Without trust, no relationship can survive. Same holds true for the relationship between you and your agency. To do great work, you’ve got to trust your creative agency. Letting go of some of the control can be hard, but remember, there’s a reason you hired your agency. They eat, sleep and breathe creativity. They know how to move products off the shelf and increase your bottom line.
You’re the expert
Now, let’s be clear. No one knows your customers and products better than you. You are the expert when it comes to your industry. What your agency will do is combine your expertise with their knowledge of marketing and human nature — or more specifically, their ability to tap into human emotions. It’s a symbiotic relationship, and together you can outsmart and outsell the competition.
Trust your creative agency to introduce new ideas
As you embark on different projects with your agency, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. If you want to get noticed, you have to make some noise. Your agency will have an arsenal of tools and ideas to help you grab a greater share of the market. All you have to do is be willing to go along for the ride.
Trust your creative agency as an objective resource
One of the perks of working with a creative agency is that they’re an objective resource. As an independent third party, they have no bias about your industry or products. They’ll help you see your company the same as an outsider would.
Occasionally, internal marketing teams fall into the trap of getting too close to the products and services they market. Their view can become myopic and skewed by groupthink. A good ad agency will do its best to remain impartial and help steer clients with solid strategy and results.
Also, keep in mind that just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Open yourself up to new ways of thinking. Use your agency as a resource — they want you to succeed more than anything.
Trust your creative agency by collaborating and communicating
If you work with your agency closely during the early stages of a project — like really collaborate — you’ll learn to trust them. Once you’ve reached a strategy, timeline and budget you’re happy with, sit back and let your agency create magic. More than likely, they’ll give you multiple executions to choose from — executions you’ll likely have a hard time eliminating because you want to use them all.
Try to be open with your agency throughout the collaboration process and make sure they do the same for you. That way nothing will come as a surprise to either party. Remember that changes at any stage could push back deadlines and inflate budgets. As long as you’re both being transparent, a trust will develop and success will happen.
Don’t be afraid to take risks
Risk-taking can be challenging in any field. With risk comes the possibility of failure, and who wants to fail? In our experience, however, the greater a client’s tolerance for risk, the more impactful the creative. Risk-taking requires courage for sure. Risky advertising is generally attention-grabbing advertising. When done right, it can help you gain a huge return for little effort.
The tricky part is getting all involved decision-makers on board with out-of-the-box ideas. Because of fear of failure, ideas with a wow factor can make some people nervous and often get picked apart by committees. When this happens, the idea often becomes Frankensteined (yes, that’s an official term) or turned into something safe.
At the same time, risk that is not rooted in strategy is not smart. It should fit with the business objective you’ve identified. When the stars align and strategic-yet-risky ideas see the light of day, they don’t just align with trends — they set them.
Bottom line, the more you trust your creative agency and believe in their work, and the more willing you are to step outside your comfort zone, the stronger your creative will be. Use your agency’s expertise to your advantage and you’ll be glad you did.
In our next post in this four-part series, we’ll wrap up our discussion by talking about how to evaluate your agency’s creative. If you want to read more about choosing the right advertising agency, go back to part 1. To learn more about what to expect while working with an agency, check out part 2.