How to choose a creative agency

Whether you’ve falling out of love with your agency or you are about to select a creative partner for the first time, the path to finding a good match is an important one.

Before you even start to look for an agency you must define a brief. And we’re not talking pants! The brief must, at the very least, detail what your company does, why you’re doing it and why should anyone care. What is the purpose of the project? Who is the audience? What are the end objectives? Do you have an estimated budget?

You must then define what is important to you when looking for an agency. Location? Experience? Culture of the company? Areas of specialism? Good looking team?

When you have chosen a few agencies to approach, you need to establish if they can offer what you need. To narrow your selection, ask yourself some questions:
Does their image make me feel comfortable? Do they have the skills I need? Are the costs within our budget? Are there any value added services that may prove useful? Would I take them home to meet mum? (Ok, you’re still paying attention!)

Create a shortlist of agencies and decide which of these companies fit your criteria and then either present them with a brief or if they are really good… ask them to help you define it. Most agencies would suggest a face-to-face with you, an opportunity for both parties to ask questions; sometimes know as a Chemistry meeting. Like a first date, this is really useful to get to see if you connect and have anything in common… like the a love of the Arts, Beatboxing, Golf, Origami or Pyrotechnics! This is your opportunity to ask questions and probe the agency you may be working with to find out if you fit culturally and if they have the resources to fulfil your needs.

Review the proposals and select your preferred agency, making sure you notify all parties involved. This is especially important if you already have an incumbent agency, which can be like dumping an old boyfriend or girlfriend!

This is the time to agree terms of business for the project, confirm the appointment and costs. Almost like a pre-nup without the lawyers.

Don’t forget, after you have made your appointment, the closer you work with your chosen agency, the more fruitful your relationship will be. When we say close, we don’t suggest moving in with them…. an open, honest, no kissing approach is probably best.

Best of luck!

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