You went to a creative agency.
You got burned——BIG TIME.
You walked back to your office with your tail between your legs, and no money in your pocket.
Or your budget.
What a mess.
You need a creative agency and you need advice in regards to choosing one.
And that’s why we’ve created this post. In it, you’ll find nine tips to help you choose the perfect creative partner.
Let’s jump right in:
1. FIRST THINGS FIRST—LISTEN TO THE PITCH
Hear the agency out. Listen to what they have to say. If it’s good, on to step two. If it’s not, out the door you go. Pretty simple.
2. NEXT THINGS NEXT—LEARN ABOUT THE PROCESS
A creative agency should follow a process that gets the job done right—every time. Ask about this process: How does it work? How’s it organized? How can it help you? Does it have proven results?
Again; if you like what you hear, keep going. If you don’t, head for the nearest exit.
Now Comes the Details……
3. ASK TO MEET WITH YOUR FUTURE ACCOUNT MANAGER
Meeting with your future account manager can be very important. A good creative agency will have an account manager who seems detail oriented, cares about your project and your success, and even jives with you or your point person well. Remember, this is the start of a relationship.
4. READ THROUGH THE FLUFF
You own your own business. You’re a smart person. You can read through any and all fluff a creative agency throws at you. A few things that should really annoy you are:
An agency that boasts only working in one niche or vertical. Seriously? That’s how you stay creative? There are times when this is okay (a focus on ENTERTAINMENT) but usually this just screams ‘we found a way to make quick money over and over again’.
Pricing in a proposal way after the team and About Our Agency pages
Big name brands showcased more than mentioned…be aware of the actual project the agency had done for that brand. Sometimes you will be really impressed…but most times you will find it was something very small and potentially not used in final production
What you should look for is an agency that has a no nonsense approach that produces results.
5. FIND A FRIEND
Another great….no, an invaluable resource is a friend that works in the creative agency world. If you don’t understand something or want advice, reach out to your friend.
6. UNDERSTAND YOUR JOURNEY
Realize that the process is a journey—that you should understand. A good creative agency will help you in this regard.
7. CONCENTRATE ON YOUR CORE
The best creative agency will know your core needs—and perform them very well. But they will also ask questions about your entire approach. They should be interested in how you are going to use your final product, what it is doing for the overarching goals of your company, and how they can help you in more ways than just their billable time (insight, expertise, introductions).
8. USAGE PARTNERS
If the agency brings in a partner, use them as a valuable resource. The only thing you need to make sure of is that the relationship between the partner and the agency is real—not just someone they found on Google to impress you.
CONCLUSION—PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
You now have nine tips to help you choose the perfect creative partner. Use any, all, or any combination of them to help you during your search. Realize that not all creative agencies are driven by the dollar.
There are passionate teams out there that truly engage with your team and brand. When you find the right one, a creative agency can be an invaluable resource. We are an investment, not an expense. If done right, your brand, marketing, and interactive should be expected to produce results.