Are you considering working with a marketing or design agency but unsure what to expect? Every agency is different and will have their own style and approach. It is extremely important to make sure that the agency you select is the right one for you as you will be working closely with them to realise your goals. We have created this page specifically aimed at providing you with more detail and information to help you make an informed choice for both you and your business.
The time and effort you allocate to this stage will very much depend upon your requirements. If you have a simple one-off project, for example a leaflet design, you may feel content to simply select a design agency based upon their online portfolio, testimonials, a quick phone call and their quote, and this is absolutely fine! However, if you are looking for a marketing agency to partner with you on a programme of scheduled activity to grow your business, then you are probably going to want to go a step further. A company’s website is a great place to start to help you to become familiar with who they and their style.
Do I want a large agency or a small agency?
Do I want a large team of people working on my account or a small team?
Do I want a single dedicated point of contact or access to multiple people?
Do I want to offload all of the project or do I want to retain some involvement?
How much input do I want from the agency – am I clear on my marketing strategy and just want a studio to work on the communication tools or do I also need marketing planning and strategy input?
Do I want to work with someone in the local vicinity, so I can meet with them regularly or am I happy doing the majority of my communication virtually?
What is my budget? How much do I have to invest in the marketing activity?
What are my timescales – how soon do I expect the project to commence/be completed?
Once you have these questions clear in your head the selection process will be more straightforward. As with all business relationships the fit must be right – you need to be confident in the agency that you employ and likewise they need to feel an affinity with you and your brand in order to provide you with the best possible results. It is therefore highly recommended that you meet the agency face to face in order to get a real feel for them and their offering. Like Staunton Rook, many agencies provide initial meetings free of charge with no obligation attached.
Once you have chosen the right marketing partner for you the next step is relaying exactly what you want to achieve. This stage will inevitably have some degree of overlap with the initial meeting and in order to get the most value out of that first meeting, and to allow the agency you are meeting with to really showcase what they can do, then it is suggested that you provide a brief to them in advance. There is no set way to provide a brief however the more information you can include the better. View our briefing template to see the key questions that help us to help our clients get off to the best start.
As concisely as possible provide a background to your business, what it is you offer, who you offer it to and why you are different from your competitors. What are you most proud of about your business? What worries you the most? What are your goals for the future? Who works in the business? Who are your key customers? Who are your main competitors? This is all valuable information that will quickly provide an insight into your current situation and help the you get the most out of the initial meeting.
What are your goals for the activity you are about to undertake? What are your growth aspirations? If you want to double your business in 12 weeks then state that. It is important that you make your expectations clear so that the marketing activity can be tailored to achieve those goals or they can be addressed. We are not scared to take on a challenge however we are also experienced and realistic with what is achievable and will not shy away from pointing out any goals that may need readjusting in order to achieve a realistic expectation and outcome.
Be realistic about your timescales in advance so that everyone is on the same page. Once engaged we always provide clear schedules of activity for our clients so that all steps for each element of the project or marketing schedule are clearly laid out and all parties are aware of the specific milestones and deadlines of the project.
Providing an indication of your budget in advance will help the agency to provide you with a response to your requirements that is realistic, it will also save time for both parties as it may be that certain activities will be ruled out/looked to straightaway based upon the available budget for allocation..
We are committed to creativity and view it as a process – we do not expect to hit a home run on the first attempt however we do enjoy collaborating with our clients to progress creatives from concepts through to the finished result. We understand how invested you are in your business and whilst we will advise you on what will work for your target market we also appreciate it must also work for you. That is why we do not limit our process to 2 or 3 stages of proofing – we will revisit our designs until you are happy (although it is extremely rare that we need to present more than 3 stages). When providing feedback on the creative process try to be as constructive as possible in your feedback to your account manager, it is absolutely fine for you not to like a design – the process is extremely subjective, however go beyond simply stating what you do not like. Why don’t you like it? Is it the colour? Is it the font? Is it the imagery that has been used? The more feedback you can provide the better the flow of communication and the end result will be much stronger.
How will you measure the success of the activity? This is very much dependent upon what the activity is however we have a variety of reporting tools and systems available that can be incorporated into a project to measure initial impact. Do you have internal sales and recording systems in place to allow you to measure beyond the initial point of contact. As a marketing agency it is our role to drive enquiries to our customers, that can be done in a variety of ways some qualitative which are difficult to measure – for example a well-designed corporate branding exercise will greatly reflect on the company’s image and stand them in a new light in front of their prospects, however, how many sales can be directly attributed to that rebrand is hard to measure. On the flip side, touch points with your customers that can be tangibly measured such as a fully responsive website design with integrated Google Analytics and a lead tracking tool such as Lead Forensics (possibly remove this?) will be very transparent in providing excellent reporting on the success of the website.
We trust the above information is useful – if you have any marketing activity requirements that you would like to discuss further please contact us to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.