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Creating an Ideal Match — Choosing the Right Creative Agency
Choosing the right creative agency may seem daunting. What does one do with so many agencies to choose from? And how can you possibly instill care and urgency into a brand new team? The truth is, your decision will only be as good as the effort you invest in seeking out the best agency to suit your needs.
With the right working relationship, things work really well. Without a good relationship, projects and partnerships fail. Follow these steps to help streamline your agency search and set yourself up for success.
Step One: Assess Your Internal Situation
First things first, it’s important that you assess your brand’s current situation. Time should be set aside to find a creative partner that specifically fits your needs. Don’t rush this. If you’re desperate or behind schedule, it’s easier to fall into common traps.
You’ll need a solid foundation to build upon when you start working with a new creative agency. This requires planning and being honest with yourself and your team. Think about what’s working well for your brand, and what’s lacking. Where do you want to grow? Is your brand on top of—or ahead of— current trends? Developing or updating your brand and campaign vision and setting related goals can steer your new projects in the best direction.
Maybe your in-house team does a great job with most digital and print, but this new campaign needs visual effects that fall outside their skill area. Stretching your team beyond its creative limits will take much longer and probably won’t look as good, with the added drawback of slowing down all other work in their pipeline.
Next, consider the workflow and the service level that would work best for your needs. What can your in-house team handle right now, and where do you need support? Are there specialized creative skills like CGI or VFX that your team can’t tackle? Do you need some fresh ideas from outside your industry bubble? Should this new campaign also include project management or competitor research? Check in with key team members to include their concerns or support needs at the beginning of the search process instead of after the agency is selected.
Step Two: Search Based on Your Needs
Once you have a feel for where things stand internally, choosing the right creative agency partner becomes less complicated. Filter your agency review by finding agencies with the specific strengths you need. Do their artists use a style that suits your brand? An agency’s reputation, awards, and reviews are a good gauge for whether you’d want to enlist their help. But don’t stop there.
Check out their portfolio for work that inspires you. Do they have top-quality work that fits what you are looking for? Do they offer the wrap-around services you’ll need for a successful launch?
It’s not just the success of the campaign that’s on the line. You’ll have to keep your brand’s reputation and identity in mind. Also at stake is the quality of your team’s day-to-day operation.
Step Three: Narrow for a Perfect Fit
Once you’re inspired and interested, interview the top contenders to get down to the nitty-gritty details. How do they work with clients? Do they talk more than they listen, or are they genuinely interested in what your team has to say? Avoid an agency that seems more interested in wowing you with their amazing skills and ideas, and less interested in hearing about your goals and objectives. It takes a lot more maturity and a service-oriented mindset to listen and learn about your challenges than it does to talk about how great they are and the accolades they’ve received for their work.
Once you’ve made your selection, get the best work out of your new agency by following this advice.
Add a Dash of Salt to Your Next Project
Salt Studios is a specialized team of collaborative artists making show-stopping visuals for brands worldwide. Our talents span the creative spectrum from photo retouching to high-volume VFX, animation and CGI mastery. Thinking of a new agency or new campaign? Contact us to explore opportunities. We’d love to help you elevate your creative with our high-quality VFX, CGI, retouching and more.