Last week, over a coffee with a prospective client, I was asked "What should I expect from you if you were my agency?". That got me thinking about the vital elements for any agency to deliver for their clients. Here are my top five points.
1. Commercial acumen and understanding
Your agency must listen, and more importantly, understand your business and marketing objectives in order to add real value during the project or campaign. They must understand the bigger picture as this gives context to the project and what it needs to achieve.
Any serious agency should be well versed in asking the right questions in order to start to build an effective creative brief. If this isn't right, then the project is flawed from the outset. Read my article on briefing tips here for an insight.
The ability to deliver an accurate interpretation of the creative brief. So many agencies don't actually answer the brief, but get carried away with wacky ideas going off on tangents. Thinking creatively is critical but it must meet the brief and engage with the desired audience. Your agency should also challenge you with braver ideas in order to gauge your appetite for stand-out within the industry.
4. Delivering on time and on budget, with a smile
Effective cost and time management are fundamental skills your agency should have. They need to keep you informed immediately of any schedule or cost changes and be prepared to diplomatically chase you for agreed deliverables. Good old customer service is key; being polite, calling back when you say you will and always delivering on time.'¨
The fit of your agency is also key. You should be able to have fun together but also be able to have frank, open and honest chats about ideas, budgets and constructive feedback. Your agency should compliment your team, working in partnership with you to make your life easier and you look good. The better you look, the better we look.
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