All the agency-selection advice given to prospects by associations, books, periodicals, and websites stress the importance of an agency tour before final selection.

Every book on selecting an agency recommends going on an agency tour.

Every book on selecting an agency recommends going on an agency tour.

Additionally all search consultants strongly stress the importance of the advertising agency tour before appointing an agency. Much time in the search process directed by search consultants is devoted to touring the agencies in the chase.

With such an emphasis on touring the agency, surprisingly few agencies are set up for a tour. And the concept that a tour can be “won” by one agency is foreign to most agency management.

At Sanders Consulting Group we realized some time ago that the agency tour could be a major differentiator between competing firms. And that a proper tour was less about your building’s architecture or interior design but much more about branding and demonstrating desire.

Tour Details:

Here’s the way to look at it. The average tour should take 30-45 minutes for a 6-person firm, a 60-person firm, and a 600-person firm. It’s a capabilities presentation that you give by walking around so size doesn’t matter.

Key elements include client clusters, impact areas, process walls, interest points, sight gags, range-of-service spots, and more. And throughout the tour, your chemistry has to sparkle through.

Your Most Interesting Day.

Think of the tour as a walk through your firm on its most interesting day with lots of things going on. When you stage a tour this way, clients light up. And, we believe, mentally choose you.

Weave the following elements into a walk around:

  • Client clusters
  • Impact areas
  • Interest areas
  • Agency points of view
  • Agency processes
  • Agency philosophy
  • Creative reel shown in the creative director’s office

Advertising Agency Tour Payoff.

The payoff for a proper tour is tremendous. Major accounts worth hundreds of millions have been won on a good tour. And lost on a bad tour. Major car accounts have been won and lost on the basis of the tour. It’s the tie-breaker, the thing that separates agencies from each other. It’s a living, breathing demonstration of what working with you might be like, and clients love it when you do the tour right.

For more information on how to set up a winning tour at your agency, contact Sanders Consulting Group at [email protected] or just call 412.897.9329. It’s a service we provide long distance over the phone if needed or on-site at your convenience.

Photo credit: one-little-thing