Advertising is a necessary evil in today’s time. It is one of the utmost vital aspects of growing any business and letting it reach to the world en masse. Most of the world’s notable brands were built on the back of strong advertising strategy, and whether your organization is big or small, you too can benefit from a carefully considered agency. One way towards achieving this goal is to opt for an advertising agency that helps you put together your strategy in an actionable campaign. There is no denying fact you need the best fit agency to execute your ideas and passion for your brand into action. So, this article aims to help you understand the variables you should consider while you choose your agency. We’ll also throw some light on what to expect from an agency and how to not end up becoming a difficult client. Because apart from handsome fees you pay your agency, it is also a team you entrust your brand or business with.
1. Is your Agency an extension of your team?
If you have an agency already on board then don’t miss the part in your evaluation sheet of asking this question, “Is my agency a natural extension to my team?” Any good agency should have the answer to this question as a straight up yes. While there is certainly a learning curve at the beginning of any agency-client partnership, after a reasonable amount of time, the agency should feel like an extension of your own team, working independently on your behalf to meet your organizational goals by executing advertising goals and objectives. Ultimately, an agency should care about your business, and treat it like it’s their own.
2. Are you and your agency on the same level?
Difficult situations often can be avoided if only clear expectations were set up-front. What expectations does the agency have from you as a client? Is there clarity on what is included in their scope? Do they bring with them certain pre conceived notion of scope and timelines? What internal processes does the agency follow? Are you asking them these question? It is important that you hear your agency out early and determine whether there is any gap between what you expect to happen and what they actually include in the scope of their work.
Let’s talk about this one particular use case, for you as a company and as a brand; sales matter at any given point and ROI needs to be very accountable on every advertising and branding activity, but your agency’s focus is in making award-winning artwork and media release to a campaign with a huge budget. You are married to the wrong team. Time for an early divorce.
3. Is the agency you are hiring scalable?
As a client, you always see credential of an agency by what kind of projects and clients they have handled in past. Advertising paradigms are changing swiftly and rapidly. What matters is if your agency ready for the kind of growth you seek. To help you grow they themselves have to match the growth curve either by manpower or by intellectual strength addition in a timely manner.
Tip to take away: Don’t just look for big size or big portfolio agency but rather a right size, right attitude team.
4. Do you respect your agency?
Agencies look for clients that value efforts along with good work that they put forward. Clients need their agency to keep their promises, whether it is about bringing projects in on time or on a budget or better ROI on their digital campaigns. It also means a client needs to understand that every brand, every problem is unique and having an agency is no magic wand. It takes efforts for an agency to understand, comprehend, try and execute different ideas. As a brand owner, you expect an agency to own your problem until its resolved. So, a basic respect for their intelligence is must otherwise don’t work with a team you don’t value. “If you sense something is wrong, something is wrong,” says Mr. Khabie, Founder of Digiteria, “clients don’t leave because of the account; they leave because of the relationship.”
and last but not the least,
Let the agency be a professional agency!
Lastly, allow creative people to be creative. A big part of an advertising agency’s job is to be creative. In fact, creativity is probably one of the main things you looked for when hiring them in the first place. Latest on the block are nieces, nephews and cousins who have a gist of the way social media works, and more often they believe they know better than the professional team you’ve hired. If you end up making your professional team report or answerable to your barely graduated or freelancing family members then it is just outright disrespect for your brand and the agency. Rather than imposing ideas or mudding the slate, keep the slate clean by only giving an agency the nuts and bolts and letting their audit and research team guide the creative process. Whether it’s a tagline for your next big campaign or redesigning an old product line, if brands could see themselves clearly in the first place, they wouldn’t need an agency!
On a closing note, dealing with an agency can be a daunting prospect, while an agency is there to help you, it can only happen if necessary trust and space are given to the agency to evaluate. By understanding what you want to achieve and knowing how to approach that goal, as well as knowing roughly what to expect, you should be able to maximize returns and results from your agency.
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