One of the questions that most advertisers will have throughout their career will be “How do I pick the right creative agency?” Throughout their career because picking the right creative agency is a mix of science, art, and luck. While I will not be able to share much on the luck part, the blog is an attempt to share a few pointers on the science and the art part of it.

The following tips will help you in picking the right creative agency for your brand.

Separate planning and creative team

Ensure that the team has a dedicated planner and a creative team/resource.A planner is someone who will pick what to say in the ad while the creative team will decide how to say it. Most advertisers get swayed by creativity. However, creativity without the right direction is equivalent to running in the wrong direction. So when you play the ad, people like but don’t end up buying.

Understands your category

Agencies that have prior experience working with similar products bring in a lot of value from their prior work. Consumer behavior in different categories varies slightly but can have a huge impact on the ads. Working with an agency with prior experience saves you both time to experiment and the money you spend.

Media vertical specialist

Have a clear understanding of where will you be using the creative predominantly. If your majority of spend will be on Digital, pick an agency that specializes in digital ad making. Digital requires an agency that has a quick turn around time and low cost. This is because digital platforms allow using & testing multiple ads. However, a print does not give you the flexibility to iterate and hence margin of error is low.

While it is not possible to keep multiple creative agencies for different verticals but keeping a separate digital performance creative agency is recommended. For the remaining keep a single agency but with a clear understanding of where the creative would be used predominantly.

Have a clear process of selection

All agencies who are keen on your business should have a level playing field. Most brands start the creative agency selection process by issuing a requirement briefly. I have attached a few samples for you to download. Depending on the brand budget for the creative, creative agencies will come back with either a proposal or a pitch. But be clear in your requirement document on what do you want the agencies to come back with.

Have a budget range in mind

Without a budget, range selection will get messy. Creativity is subjective. Most of the cost is for the thought that making the ads. For the same requirement, different agencies can have very different pricing. Keep the pricing factor standard, so that you can evaluate them on their work.

Talk to their past clients

Nothing helps more than feedback from their existing clients. Talking to existing clients will give you a clearer picture of the agency’s strengths and weaknesses.

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