Date8th May 2013
CategoryMarketing tips/News/
AuthorBoxed Red

How do I decide which creative agency I want to work with?

It’s one thing to decide your business needs a new direction, whether that’s with a new website, a fresh brand identity or simply a new sales brochure, but quite another to choose which marketing or creative agency you want to help you achieve your ambitious business goals.

Ask yourself the following questions, and you’ll be a few steps closer to making the right decision.

What do I want to achieve?

Your chosen creative agency can only help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. We recently wrote a blog post that might help you set yourself some realistic objectives

Some of your goals might be to:

  • Reposition your business in the market
  • Drive traffic to your website or increase football
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Boost sales
  • Launch a website
  • Create an effective social media strategy
  • Implement a complete, integrated marketing campaign
Do I want a long-term relationship?

If you have a specific project in mind – building a new website, or creating a bespoke sales brochure for your company, for example – you might be happy to work with an agency on a project basis, calling on their expertise for one element of your marketing, and then carrying out the rest yourself.

But the right marketing or creative agency can work as a valuable extension to your team, forging along-term relationship that proactively drives your marketing activity forward and constantly adds value and makes improvements to keep you focused on achieving your goals.

Can I ask for recommendations?

Spread the word that you’re looking to work with a new creative or marketing agency, has one of your connections on Twitter or LinkedIn had some work completed recently? Ask for their feedback and recommendations.

How much do I want to spend?

We get it. You don’t want to tell us your budget because you’re afraid we’ll spend it all! But telling us ‘you just want to know how much it will cost’ won’t get you the best proposal or solution to your marketing requirements.

When you specify a budget, we can provide more accurate costs for media spend and print production, instead of providing speculative ‘rate card’ estimations, as well as ensuring our proposal aligns exactly to your requirements, goals and most importantly, your budget – whether that’s £1,000 or £1m.

Who do I want to work with?

Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve and what you can afford to spend on it, make a shortlist of all the agencies you’d like to work with and start calling round to make an initial appointment. Have all the information you’ve gathered so far to hand and tell them as much as possible, as soon as you can.

It’s always a great idea to meet face to face, so try to set up meetings where possible, even if it’s just for a quick coffee to discuss your requirements and expectations.

Would I consider a pitch process?

You’re likely to have narrowed down your shortlist by now, but you might still have two or three agencies that you can see yourself working with. If this is the case, it might be time to consider a pitch process.

Here’s our advice for an effective pitch:

  • Have a clear brief and ensure the same one is sent to each agency
  • Outline your budget and expectations – do you want to see one creative concept or three? Do you want ideas for advertising and media spend, or an idea of print and production costs?
  • Don’t ask more than four agencies to pitch
  • Score the work from each agency to help you decide which has satisfied your brief most effectively
  • Remember the agencies you ask to pitch are making an investment in your project without the guarantee of winning any work, so a pitch process is best reserved for times when you plan on spending a bit more of your budget
What is my instinct saying?

Listen to your gut. You’ve met each of the teams once or twice, and seen the level of work they can produce. You might find that you have a great rapport with one of the agencies and just ‘feel’ like they tick all your boxes.

Trust yourself, you know what’s best for your business.

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