Under economic pressure, more and more marketers are skipping search consultants and taking agency reviews into their own hands.

Search consultants operate on a fee-for-service basis, and their pricing varies based on the size and complexity of the review. Fees can span anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000, according to one search consultant who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

But in some cases, fees can reach millions of dollars, “depending on the scope of the review,” according to Greg Paull, principal of consultancy R3.

“Some search consultants are subsidized by agencies and media vendors which might make them seem more cost-efficient, but marketers need to weigh that against the cost of independence and transparency,” Paull said.

Marketers are also spearheading pitches in an attempt to find their own strategic partners who can elevate their return on investment, especially as CMOs have faced more turnover in recent years.

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