A recent study of the relationship between business owners and their marketing partners found that
only 44 percent of clients surveyed were happy with the performance of their current agency partner.

While this figure is roughly unchanged from previous years, the findings do raise a number of interesting points — especially in respects to the evaluation process for RFP submissions.

It’s really easy for a client to fall in love with the big shiny proposal idea or the notion of partnering with the hottest or biggest agency in town. The thing to remember and what this research validates is
the business case for relevant expertise and experience.

As the study points out, 77 percent of marketers surveyed agreed that demonstrating an understanding of their market is among the most critical aspects of an agency pitch (creativity was 72 percent).This suggests savvy marketers today are more concerned about finding a strategic partner who can help with their business versus just another "idea shop” – and that direct industry experience is what matters most.

For Airfoil, this correlates to the work we do in the technology industry. Our experience isn’t something that we sprinkle into an RFP response just to win a piece of business.

Our ability to better understand and proactively address the challenges of marketing technology products and services is central to everything we do … and it represents a key competitive advantage for our agency.

It’s when this ability or know-how is paired with shiny big idea that something special results.

— Janet Tyler is co-founder and president of Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.