Choosing the right creative agency
Agency chemistry: getting it right
Searching for the right creative agency can feel like a round of internet dating – you never quite know what’s under the surface until you’re sitting opposite on the first date, wondering if you have anything in common! In the same way, navigating your way through the maze of agency bravado can be tough. So how can you maximise the chances of getting the chemistry right and finding the ideal creative partner? Here are our top five tips!
1. Be clear about what you want
Cut to the chase. What do you want the agency to deliver? Are you after specific marketing tactics or do you want the agency to develop an all-encompassing creative strategy? Deciding on the type of personality you’re looking for is important too. Do you want wacky and off-the-wall or more considered and down-to-earth, or somewhere between the two? Often, just taking the time to think about the personality types in your team can prove really beneficial in the long run. What kind of people will they interact best with?
2. Do your research
Once you know what you want, research, research and research some more. Scour agency websites for client testimonials, delve into case studies, and really get to grips with what it is they offer. How do they deliver value to clients? Look beyond the ‘bright lights’ on the surface and try to get a sense of the agency’s values, skills and importantly, experience. Explore their ‘digital footprint’ – how are they interacting via the social web? Then narrow down your list of contenders to a promising minimum.
3. Invite the top contenders to pitch
Developing a good brief is vital in terms of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Be as detailed as possible – explain your expectations, set a budget, and be really clear about your commercial goals. Challenge the agencies to demonstrate they’ve understood your brand, your business challenges and your vision for the future. Ask them to spell out how they can contribute to this vision, and specify the level of detail you need – preparing pitches is a big investment of time, so knowing what’s required makes all the difference. And why not meet on their turf – you’ll get a real sense of the atmosphere of the place.
4. Assess the chemistry
So, you’ve met the agencies, they’ve impressed you with their quirky dress, their bubbly personalities and (hopefully!) their creativity and hard work for their clients. What next? Have a good think about how you’ll interact with your key contacts on a daily basis. Do you get a sense that your account team will go above and beyond to get the job done? Will the people you met at the pitch be working with you on a daily basis? Are they passionate about working with you? And finally, do they get what you’re all about? Make sure you’re convinced they could enhance your brand image and help fulfil your business aims.
5. Keep an open mind
Sometimes, agencies can surprise you at the pitch (in a good or a bad way!). Be open to new ideas and be willing to consider a different take on things. It may not be what you were expecting, but think about it in the cold light of day. Could the ideas work in reality? Would they resonate well with your customers? If so, why not try something different? And set the bar high. Make it clear you want continual innovation and creativity, beyond initial buzz of the pitch or ‘first date’!
In the end, you’ll take the plunge, sign on the dotted line and set the relationship in motion. There’s always an element of risk, as with anything, but if you get the chemistry right and the ideas (and importantly, results!) keep flowing, you won’t regret it.
Give us a shout if you’d like to meet informally, chat over your needs or hear more about what we do at Torpedo.