Creative Agencies & Businesses: 7 tips to frictionless partnerships.

Creative Agencies &  Businesses: 7 tips to frictionless partnerships.

The Creative Agency comprises a group of experts that provide innovative strategies and marketing initiatives to help brands achieve their goals. 

They are crucial to the growth of a business as they help to Brainstorm new products/services, figure out ways to lower expenses/costs, find new markets/demographics to target, develop unique product designs and strategies, etc. all to ensure consistent growth in your company.

Creative agencies are important to businesses that are established, but some startups are however finding it hard to maintain a smooth relationship/partnership with the creative industry.

Hiring and managing a creative agency for some startups can be one hell of a thing. 

It’s understandable. 

When it comes to creativity, there can be a variation of ideas: In this case, the managing team’s idea vs the creative agency’s idea. 

These variations cause friction in partnerships between businesses and creative agencies. 

Established companies have actually found ways around these variations that may arise from partnering with a creative agency.    

This guide will expose to you their secrets, and how they are getting these creative agencies to get the best creative work done for the least amount of money in the least amount of time. 

So, are you ready? Let’s get kicking then,

  • First and foremost, Pick an agency you can trust.
  • Partnership requires understanding.
  • It’s important you understand the creative process & the creative mindset.
  • Good work takes time.
  • Creative solutions come from an agreement.
  • Remember that you hired professionals.
  • Give creative feedback.

Starting with, 

  1. Pick an agency you can trust.

 Before we even get to developing a smooth partnership with creative agencies, you have to first and foremost hire one right? Yeah, absolutely!

There are lots of creative agencies out there, here’s what we’ll advise.

During your hiring process, focus on the ones that,

  • Truly listen to you.
  • Speak with you, not at you. 
  • Can readily admit what they CAN’T help you with.
  • Have a list of long-term relationships with clients. 
  • Doesn’t use a lot of hyperbolic languages to sell you. 

Once you finally arrive at a creative agency, tip-toe into that relationship one project at a time until you know you can absolutely trust them. 

What impact product design can create on your business?  

  1. Note: Partnership requires understanding.

Mutual understanding always has a major role to play in the maintenance of a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

Getting along with a newly hired creative agency can be quite a thing, yes, but it’s actually important you get on the same wavelength.

The relationship with your newly hired creative agency is a major determinant to knowing if you’ll actually be successful, if your projects will always go smoothly and if they’ll be done in a relatively short amount of time. 

In addition, you’ll want to provide them with information to help them operate seamlessly with your organization. 

This removes friction and makes projects faster, and better. Org charts, internal processes, working styles, technology preferences, and so on, will all be helpful, here. 

They should be providing you with information about how to work with them, too.

  1. You must understand the creative process & the creative mindset.

Clients who are well informed about the creative process help ensure that projects run more smoothly. 

Projects that run smoothly tend to make work more fun and lead to better quality creativity. Creativity isn’t magic and it isn’t art - it’s a craft. Understanding the proper process will help you understand the craft. 

You can ask your creative agency what their creative process looks like. This will give you a better insight into what you’re in for.

It’s also important you develop a creative mindset. These creative agencies hire talented experts like copywriters, product designers, art directors, illustrators, etc. Every one of these guys comes with an aura of creativity. If you, therefore, want to partner with these experts effectively, you’d be wise to understand their quirks and predilections so you can help coax the best work out of them.

  1. Good work takes time.

Clients often don’t know how much time it takes to do a good job on their product design/branding. 

Why does it take two weeks to do a damn landing page design? 

Well, because there are many necessary steps. 

Many clients assume that the creative process is simple, linear, and push-button. In reality, it’s none of those things. The brain needs to marinate on things and explore the universe of ideas. Creative Agencies need to proof the work, code it, Q/A it, creative direct and iterate internally at each stage of the process to improve the quality. 

Clients often forget that project creative agencies work on demand THEIR time, not forgetting several approval rounds requiring time and undivided attention. 

Most creative agencies have already explored every shortcut imaginable to get to the schedules they propose. They know how fast you can push something before it starts to shake apart. Yes, you can get an agency to create your new website in a couple of months. But it will be crap and you’ll have to do it again within a year. Probably for three times as much money.

  1. Creative solutions come from an agreement.

Before your creative agency starts its work, they need to be clear on the problem: the goals, the audience, the message, and the assignment as a whole. In case you haven’t guessed yet, we’re referring to a thing called “the creative brief.”  

If you don’t have creative brief writing as a skill within your organization/agency, your creative agency can certainly help you there. 

The important thing here is that you all agree on the problem, audience, and strategy first before they begin the work. 

It’s also important to have kick-off meetings where the creative team can poke, prod, and explore the boundaries with you. If anything in this part of the process is lacking, then the creative solution will be lacking. 

  1. Remember that you hired professionals.

You know your onions; You’ve been around the block for quite some time; that’s absolutely great.

 One thing you should note is that if you really want massive success in your business, company, or agency, you’ll actually need the help of other professionals in specific fields.

Doing fantastic creative work takes certain skills and a whole lot of practice.

It may even be that you and your team are too engrossed with other aspects of the business to see things clearly from your user’s perspective.

The creative agency is trained with the ability to step back and see the world through the eyes of a user.

Creatives are highly emotive and empathetic people who spend a lot of quality time trying to feel their way into the audiences’ world. They can’t do your job and you can’t do theirs. It takes both of you to do good creative work that works.

  1. Give creative feedback. 

Sure, everyone’s feedback is valid. But everyone’s feedback should not have equal weight and be clustered up in the hands of your creative agency. 

Before you send feedback to the agency, have the decision-maker resolve or otherwise rectify any disputes your side has within the comments. Ensure you have one source of truth at every stage of the feedback cycle. 

And if there are no issues, it’s okay to say, "I like it. No issues. Approved."

You don’t have to make your creative agency work and work even when you like what they’ve initially come up with.

To wrap it all up, 

Creative agency management is actually a legitimate skill.

That’s because established companies have learned the importance of doing this right. 

Not only is it a highly valuable relationship, but how well you manage it has everything to do with how much money you end up paying, how good the work is, and how quickly that work gets done. 

It’s common for businesses to walk away frustrated from creative agency relationships that they themselves have seriously mismanaged.

All in all, focusing on building a fantastic relationship with that creative agency, it’s one secret to sustainable growth and development. 

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