In our last post, we shared with all PMs out there a powerful checklist on how to prepare their online campaigns with ease and professionalism. In this blog post, we want to help with expert tips, all companies that might need assistance from a creative agency for the production of their on- and offline marketing content.
- Treat your creative agency as your partner and your relationship as a symbiotic one. In order for this relationship to be fruitful and mutually beneficial, both parties need to put an effort into the creative process.
- Define for yourself what is needed by the agency and align the plans with all other parties involved on your end. This will save you time, money and resources.
- Always try to assume that the teams on the other end might need further explanation on the project. Therefore, double check your nice brief and try to make it as detailed as possible.
- Always be specific and descriptive. It never matters that you have been working with the same agency for years. It’s better to be safe than sorry – the saying is a total cliche but it also is the bare truth. Imagine that one dreadful day the creative PM you have been working with during the past 18 months dared to go on annual leave!? And there is someone new and/or not that experienced to cover for your new project…
- The brief is the umbilical cord connecting you and the creative agency, it’s THE fundamental communication tool that presents your wish and command to the agency. The better the brief – the better the end result.
- Try to provide in advance all necessary materials to the agency teams – source files, images, tech specs, brand guidelines, fonts, short info about your campaign, previous examples, everything that is relevant to the current project.
- Listen carefully to what your partners from the agency might have to say about the brief, get familiar with their questions and notes. Remember – they ask because they want to perform better not because they are dying to bother you.
- Always respond on time and in detail – this is the best you can do for your own project. Never answer 5 questions if there are 13 listed in the scary email in front of you. If you don’t have some of the answers at the moment – explain that you will get back with further info and list the unclear points. In this way you will not be buried under friendly reminders that you have not provided advice on all neatly listed bullets in the scary email and your partner will not lose time in meaningless comms.
- Prioritize the tasks that are part of the project in your brief. In this way, you can be sure that you will receive the most needed assets in advance.
- Prior to sending a green light for production always double check the master samples. If necessary, send the masters to all other people that are involved in the project on your end! This will save you time and money as well as a glass full of bitterness :)…
- Test any samples in the real environment prior to contacting the agency – this way you will be able to provide extensive feedback to your partner who might even be able to find a way to produce even better assets for you.
- Perform tests and QA on all deliverables in the final production pack.
- Follow up with the agency. Let your partner know you appreciate a job well done. Open a discussion about what can be improved in the process that can be implemented in future projects. Provide overall feedback about your work together. This will strengthen further your partnership and will add value to all future projects.
- Measure the results of your campaign, congratulate all parties involved with what has been achieved. Make important notes for lessons learned and celebrate :)!
The above list presents just some of the basic truths but it also points out some painful moments of a creative process. However, if you follow these tips you will soon see for yourself that they are a great way to improve your relationship with your partners from the creative agency. They will also help you avoid delays and some nasty headaches :).