This approach leads to short-termism. “The agency churn is the main reason for the shrinking tenure of the CMO, now two to three years. What hurts CMOs is the fact that the pitch process is geared for delivering mediocrity and safe results. If an agency is investing major time and money into a pitch, very few shops are brave enough to go out on a limb to put forward an earth-shattering new concept. It's too risky in a pitch,” according to the article. “Hiring an agency that would deliver a substandard, low-risk work is a sure path to the demise of the CMO that hired them.”
It may be better to “beta test” agency candidates by using a collaborative approach. You can start by bringing on a few agencies and pay them a fair, but not excessive, price to collaborate with your team on a real project for a few months. You should treat it as an ongoing relationship even as you are evaluating a future together.
“You then can decide which agency makes the most sense to commit to, based on their thinking, cultural fit, ideas, achievement and commitment to the brand,” according to the article.