Hiring a creative agency is not a task to be taken lightly. The material that the agency creates will effectively be the face of your organization moving forward. If it doesn’t look good, you don’t look good. If that happens, your sales could tank and you will have to spend a lot of money trying to regroup and save face.
To prevent that situation, there are some factors to take into consideration before choosing a creative agency to work on your company’s branding, website, design, and marketing campaigns. Below is a list of definitive questions that you need to ask yourself before hiring any creative agency:
What Are Your Needs?
Knowing exactly what your organization needs before going into a meeting with a creative agency will keep you from buying the cow when all you need is the milk. Evaluate each aspect of your organization and if something is working very well for you, convey that to the agency. It is obvious there are areas where you need to perform better, otherwise you would not seek out a creative agency. Typical areas of need include website, branding, lead generation, logo design, and marketing.
Who Is Your Audience?
There is not one phase of internet marketing that can be efficiently addressed without first knowing your target demographic. Creative agencies cater directly to your audience with the material they create, whether it’s a website, branding message, or re-imagining the colors in your logo. If you don’t know your target demographic, the creative agency won’t know it either. You will both wind up taking shots in the dark and wasting a lot of time and money.
What Are Your Goals?
If you don’t know where you need a creative agency to take you, how are they going to know what to do? Having a set of established, concrete goals that you want to meet will allow the creative agency to set forth a plan of action that will meet those goals head on.
What Is Your Timetable?
While not every goal you have in mind will be realistic, it’s important to have expectations in hand. Using the project management triangle, your timetable could affect the scope and/or cost of your project, so having every variable in front of you before you get started is the key to getting what you want, when you want it, how you want it and for a price you can afford.
What Is Your Budget?
Know what your budget is, know what you are willing to spend, and be up front with that information. This will save the creative agency from spending time on a proposal for a project that you either can not or will not pay for.
Keeping an Open Mind with Your Creative Agency
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can sit down and discuss your needs and goals with different creative agencies. As you meet with them, bear in mind these are professionals who do this for a living. While it might be hard to let go of some of the ideas you have or to understand why you need a new website or branding, keeping an open mind will likely net you far better results than you had hoped.
Just as you have customers that come to you for your expertise, when you visit a creative agency you will benefit from listening to what they have to say. To reassure yourself, take a look at the portfolio of the creative agency and see the success they have brought to other businesses. If that is the type of exposure and success you want, congratulations! You have found your creative agency.