The end of the year is upon us, and well, 2011 was…not too shabby. I really wish I could say that every business is booming, jobs are abundant and the sky is the limit for growth. But while there are positive signs, not everyone is there just yet…
Things are different after these past three tumultuous years. We’re smarter, leaner and swimming in shallow water (heck, I might even go as far as to say we’re synchronized swimming in shallow water!). Point being, we all do more with less.
As such, and as an account service professional with almost 15 years of experience in an agency environment, I wanted to share some thoughts on how to get the absolute most out of your agency.
View agency as partner. Be an open book.
Sharing information and keeping your account service team up to date ensures that your agency is offering ideas and recommendations that best align with your strategies—and that you are getting the full value from your marketing advisors.
Draft the blueprint.
Establish a clear picture of what you want to achieve. If the objectives aren’t identifiable, account service will not be able to accurately direct the creative team and will likely waste time and money getting to the right solution. Help your agency help you by giving good direction. Ten minutes of quality time could save hours of shots in the dark.
Give your agency time.
Creativity is a process. When possible, give your agency the time they need to provide you with a well thought out execution that embodies the best thinking and planning. My father (the basketball coach) has always said it best…Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. It’s true on and off the court!
Get to know your creative team.
Being the man behind the curtain was effective in The Wizard of Oz…in the real world, not so much. Share your vision, connect with your team, communicate. Your direct influence on their work will often spark something spectacular!
Lay the cards on the table.
Identify the budget up front. This helps your agency determine how to maximize your dollars and get the most out of each line item. Time is all too often wasted working on ideas and suggestions that simply aren’t feasible.
Sleep on it.
Fortunately, your agency partners have a mind of their own. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t need them. Agencies are a great way to channel creative thinking, so if they bring something to the table that you weren’t expecting, sleep on it. It may seem crazy at first, but it could be transformational.
Putting these thoughts into practice for 2012 will help your agency run at its prime, generating more bang for your marketing buck.