3 Ways to Ensure You’re Not Your Agency’s Problem Customer

A great marketing agency will work with you to bring you new business, express your values and introduce you to new audiences. Working with an agency isn’t like eating at a fast food joint: You don’t just order off a menu and pick up your order a few minutes later. It’s more like dining with a private chef, one who takes the time to understand your taste, your budget and what you’re hungry for.

Here are three ways to make sure that your relationship with your advertising agency is a happy, successful one:

1. Express your needs clearly.

An agency has to know what you need to develop a great campaign for you. When you start working on a new project, most agencies develop what’s called a creative brief. This will outline:

  • The big picture, including the state of your business and any needed background information on your product or service.
  • Business objectives, including your goals and notes on timing.
  • Creative objectives, such as criteria for success and any elements that are mandatory for the campaign.
  • The audience, who they are, what they care about and the call for action.
  • The competitors, what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.
  • The deliverables, what you need and in what formats, such as if you want the campaign to include a TV spot, social messaging and print ads.

It’s smart to be as specific as you can about what you need so the agency can streamline the creative process as much as possible — saving you time and money.

2. Set clear deadlines and budgets.

Another essential part of the creative brief is defining when you need all of the campaign deliverables and how much money you can spend on the campaign. Agencies understand what it’s like to have a small budget for a project, and there’s no shame in it — just be upfront about what you want to spend on the campaign. Account managers who know exactly what your budget is can come up with creative solutions to get the most visibility for your buck.

If you’re not sure when to set the deadlines, look at your intended launch date and ask your account manager at the agency to work backwards from that to come up with touchpoints you both can agree on. This kind of project management is second nature to agencies, and you’re wise to take advantage of their expertise.

3. Let yourself be surprised.

While it’s important to be as detailed as you can in the creative brief about your goals for a campaign, it’s important to leave room for creatives to get creative. Even if your campaign has very specific goals, you must allow the agency to explore all the options for getting your message across.

Have more questions about working with an ad agency? At St. Gregory Group, we'd love to help answer any questions you may have. Get in touch and let's get started!