Choosing the right creative agency
Selecting a creative agency to work with is like entering any other partnership - it requires careful consideration and research to ensure that the one you choose is the right fit for your business. There are multiple factors to take into consideration. In this blog we're going to outline several for you to consider. Read on to find out how to begin identifying which agency will be best to meet your business needs.
Let's start with a brief overview of what a creative agency is. Creative agencies are businesses that specialise in marketing and advertising services. This can include a vast range of things, from creative work to social media management, copywriting, advertising, web design and more. To find out more about what a creative agency is, check out some of our earlier blogs: What does a creative agency do? and Getting the most out of your creative agency.
Given that the marketing and advertising space is such a big one, and that there are many possible areas for a creative agency to specialise in within the sector, it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the right agency to help you meet your business goals. With this in mind, the first step to selecting the ideal partner is to identify what you want to achieve. We go into more detail in our blog Why work with a creative agency, but essentially you need to determine where you currently are, and where you want to be. This could range from attaining more customers to expanding your reach, to creating a custom product that aligns with your brand's values and anything in between. Understanding this aspect of your business will allow you to narrow down your creative agency search to only those businesses that offer services which can help you.
Now that you know what you want to achieve, you need to look at the following aspects of a partnership:
Creative agencies will have a portfolio of their work available, no matter what their specialist areas may be. This is a great place to start when trying to choose which one to partner with, as it will give you a real feel not only for their style but of what they're capable of achieving. When you find work that you like, ask for case studies. These will give you an insight into what results the creative agency has delivered for its other clients, and provide a better idea of what they can do for you.
This one piggybacks somewhat on the point previous, in that experience will be demonstrated by previous work. You want to choose an agency that has proven itself in the specific fields you're hoping to work in. For example, if you want to extend your social following, you'll want to find an agency that specialises in social media, and which can demonstrate results achieved for other clients.
It goes without saying that any partnership needs to be founded on a good relationship between both parties. Once you've found an agency that can deliver the services you're looking for, it's time to see how you can actually work together on a person-to-person basis. Having good chemistry is important when working with a creative agency as it will enable you to communicate better and will facilitate trust, leading to the best possible results.
Beyond client-agency chemistry, this element takes into account existing connections a creative agency may have with third parties, which you can benefit from. This could be a strong relationship with a particular social media platform, for example. Existing relationships demonstrate that the creative agency is a solid, reliable partner for the long-term. It also opens avenues for all parties to create new collaborations that may not have otherwise been possible.
As with any business, creative agencies come in all sizes - from large multinationals to boutique operations. There are pros to both, and choosing between them will naturally depend on what your needs are and which agency can best fulfil them. We may be somewhat biased here, but boutique agencies in particular tend to be more focused and highly specialised, making them the perfect partner when you have very specific goals to achieve.
In a hyper-connected society physical location doesn't mean as much as it used to, as working with remote teams is more the norm now than ever before. However, with that said, you want to find an agency that has some local knowledge of your target area. Having a cultural understanding in particular allows for more thoughtful work, whether that's social outreach, creative artwork, or copy.
There are many more factors to take into account when choosing a creative agency to work with. Every project is completely unique, each business' requirements are different, and even the people on both ends of the partnership will have their own ways of working. Ultimately, it pays to take the time to ensure the partnership is right - because when it is, the results can be exceptional.
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