08 Jan When should I hire a creative agency?
No one knows your brand like you do. And as a result, it can be difficult to give up the creative reigns to an outsider. When left in the right hands, however, working with a creative agency can provide you with a fresh perspective, and brand solutions that you couldn’t have accomplished on your own.
Keep reading for a brief guide on partnering with a creative agency, from determining if a creative agency is the best option for your needs, to the types of support a creative agency can offer you, and effective ways to compare your creative agency options.
Is a creative agency the best fit?
The following criteria can help you determine the right opportunities to enlist the assistance of an agency partner.
Highly specialized skills/expertise – Outside support can be beneficial when a project requires a specialized education level or skill set, such as web development or motion design, that your internal team does not possess.
Limited resources – Working with an agency can be a practical solution when your company does not have the financial resources to hire new full-time, permanent employees or purchase equipment necessary to complete a project.
Temporary or fluctuating needs – When your company is taking on a new initiative or in a state of fluctuation, hiring an agency may give you the flexibility you need to reach your goals, eliminating the need to make long-term staffing decisions while you’re still in flux.
If you’re considering other resources in addition to working with an agency, such as utilizing your in-house team or a freelance individual, check out Modicum’s blog on the ins and outs of these options.
What kind of support do agencies offer?
Creative agencies can provide a wide variety of services. The best agency partnerships will be more than happy to chat with you about their range of services and expertise, and how those mesh with your brand needs. Check out some of the capabilities Modicum has to offer:
Branding and content strategy
Laying a strategic framework is fundamental for building effective brand tools like marketing collateral or websites. You need a team that can identify your company’s core positioning and develop a communications strategy to support your goals. The right agency partner for branding will deliver a talented, creative, and experienced team that can help you strategically define and unify creative concepts for branding, websites, campaigns, events, social media, and more.
Sales and marketing collateral
Keynotes, sales and investor decks, media and partner kits – they all carry the enormous burden of effectively representing your value proposition in a narrow window of time. Making a killer first impression with your presentations takes diligent expertise to transform sales and product jargon into visuals and copy that are clear, concise, and engaging.
Videos and motion design
Adding videos to your website can result in higher engagement and click-through rates than other types of content. Online videos come in a variety of formats, including campaign videos, overview or explainer videos, event videos, animated videos, social videos, demo videos, ambient homepage videos, and lead-generating videos.
Infographics and data visualizations
A data visualization expert is able to conceptualize a simple, concise, memorable way to convey your information or data using diagrams, charts, technical illustrations, and animations. Data visualizations are an extremely compelling way to capture and maintain the attention of your target audience.
User interface and user experience design
When non-UI/UX designers take a stab at web design or app design, they often get caught up in their own limited view of their brand or company without considering the experience of real users. Good UI/UX design results in tools that intuitively function the way your real prospective customers expect them to, which results in measurable boosts to site traffic, time on page, page interactions, and lead generation. Even simple microsites, electronic press kits, and interactive training modules can accomplish more with help from a professional UI / UX design team.
How to choose the right agency
Once you determine that utilizing an agency is the best choice for you and your company, the next step is to select the right team. Here are some tips to guide you in your decision:
- Ensure the agency understands the overall strategy and positioning of your company, both where you’re at and where you’re going.
- Come prepared with a list of things you’d like to get from your partnership with an agency. This will ensure that your needs align with the agency’s capabilities.
- Review samples of the agency’s prior projects to get an idea of quality, expertise, and dedication to the project. That said, keep in mind that every project is unique. Try to look at the bigger picture of how skill and style can translate from one industry or goal to another OR ask your creative agency use their past samples to talk you through a more unique approach to your project.
- Learn to value enthusiasm. An agency team that seems super excited to work with you will go above and beyond to ensure project success. While you may initially think it’s best to choose an agency based on reputation or client list, globally-renowned agency conglomerates are more likely to make you a low priority than small, independent agencies with more enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Ask about the project management process. It’s important to know if you’ll need to provide your own project coordinator, or pay for project management services. Consider whether your review cycles will be direct with your team or if you’ll have to play a game of telephone every time you want a change. Modicum offers PM services at no additional cost and direct access to your creative team via phone, chat or email.
- Know who will actually be on your agency team. Agencies can outsource work to other local teams, or to low-cost vendors on the other side of the globe. Ask for transparency on what will be handled in-house and what they’ll be entrusting to third party vendors.
Overall, before you make the decision to extend your core team by utilizing an agency, do your due diligence. Research a few options, view samples of previous work, and ask for some client references. Ask your prospective partner to break down their approach, strategy, timeline and budget before you sign on the dotted line. Take the time to align these things to your internal resources, needs and limitations.
Remember, it’s literally never too early to reach out to an agency. The sooner you reach out the more flexible we can be to your needs.
Ready to put your brand to work? Reach out!