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"WeListen" Blog

Five Ways to Improve Your Creative Agency Relationship

Do you know what it takes to get excellent work from your creative partners? Great design begins with strong client & agency relationships. It’s remarkable how easy it can be to build strong partnerships and new ideas with these five easy steps…

1. No Problem? No Solution.

Five Ways to Improve Your Creative Agency Relationships - Define The ProblemAll designers love clients who can provide insights into their business so we can use design and creativity to solve problems. Personally, I love to begin any project by asking “Why?” three times in order to get to the heart of the problem. By the time you’ve gotten to the third answer, you’ve generally discovered something new.

If you still can’t tell what the problem is, maybe it’s time to get outside the “brandbubble” and engage with consumers for some honest feedback. No designer wants to treat the symptoms, we want to treat the problem. Only when we diagnose the real issue, can we develop meaningful creative solutions.

2. Show Me The Money

Five Ways To Improve Creative Agency Relationships - Budget TransparencyNo one likes to talk about the money, but you’ve got to do it anyway. Begin any relationship with an agency or designer by disclosing your real issues AND your budget. A great agency can provide creative solutions that are scalable to any reasonable budget.

Not every brand has millions to spend on design, but great creative ideas can often come when dealing with limitations. And if an agency can’t work within your means, they are the best reference for finding another design partner who can.

3. Ask Questions!

Five Ways To Improve Your Creative Agency Relationship - Open CommunicationWe know the creative process can be a bit mystifying to clients. We live and breathe ideation everyday, so it isn’t always easy to explain how we generate new ideas. The best way to clarify the process?

You need to ask questions! Your design partners need to ask questions!

While your creative team may not have an instant answer, they shouldn’t hesitate to explain their creative process and show you examples of how they’ve solved similar challenges for other clients. Clear communication is the key to any great working relationship, so no question is a dumb one.

4. Teamwork. No, for real.

Five Ways To Improve Your Creative Agency Relationship - TeamworkA good client/agency relationship is a partnership with a strong team dynamic. Every member of a team is chosen for their unique skillsets and expertise, and that includes you. Having a brand partner who collaborates with their agency can make all the difference when solving a marketing challenge. After all, you understand your brand better than any hired gun. If you can work collectively with your agency partners, it ups the odds of success to deliver a solution that can be a real game changer.

5. To have a great idea, have a lot of them.

Five Ways To Improve Your Creative Agency Relationship - Be Open To New IdeasDesigners use our talents to bring life and new ideas to your brand. We celebrate “the idea” and often that involves an unexpected solution to your problem. It’s important that the whole team (remember, that’s you too!) celebrate and encourage ideas in order to evolve and find new ground.

If a creative agency only provided the solutions you could think of, why hire them in them first place? Be open to new solutions and your designers will strive to bring you the new and unexpected every time.

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