What to Expect from Your Creative Marketing Agency
Working with a creative marketing agency is an exciting opportunity that more businesses, organizations and non-profits are turning to. The proven synergies between in-house teams and external agencies foster fresh ideas that keep brands on the cutting edge. Together, these two organizations work in unison as one team to shepherd a business idea from concept to implementation — all working towards a shared goal of creating something that makes an impact.
For some, working with one or more creative agencies is business as usual. It’s how their organization continues to produce engaging creative while internal team members can tackle other projects. For others, it is a new, and often exciting, opportunity that comes with some uncertainty.
We’re here to shed some light on what to expect when working with a creative marketing agency.
Discovering the strategy.
At the onset of any project, work starts with strategy. You creative marketing agency will most likely follow a project onboarding process to gain a better understanding of your brand’s:
- Visual and written expression
- Target audience
- Previous efforts
- Creative challenges
Like others in our industry, we refer to this as “Discovery.” Typically handled in the form of an in-depth meeting, this is a critical component for developing any marketing strategy. Led by an account or brand manager, the agency will hold this meeting with your brand’s key stakeholders, working from a structured set of questions to gain a rich understanding of the project’s opportunities, challenges and desired outcomes.
Discovery also serves as a means to outline the processes and platforms each organization works with. This two-way dialogue melds the processes from both sides of the table into a single unified workflow. While this takes time during the early stages of a project, the efficiencies earned during the later stages drastically outweigh the time spent.
Upon the completion of Discovery, your agency will move into strategy development. Pending the nature of your project, this can be a concrete charter that is built once and finalized, or it can be an iterative process that evolves over time. No two clients are the same, and neither are their corresponding strategies. Each strategy is tailored to the task at hand to maximize the potential for success.
The true effectiveness of a strategy can only be measured by the goals it is working to achieve. As your agency blueprints your project’s strategy, a tangible set of goals will be used to assess and evaluate the success of a project.
Much like strategy development, creating goals is an open dialogue that both organizations contribute to. Your business may have expected outcomes that you want your creative to deliver on. The creative agency you partner with can help refine these outcomes into obtainable key performance metrics (KPIs). This is important for the project’s final evaluation, but also to allow the agency to make optimizations where possible during the project’s lifetime and beyond.
Trust the process.
The creative process is real, and as the saying goes — it should be trusted. As you move into this phase of the project, your creative marketing agency will outline their tried-and-true process for your materials to be developed. In tandem, they will outline how your project will follow this process.
Similar to strategy development, there is no one universally accepted creative process. Instead, each agency adopts its own method that brings out the best from its team. From copywriting and creative layout to wireframes and hi-fidelity design, each foundational stage moves the project one step closer to completion. Along the way, materials will be reviewed both internally at the agency and externally by your team. During this step, your agency will expect your feedback that includes the things you like, as well as the things you don’t. This detailed input is how creative pieces are polished and refined, moving closer towards accomplishing the goals previously outlined.
When it comes to our process, we believe in creating art that drives results. “Iterate” and “learn” are two components we feel are fundamental. Together, these alternating actions allow us to move through our process systematically and easily. Plus, a strong cup of coffee never hurts.
Always thinking ahead.
The thought of “what’s next?” is a common element among most creative marketing agencies. Your agency will have a vested curiosity in how other areas of your organization are performing — even if they are unrelated to the project. By maintaining a pulse on these avenues, agencies are able to provide holistic recommendations that may otherwise fall under the radar.
As your internal team’s external marketing partner, we continuously sharpen our craft to remain current on emerging trends, upcoming platforms and new tactics. This ongoing desire to learn helps propel creative strategies forward. Moreover, we’re ready to raise our hands and propose solutions that go beyond the immediate task. This proactive approach to creative development prepares our clients with the ideas of today that support the strategies of tomorrow.
When should you make the call?
You make the call when you’re ready to develop creative that incites action — and results.
We believe that your creative, when great, is persuasion personified. It is what propels someone to choose your brand over another. Engaging visuals spark attention, compelling language creates connections, and consistent brand elements make you recognizable. Together, these work in harmony making you the deciding factor between gaining a viewer and earning a loyal customer.
You take the first step toward building a better, smarter relationship with your creative. And then you start a project with us.