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Evolution of our industry: Shortlist for short projects

The start of last year brought the usual New Year predictions, all stymied by the pandemic, writes Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS). Now, the blank slate that is 2021 is seeing innovators seeking opportunities and creating new solutions.
Photo by Lukas© from Pexels

As a leading intermediary consultancy focusing on the optimal marketer-agency relationship, the IAS quickly notes and explores trends and workable new ideas that are beneficial to all parties.

While the relationship between marketers and their agencies is usually a long and fruitful one and this will not change, Covid-19 has generated many requests from marketers for IAS assistance in finding agencies to help with short-term communications projects to supplement and give additional support to existing agency relationships.

Based on this demand and Scopen research that backs it up, the IAS delved into the value of small, agile agencies being able to step in when a marketer requires a specific skill set and ability within an exacting timeline.
Lessons in courage and innovation in a pandemic

The sheer enormity of the sudden-onset Covid crises took the wind out of sails across all industries, globally. However, writes CEO of the IAS and Scopen partner Johanna McDowell, there are gems shining brightly across the marketing landscape everywhere...

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Pre-qualified shortlisted agencies


The result is a “shortlist for short projects”, where marketers are introduced to the agencies the IAS has determined are best suited to their immediate requirements. This obviates the need for the long exploration process that usually goes into finding the right fit and presents marketers with a small, pre-qualified choice.

Typically, the short-term projects are in the areas of crisis comms, internal comms, social media management, PR and reputation management, digital requirements, and the like.

The IAS offering a list of five agencies in total, with experience in the relevant disciplines that marketers require, including the following:
  • Detailed agency business credentials such as size of agency, location, BEE level, capabilities, case studies / examples of work
  • Key contact person at each agency with all the necessary contact details
  • Researched opinion on each agency from the IAS regarding competence and track record

Marketers will be able to select one or more agencies from the shortlist to interact and communicate with directly. The IAS will not manage a pitch process in this instance, but merely supply relevant credentials and contact details.

Because interesting times call for specialised assistance, this offering is proving to be a robust addition to the marketer’s arsenal, while generating cashflow among the smaller agencies that have the capacity to step up for brief, often once-off projects.

Time is money – and in this economy, you can take smart, novel creativity and rapid execution of projects to the bank.

About Johanna McDowell

Johanna McDowell counsels clients and agencies around expectations in the advertising, marketing process. She is CEO of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS) and managing partner for SCOPEN in the UK and South Africa. Contact Johanna on tel +27 (0)10 594 0281, email her at az.oc.noitcelesycnega@annahoj and follow her on Twitter at @jomcdowell.
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