Some of the most creative work of all time has come from some beautiful partnerships: Frida and Diego, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, Eminem and Dr. Dre. Although they were all capable of amazing things on their own, collaborating and conspiring together produced work that has gone down in history. Why it might be a stretch to compare the partnership of a business and its creative agency to the musical genius of “My Name Is,” they can surely teach us about the power of putting two great minds together for one creative goal. The following are helpful hints for getting the most out of your agency so they can produce better content and improve your brand and marketing tactics.
- CLARIFY GOALS BUT BE FLEXIBLE
Before approaching your creative agency spend time contemplating your specific goals and objectives. What is your budget? Who is your audience? Should you conduct market research beforehand? What is your timeframe? What are you trying to accomplish outside of just increasing sales? Keep in mind that your initial conversation with the agency will set the tone of all future conversations, so be specific while also allowing room to let those creative juices flow. These are experts in the field who know the science behind advertising and how best to promote your company. By all means, provide your creative input, but always be open to opinions.
- DEFINE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
An unorganized campaign can be detrimental to its overall success and make the process difficult for both parties. From the beginning, define who will be handling the project on your end and who will be the primary point-of-contact. Ten people communicating with the creative team will waste time for everyone and can misconstrue the original goals. Furthermore, when the agency is presenting their work, make sure you have all key decision-makers in the room. It shows respect to the team and keeps the process running efficiently.
- DEVELOP AN APPROVAL WORKFLOW
You know the old saying “too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth”? The same applies here. From the start, define how you will go about approving work. You may want to get a second and even third opinion, which is fine, but gather input from appropriate parties and come to decisions together. If every stakeholder goes home and asks their spouse to weigh in on a creative campaign they’ll come back on different pages and the impact of the project will be affected.
When measuring your opinion of a campaign or design, don’t just give a yes or no answer. Feedback should be respectful but meaningful. There’s no doubt that your creative agency wants you to have just what you are looking for and they value real input. Also, offer praise when they do create good work! A client who shows their appreciation can motivate and encourage the design team to put forth their most creative work yet.
- BE PATIENT AND HELPFUL
Patience has to come from both ends of the partnership. For your business, patience means giving the agency enough time to accomplish the next milestone and keeping in mind the time and energy it takes to create truly effective work. Just as you expect the agency to meet deadlines, provide the information they need when they need it, whether that be photos, changes, copy, information, etc. Otherwise, the whole process can be delayed. For the creative agency, patience is allowing you as the client to provide that information without being pushy or bumping your project to the bottom of the list. If both parties are always keeping deadlines in mind and objectives in their line of focus there should be minimal issues.
The key to a smooth client/creative agency relationship is to always make sure you are on the same page with everything from deadlines to objectives. By setting the right tone in the initial conversation, being clear about your goals, and giving assistance when needed, you and your agency can form a beautiful partnership that produces engaging, creative, and most importantly, effective marketing material. At 321, we value having cooperative and supportive clients who offer guidance while giving us creative freedom so we can create the best content possible for their business. If you are interested in finding a digital marketing team of passionate, knowledgeable creatives, get to know us!