Top tips for getting the best from your agency

How strong is your partnership with your marketing agency? Note the very deliberate use of the word partnership here. Some clients are very much ‘clients’, however I firmly believe that the best work is achieved through an open and strong partnership between client and agency. Both experts, they each bring valuable knowledge and skills to the party. By working closely throughout we can achieve the strongest, most relevant and compelling work possible. Besides, it’s the fun bit isn’t it? We didn’t go into marketing to be a slave to spreadsheets. So how do you really get the best from your agency and make your partnership as productive as it can be?

Treat us like one of you

Your agency is an extension of your team, not just another supplier. We care about hitting those objectives just as much as you do – so treat us like team members. We’re often not in your office, so keep us up to date on those little conversations that happen between departments and the smaller things that you don’t think matter. And, sometimes big things change, we get it. At the end of the day, we’re in the communications game, so keep the channels of communication flowing, even if you think it’s a little overboard. We’re all talkers here at SEMA4 so keep the phone calls coming!

Let’s work hard on the brief

Briefing, it’s a tough old game – what to share, what not to share, targets to define, not to mention budgets… At SEMA4 we’re pretty commercially minded and we like to get to know your business, and I mean really get to know it. That means understanding the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’. Your objectives, the temperature in your business (and I don’t mean the aircon!), your products and what your customers love, hate and worry about – it’s those little nuggets that get our creative juices flowing.

Questions, discussion and debate are good, so let’s get together – face to face briefings – we love ‘em.

Walk in the shoes of your customer…

…when reviewing proposals and creative work alike.

You know your brand inside out and back to front, but it’s important to still ‘be’ your customer. Leap inside their head and think about how they will react. It’s helpful for us as we know your evaluation is objective and that helps make for super clear and directional feedback. Result!

Be the marketing expert in your business…

…not your FD, HR manager, the IT Director or the well-loved office dog. It’s often useful to canvass opinion, but consolidated and decisive feedback is incredibly helpful. Be open about why it’s right or not right, no prima donnas here! It’s only by understanding what it is that is or isn’t right that can we make sure we’re on the money.

We want your budget to go into developing and producing great work rather than multiple rounds of amends. So, input yes, a show of hands, no.

Let’s get to know each other

Spend time with your agency. We know everyone is busy but the better you know your team (and not just the lead agency contact) the better the work you can create together. Dialogue and understanding how people think and work is key for agencies to anticipate what ideas might sink or swim and what should be left on the cutting room floor. Understanding your ambitions, creative opinions and just how funny you may, or may not, think our puns are means we can get to an award-winning idea that we all love even quicker!

Never underestimate the value of two little words

Yes, saying ‘thank you’ sounds simple doesn’t it? But it’s not that common. You as clients, and we as agencies invest a lot of ourselves into developing and delivering great work. We believe in what we produce; a lot of passion, debate, blood, sweat and yes, sometimes tears, go into it. We care, and those two little words go a very, very long way.