incoherent. Show-offs compete for attention and acclaim – a poor show of co-operation
  • The pitch documents have not been fully understood or properly read
  • Too cool or too arrogant. A few agencies have received so many awards and honours that the customers are lucky to work with them. Professional customers do not want that kind of agency.

Agencies that go all the way to the final often have this in common:

  • Good team chemistry
  • Skilled, experienced and confident project managers who present the pitches
  • Have put themselves in the customer’s position and demonstrate it without being explicit
  • They dare to say that they do not know, but allow themselves to have an opinion
  • Våger å peke ut retninger uten å være ”høye og mørke”
  • They dare to point out directions without being “tall and dark”

Follow-up

In the aftermath of a process all the participating agencies may receive an explanation as to why they did or did not make it all the way. In many cases we see that the agencies were not able to show their full capability. Chooseagency offers counselling to those who want to improve their sales introduction processes.

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