A creative agency can bring with it much needed flair when it comes to advertising. Otherwise, with bland advertising that does not resonate with your clients, the competition will soon leave you behind. The question is how do you get the best team you can afford, and just as importantly, how do you ensure the best team will deliver constantly once you sign them up? In this article we will look at a number of ways this can be achieved.
1. Determine the answer to ‘Why Now?’
The first place to look is within your company. Why do you think a fresh team of creatives would do the trick? Maybe it’s because you have just grown in size and you need a bigger team? Or your old team’s attitude has changed. You could also be experiencing a change in the dynamics of the your brand or a change in your relationships with the current team as a result of new employees. Whatever stage you are in, you must assess the internal dynamics before looking outside.
2. Self assessment
Once you have looked at your team, it will be easy to know if a creative agency is good for you. From this you can do an evaluation to figure out what their role would be. Some companies hire a creative agency because they anticipate accelerated growth in the near future and would need extra hands, other companies need a fresh pair of hands to lead in redesigning their brand or branching into new territory. Either way, it is important to note that In-house is also a very successful option compared to outsourced creative teams.
3. Prepare for change
Change is good, but most people avoid it because the implementation process usually leaves a mess. To avoid this and the loss of productivity, it is advisable that you plan for the change. For instance, ensure you have a lesser bureaucratic decision making process. Allow those closest to the implementation of your creative work to make the decisions. It’s faster. New people will be joining your team, to avoid confusion and duplication of tasks, specify internal roles. Finally, ensure that there is common agreement within your team on your general direction for marketing and advertising before inviting the experts in.
4. Understand the options
Not all Advertising will reach your audience. Know where to find your key buyers and find out who offers such advertising ideas and options. Know your customer well enough to direct the agency about how to capture their attention and sell to them.
5. Write a Request For Proposal
Express your advertising objectives, financial requirements, contractual stipulations on paper. This is important immediately you start meeting with different creative teams. The RFP directs both you and the creative agencies in knowing what should be delivered and if the creative agency can meet your expectations.
6. Start the search for the great team
Ask your peers about who they have worked with before and also get recommendations from media partners who have worked with creative agencies.You can also engage in some online research by Googling for creative agencies. When looking online, pay attention to what blogs creative agencies are putting out to know what drives them. Be careful about getting the guys with awards. Awards mean recognition and achievement, but these can also be bought. As a precaution, take a peek at the client list they have. It will give you an indication of whether they are well exposed and adaptable to various ideas. Exposure and adaptability are easily seen from case studies and past projects.
7. Engage in meetings
Go into your meetings well prepared. You want to be able to ask the right questions, to understand the various agencies better. Look at the creative and business side. Good creative agencies should balance their books. Remember to present the team with a confidentiality agreement.
8. Think long-term
The best ad agencies should see far into the future of your brand. Ask the creative agency, where they see your brand and/or company in the next couple of years. Your partnership should produce gains on both sides of the table. Some creative agencies have been known to turn down clients who did not seem to have a good future plan.
Your creative agency could be half the world away from your office or within your building. However, they must be responsive to your needs and able to turn around your work effectively. Otherwise, in cases where time critical messages need to get to market quickly, your business may be adversely affected by the delays.