Working with a creative agency isn’t cheap – and it shouldn’t be. You want to produce bold, inspiring campaigns that make the cash register ring.
Great creative requires equal parts strategy, creativity, risk-taking, and trust. Think of the client-agency relationship as a partnership, where the end goal is to produce brilliant work that wins you the sale. How do you find the right agency – and more importantly, how do you create a relationship that consistently delivers great creative for your brand?
With business, as in love, chemistry is everything. When you work with an agency, the account executive is your point of contact for the agency. Often, you won’t interact directly with the creative team producing your work – so you’ll want to be certain that your contact understands your business needs.
We all know that communication is key to mainlining a fruitful relationship – whether it’s with your friends, family, or business partners. But what does good communication with your agency partner look like?
- Set the stage. To produce great creative, we need to know the full story. Too often, clients fail to provide enough information or context to create an effective campaign. Tell us about the problem you’re trying to solve, your expectations and goals for the campaign, and any creative constraints.
- Share your brand standards. Do you have an established brand identity that your agency must follow? Or, are you looking for guidance when it comes to design? Share your expectations on the front end to avoid unnecessary revisions.
- Show us the creative you envy. If you see an ad, or a tagline, or a piece of art that moves you, share it. Identify which elements you love in the examples that you show the agency, and your account executive can use those visuals as a guide for the creative team.
- Stay in touch. Quick responses from clients help the agency turn around creative faster. Make sure that your account executive knows how to reach you, so they can keep the project moving.
- Creative Brief
When it comes to working with an agency, the creative brief is your most sacred document. It’s the unifying document that pinpoints the key aspects of any project. Every agency has their own take on it — at inferno, we prefer to call it the Creative Strategy Statement (CSS) — but whatever form or name it takes, the fundamental goal remains the same: inspire great creative.
For those who haven’t worked closely with an agency, a brief may feel a bit too formal, almost bureaucratic. There’s a tendency to want to hash everything out on a phone call and skip the creative brief altogether. Don’t do it!
Certainly, you should keep an open line of communication with your account executive throughout the project timeline, but the creative brief is your direct line of communication to the creative team. Use it.