How to get the most out of your creative agency.
It’s hard to know exactly how a creative agency can make your job easier, especially when you already have so many internal touch points that make tracking your work a handful, but that is exactly what your creative agency is for. Beyond the face of your Account Manager, there is a whole graphic design team that is supporting you through a project, meaning you can lean on them more than you think!
Here are some tips to keep in mind for when you next work with an agency:
Work WITH your agency!
On developing a brief at the start.
Developing a precise brief at the very start of a project will be the best thing you do for you… and your schedule! By putting in the time in the early stages of a project, it can save you time (and money) in the long run by ensuring the brief achieves your key business objectives, compliments your marketing strategy and the creative direction you had in mind.
A good idea is to work with your Account Manager to develop your brief; they will be able to ask you questions that make you think about the project in ways you have not considered previously. Go into the project with some business goals in mind, you can then work with the creative team on identifying the best solution for your business needs. Here is a quick rundown of what a brief requires:
- The objective or goal – we want to make you look good, so let us in on the internal motivators for the campaign.
- Key messages; do you need a copywriter? Or are we repurposing existing key messages? Does it align with your existing marketing strategy if you have one?
- Mandatories; logos, images, colours, font sizes, any elements you know you need to have included to get approval!
- Specs, specs, specs. If we don’t know what sizes to build assets, we can’t build anything (we will try though…!).
- Deadlines; your Account Manager will help manage these for you, but if they are tight deadlines, we will always push things through as quickly as possible!
- Budgets; let us know what budgets you are working with, so we can ensure we stay within this.
On establishing the business problem that has resulted in this project.
Be frank as to what the business problem is. Your agency will become your business partner. Has your business seen a decrease in sales and you don’t know why? Are you losing clients to a key competitor? Share these findings with your agency, as they will develop a strategy and solution to resolve this. The best thing about your agency is that they will look at a project in an entirely different way to you, and by sharing these details, we can provide this input.
Know the full extent of the services offered.
It’s likely that your agency offers more than what you realise. Do they build websites? Do they offer digital audits? How about SEO management? Do they specialise in branding? These are things that could benefit your business that you may not have even thought of for your next project or campaign. If you don’t know what your agency offers, ask your Account Manager. They will able to discuss your business strategy and what services would best align to achieve your goals.
This point can link to the ‘establishing the business problem’ dot point above, but it’s so important we think it warrants its own section!
Have an idea but you’re not sure how to execute it? Ask your Account Manager. Have a business problem and you don’t know how to best use your agency to fix it? Ask your Account Manager. Even if you have a business problem and an idea to remedy this, ask your Account Manager what they think!
When working on a creative project, the more ideas and input that is provided, the chances of success are bound to increase. Why? Creativity is perceived differently by everyone, so the more minds involved, the more ideas and discussions will result. You will never regret discussing ideas, but you certainly can regret not seeking enough ideas.
Set the tone for your working relationship upfront.
What we mean by this is making it known to your Account Manager how you work. Consider these notes; do you travel lots? Are you a person who likes to discuss creativity in person? What is your availability like? These questions could highlight how you best work with your agency.
We know there is nothing worse than to return to your desk to endless emails when you would have preferred a phone call… but perhaps you do prefer emails that you can read through to catch up on. If we know how you like to work, we can approach the working relationship to mould into your existing work life. Working with a design agency is no ‘copy and paste’ exercise, and we understand that everyone works differently, so let us tailor this experience to you!
Working with an agency can sometimes seem like another contact you have to worry about in the midst of a busy project, but we are here to make your life easier, your campaign punchier and your brand stronger!
Article by Bianca Hackman, Account Manager, Algo Más