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Making the most of a creative agency: A guide to being a client

What if reading this article could save you time and money? What if, added to that, you could build a long-term relationship; one in which the growth of your business was the focal point? Well, read on…

As a creative marketing agency, we’re experts; we have expert designers, expert copywriters, expert project managers, strategists and we also manage expert programmers, SEO teams, social media and digital marketing experts. You too are an expert; an expert in your business – you’re an entrepreneur and you have expert ideas and vision. An account is an expert in finances, a lawyer is an expert in law… we’re sure you’re getting the picture by now?

creative agencyYour accountant and your lawyer are professionals and generally charge by the hour for their professional services. Given the correct information and clarity of brief, they will save you money in the long run. Your creative agency works in a similar way – professionals in their field, they will save you money – actually their sole purpose is to promote your business and realise a return on investment that will help you to grow your business. So, here’s a guide to the best way of working with an agency; to make the most out of their time and creativity:

  1. Issue a clear, concise brief – To open that up a little, do a bit of research to help us to understand the way that you think – we know that you already have some ideas of your own…you’re an entrepreneur – why wouldn’t you? Whether you’re talking to us about a joined-up campaign or a single project from your brand, to a website, some direct mail or a single online banner ad, give us some information:
    • Tell us about your business – who’s your customer?
    • Tell us who your competitors are.
    • Tell us the aim of the project – what do you want people to do as a result of the project?
    • Give us examples of things that you’ve seen that you like, and that you don’t like – and tell us why.
    • If you already have a brand, give us some guidelines.
    • Let us have access to any imagery / illustrations that you own (these must be in a suitable format for either print or web, depending upon the project and you must have permission to use them – your agency can explain further).
  2. Set a realistic deadline – As a creative agency, we understand that, sometimes, you get an offer of some advertising space that’s super-soon; we’re geared up to respond to tight deadlines and can usually juggle – however, juggling’s not our primary skill. We want to develop a long-term relationship with you; to support your business as it grows, and we’ll try to accommodate where we can – however, you get the best out of us when we’re given time to be creative.
  3. Give good feedback – All agencies will have classic examples of bad feedback – take a look at http://sharpsuits.net/ – a community of Irish creatives who, for charity, developed posters from the best of their worst feedback from clients. Our favourite, and the most common one that we’ve come across is “We want it to look like this but don’t copy it. Just make it different enough but keep it the same!”
  4. Challenge us but take our advice – We have good reasons for creating the strategies and pieces that we deliver to you; an agency will generally have a wealth of experience throughout their team and we want you to be successful. See point two – we want to be in this relationship for the long-haul and we know you won’t suffer fools.
  5. Communicate – Be available to chat and answer questions, to clarify and give feedback when needed. We know your time is precious; know that ours is too – and we’re charging you for it!

In summary, clarity and communication are key – information helps us to help you and your business – we’ll be proactive if you’re available and certainly love to give clients a heads-up if we have a spontaneous idea or spot an opportunity for you. Think of us as part of the team and we’ll be exactly that.

By Bluesky

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