While no two creative agencies are exactly alike, there are certain things you can expect when hiring an agency to take over your design and advertising needs. Whether you have never worked with an agency before or you are looking for what to keep in mind when choosing one, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you know what you can expect.
Ask & Listen
When you’re first getting started, a creative agency should strive to better understand you, your brand, and your target audience through engaging questions. An advertising agency that truly values your business and its potential will actively listen to what you have to say and dig deeper to ensure comprehension. These initial questions give your creative team the information they need to dive into your industry and create work that resonates with your customers; they will consistently work with you to better understand your audience, your brand mission, and your end goals.
You should expect your creative partner to be responsive to any questions or concerns you may have. There is nothing more frustrating than working with someone that won’t answer your emails. An agency that respects your time and needs will answer in a reasonable amount of time, so keep an eye out for a company that is attentive to your schedule. Another thing to keep in mind is that responsiveness needs to go both ways. In order for projects to get completed in a timely manner, make sure there is open communication between you and your ad agency.
Working with a creative agency is a learning process in 3 ways. First, the agency will learn about you, your business, your audience and your goals. Second, you will learn about the agency’s process including design principles, website best practices, UX and SEO strategies, and branding do’s and don’ts. Lastly, you and your agency will learn together about the work flows, processes, and systems that are the most efficient for streamlining your projects.
While every marketing agency handles pricing in different ways, it is a common industry practice to offer custom quotes and standard packages for projects like websites, logos, brandings, etc. The packages typically start with the most basic plan and increase in both pricing and deliverables with each level. When deciding on a package, it is important to carefully consider your budget and design needs. It is likely that none of the packages will fit your needs exactly, therefore it is important to have an open and honest conversation with the creative agency about your needs, your goals, and your budget so they can accurately provide a package of services that is right for you.
Oftentimes, the outcome of a creative piece is not what you originally pictured, and that’s a good thing! There are many factors that come into play when an agency takes over your creative needs. When things like user experience, functionality, and your target audience come into play, products and deliverables are created with that strategy in mind. It is important to remember that what works is more important than what you are originally drawn to. Coming in with an open mind is essential if you want the best outcome from your project, whether website, branding or marketing campaign. It is important that you trust in the experience of your creative agency and that they have your business’s best interest in mind.
At the end of the day, creative agencies are not ‘one size fits all.’ Every agency is different but the basics of what to expect should remain similar. Keep your eyes open for an agency that listens to you, asks questions and collaborates, learns and teaches along the way, and produces results that wow both you and your audience.