Choosing the right Creative Agency

Whom you decide to entrust your brand or corporate image to is vital, as it can make or break the perception of your business or product. You may also need advice and expertise on how to market and advertise your business/product. Therefore you should always work with the best agency you can afford, rather than going with the cheapest supplier. Top quality graphic design or branding expertise is not a commodity. It varies greatly from supplier to supplier as does the level of customer service and support. Like all things, you generally pay for what you get and your future earnings will rely heavily on how your customers perceive your business or product.

It is always worth doing a bit of research into how long the creative agency you are considering have been established for. A combination of tough economic times and a competitive industry means that those companies, like Artefact, who have been around for more than 10 years are likely to offer greater quality, experience and customer service. You can also guage a creative agency by the quality of their portfolio/the prestige of the brands and clients they work with. Not alone should they be able to provide above average design skills, but importantly should also be able to offer excellent consultation in terms of branding, marketing and general business savvy. This expertise can only come with years of experience. Often the cheapest work can cost you the most in the long term. That is why Artefact should be your top choice… always.

To help you make that vital decision on who to work with, the following process may be helpful to you:

Stage 1: Research the Market
Client researches the market to produce a short-list of prospective agencies based on criteria such as agency skillsets, capacity, relevant experience, portfolio work etc. This stage can be completed by desk research on agency websites.

Stage 2: Agency credentials
The purpose of this stage is for clients to discuss/liaise directly with the agency, to gain an understanding of the thinking behind some of the agency’s processes and get a feel for they operate. This is also the stage to begin addressing any specific requirements around the scope of work.

Stage 3: Ability to work together.

By now, the client will have been able to whittle down the agencies to a final 2 or 3. At this stage the client should have met with the principles and the creatives they feel that they could have a good working relationship with. It can often come down to personality and chemistry. ‘People like working with people they like’. Obviously, the track record, work ethic, client base all have to be top notch.

Stage 4: Decision

By this stage, prospective clients should have enough information to make a decision and will move to contract discussions and negotiations with the preferred agency.

Stage 5: Discretionary creative stage
However, we understand that some clients will simply be unable to appoint an agency without seeing some bespoke strategic thinking and, possibly, creative work to a brief that they have provided. While that is understandable, we believe that asking for speculative work should not be requested and we ask clients to treat this stage as if it were already a commercial relationship. A strong portfolio, client testimonials and conversations with the principals should be enough to make a decision. From both agency and client point of view, the fewer agencies involved at this stage the better (it is unlikely to be more than two but may be just one agency).

This will enable clients to disclose all the information the agency needs, to make time available so that we can understand the client’s working environment better and to allow for the start of a building up of trust. We also ask for a pitch fee. (nobody should be asked to work for free)
The pitch fee acknowledges that our time has value and goes a little way towards defraying some of the third party costs we will need to spend.
One of the main advantages we find to this approach is having replicated a real working process, the agency-client relationship has already been ‘road-tested’ and, as a result, is a lot more productive much earlier. Much of our best and most effective work and many of our strongest, most successful relationships have followed a similar process.

If you would like to discuss you creative project or advertising campaign with us, please contact
Wil Lyons or one of the team at 01 8330081/ 086 2750662 or Email: info@artefact.ie

The importance of choosing the right creative agency…

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