Businesses that span almost every industry imaginable will, at some point, have a need for a creative agency; services such as web design, graphic design, copywriting and social media marketing are each becoming ever more vital in what is today a digitally driven commercial world.
Yet finding the right creative agency, and working successfully alongside them, can be a perilous task for the uninitiated. It’s for this reason that we’ve created this guide – to take you step-by-step through the process – from exploring the creative agency market to nurturing a project onto a successful outcome.
Before we begin: Who are you looking for?
Before you even so much as contact a singular creative agency you need to establish whether you need a specialist, or generalist agency.
The choice between a niche agency, and one that caters for all industries, will be one defined by your own business, and how specialist a field it is that you find your company. Key indicators that you require a specialist agency include your industry being especially technical, such as being based in the technological or engineering realms. You may also be in an industry with an incredibly specific target market – one that requires the hands of an expert team who already understands their values, needs, problems and pain points.
Five essential tips for working successfully with a creative agency
Due diligence: A matter of reputational research
Today the internet provides for the ideal tool for undertaking research as to what kind of track record a creative agency boasts. Facebook and Google business pages are great places to start – the testimonial pages on the agency’s website can serve as a secondary idea as to who you might be dealing with.
Have expectations right from the offset
As a client, you should expect solid customer service right from the get-go: this begins with the initial point of contact. Should you experience slow responses, unenthusiastic replies and project input that is anything but inspired you can only expect more of the same should you decide to move ahead.
Create a solid brief
A successful project is dependent on a strong brief – so be sure to take time to set out every detail in crystal clear wording. What’s more, general and undetailed briefs can garner higher quotes simply because you’ll come across as a time consuming client who will require a lot of work in order to establish your wants and needs.
You should also be prepared for feedback – such as whether your budget or timescales are realistic. These should be listened to – as professionals in their field, they will know far better than those outside of their industry as to how much work will be required for your project.
Treat the relationship as a partnership – and hold realistic expectations
The relationship between agency and client is one of mutual respect and should be thought of as a partnership. Expectations should be clearly laid out before any contract is signed.
Communication, communication, communication
Once the contract is signed and the work is commissioned it’s vitally important that communication is maintained throughout the project. This is both the responsibility of client and agency alike – with the client providing timely assets and feedback as and when requested, and with the agency responding swiftly and listening to everything the client has to say.
If the project is a particularly lengthy one (such as will be the case with website design) you should expect frequent updates – and potentially request a set time to speak at regular intervals.
Further guides for working successfully with creatives
The following guides provide more insight into specific creative industries and the ways in which you can work well alongside each: