Agency Listing Databases

Just had a comment from “the world at large.” That’d be one of you guys. And it sparked an interesting thought around agency listing databases. There are a handful of online places you can throw your agency’s information into with the hopes that a prospect will contact you.

First off, know these kinds of databases are a good thing. Because they get used by marketers when they need an agency. Not a bad time to have your information in front of a buyer!

Most of the databases have a “free” level of participation. You should definitely take advantage of them. Why not? It’s message distribution. Most of them have will have increased levels of participation for a price. Want your work on the site? Pay a bit more. Etc.

Over the years I’ve run across three types of databases out there. And there are, of course, new ones that show up every so often. The difference between them is in the business models – how they make most of their money.

  1. Media-managed databases. These guys don’t offer anything to either party (buyer or seller) beyond the information itself.
  2. Consultant-managed databases. Many search consultants offer agencies the chance to drop add their information into their databases. There are some consultants who will offer services to both agencies or clients. Should pitch opportunities come about from these sources, you should understand what role the consultant will play in the process. And who’s paying them!
  3. Company-managed databases. These are models where accessing the database is free for the marketers to use. By and large, these will deliver smaller sized pitches. Marketers using these sources don’t usually bring on a search consultant (for whatever reason).

So, how do you know which database is for you? Which ones are worth more of your money to buy a larger presence? Some starter questions to ask the database manager:

  • What kind of volume can we expect?
  • What’s the typical size and scope of assignments?
  • How do you create marketer awareness of your offering?
  • What’s your role (if any) throughout the process?
  • What kind of traffic do you get?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of the database?
  • What are some examples you can provide of marketers who have used the database?
  • What’s the agency listing retention rate?
  • How many agencies are listed?

If you’ve found a database that doesn’t fall into one of the three categories mentioned, please share with the class. Thanks. And happy listings!