5 Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right Creative Agency
So, you’ve decided that you need some expert help with your company’s rebrand or marketing campaign, but who do you turn to? With so many companies vying for your business, choosing the right creative agency for your brand can be difficult. Are bigger more established agencies best? Or are smaller start-ups a better alternative?
As a business owner, you might be thinking that finding the right creative agency
is like finding a needle in a haystack. Expertise and industry-leading technology are, of course, aspects you should take into consideration in the selection process. Some of it also comes down to the makeup of your company, such as whether you’re local or international, as well as your budget. However, a successful agency relationship really depends on finding the right fit for your business.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to help your business navigate the minefield that is choosing the right creative agency. These are 5 of the most important tips to bear in mind, when choosing the right creative agency, to ensure you make the right decision for you and your business.
What You Need To Know When Choosing The Right Creative Agency
1. Know What Services You Want
First, before you even begin your search, decide exactly the kind of services you need. Before you hire an agency it’s important to decide what exactly you’re hiring them for. Do you want to launch a direct marketing campaign
? If so, pick an agency that has some experience in designing direct marketing campaigns and knows what kind of design resonate well with recipients. If, however, your looking to convey a compelling brand narrative, you’ll probably need a creative agency with a strong copywriting department.
So, knowing what you need helps you decide what kind of agency to choose. Some agencies may focus more on graphic design services, while others may specialise in marketing and advertising. Every agency has a set of core capabilities where they excel. With this in mind, make sure you set out your primary creative needs and team up with an agency that can showcase an impressive portfolio in this area.
2. Don’t just rely on Google
Okay, so you’ve nailed down exactly what you want from your prospective creative agency. Great! Now you need to start researching creative agencies that excel in delivering the goods. Before you open up the Pandora’s box that is Google search, ask around your network of contacts and see if anyone has any recommendations. Most small agencies grow by referrals, so by relying solely on Google search for your research you may miss out on some great up-and-coming agencies.
For smaller companies that don’t have a big marketing budget to spend, fledgling creative agencies can be a good fit and really help stretch that budget. Often larger, more prominent agencies charge more for their services and while you may want to hire a prominent agency, their fees may exceed what you can afford. So, if your budget is limited but you need a comprehensive package, research some smaller up-and-coming agencies.
3. What to Look for in an Agency
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential agencies, you’ll need to start investigating them individually. When looking at each firm there are a number of things to watch out for. Look at previous projects they’ve worked on
. Have they worked on any projects of a similar nature to the one you have in mind? Are they experienced at operating in your sector?
It’s important that your creative design agency actually understands your company and knows the challenges you face in building a presence in your industry. This type of industry expertise is particularly important in technical industries. An agency with minimal understanding of what makes your industry tick can mean one of two things – a very steep learning curve or decision-making that just doesn’t suit your audience. The ‘right fit’ agency will ‘get you’, whom you’re competing against and what matters most to your audience.
4. Make Sure the Chemistry’s Right
Like any good relationship, it’s all about chemistry. After all, you’re going to spending a fair bit of time with these people and working closely with them on a range of matters, big and small. Leave room for plenty of dialogue in the discussion phase in order for this chemistry to gather momentum. Does their style sit well with yours? Will their personality mean a healthy working relationship or a troublesome one? What do their clients say
? Essentially, the ‘right fit’ agency should be able to work with you as much as for you.
Your primary goal is to find a professional, trustworthy creative agency that you can develop a strong relationship with. Some agencies will have great ideas but if you don’t get along, or there is poor communication and understanding, then those good ideas will end up being very expensive. Even if you’re just looking for at a short-term project you need to keep the long-term relationship in mind. If the agency you choose delivers the desired, then you may not have to look for another agency for future work. So, investing some energy in this could potentially save you a lot of time in the long run.
Finally, good communication is a vital feature to consider when choosing the right creative agency. Design is a cooperative process, so it’s important that the agency you choose actually listens to what you have to say. What they need to demonstrate is they are prepared to take the time to understand your company’s objectives. Once they have learned enough about you, they will polish their series of questions and start making suggestions about your creative direction. The ‘right fit’ agency will come forward with a solid strategic plan for you, rather than a hastily-assembled list of short-term, tactical objectives. Choosing a creative agency is an important decision. Paying due consideration to the fit will pay dividends to your long-term creative success.
If you want to create a stunning new brand or just refresh your existing one, contact us today. We’re always just a phone call or email away and we love hearing from new people. Stray Dog is a state of the art creative agency nestled in the heart of Dublin. So, if you’re looking to get noticed, get heard or get ahead, we can help you bark just as good as you bite.