What is a creative agency and why should you work with one?
You’re probably aware of the term ‘creative agency’, and you may even be connected to individuals who work at them. Stereotypically, they share updates about exciting and colourful campaigns, office ping pong tables and Friday beers on social media, but we can assure you there’s a lot more substance behind the scenes.
It’s easy to think a creative agency’s work is a bit of a vanity project. But what goes on beneath the surface is actually something strategic and valuable.
So what is a creative agency? What happens amongst the quirky office decor and ping pong tables day-to-day? And more importantly, how can they help you achieve your goals?
What is a creative agency?
A creative agency is a bundle of creative experts across different fields who specialise in helping brands achieve their marketing and branding goals. As a part of those wider marketing initiatives may come design, digital marketing, creative campaigns, advertising and branding. The value of working with an agency partner is unmatched. You’ll likely be assigned an account manager through which you will access all of the agency’s expertise and teams to achieve your goals. This maximises the investment and allows you to achieve tangible results in terms of brand exposure, lead generation, ROI and customer retention.
The beauty and the brains
Step foot into any creative agency, and you’ll find talented creative folk alongside strategic, logical thinkers. The thinkers and the doers. The strategy and the design.
Through a partnership with a creative agency, you’ll have access to not just beautiful creativity, but also the rationale and focus needed to ensure it’s not just a vanity project.
Their teams are built to complement each other’s work, enabling them to deliver work of substantial value to their clients. The creative and the strategists work side by side, and if you’re really lucky, now and again you come across someone who can do both. Overseeing each department is usually a seasoned expert in that field, such as a creative director, account director or client services director. A creative agency is committed to delivering the best results possible for its clients and will place immense value on you and your account.
Ability to pivot and rethink
The landscape is constantly changing out there and if you get stuck in your ways you’re likely to get left behind. Creative agencies make it their mission to continually grow and evolve in line with the current times, in order to best serve their clients. They’ll be there to advise you on trends and help you make decisions about your strategies moving forward. For example, if you’ve previously stuck to print campaigns but now is the time to try something digital, a creative agency will have the expertise and capacity to support you to refocus and try something new.
When working in a business, we all know it’s easy to get stuck in the business and not spend as much time working on the business. A team from a creative agency can help you take a step back and assess the bigger picture, offering ideation and recommendations to get your creative juices flowing. This arrangement should be a partnership, which is why many businesses employ the support of a creative agency because they know they will maintain some creative licence themselves.
A creative agency will take a strategic approach to everything they do. A great creative agency will go one step further and get you involved on that journey. This might include customer research, focus groups, competitor analysis, usability testing and data collection. When you are working with a ‘why’ in mind, your work becomes more purposeful and your investments bring bigger payoffs.
A creative agency should be open and amenable to your suggestions too since you know your clients better than anyone. Look out for creative teams that don’t listen to your needs and work on vanity metrics. A bespoke marketing strategy that will underpin all of your creative and brand is the way to go.
Alignment and consistency
Flitting from different internal departments or different contractors is going to cause confusion and a disconnect within your marketing, brand and messaging.
A creative agency will be dedicated to your creative and marketing outcomes. In the process, they will put together brand guidelines, a tone of voice, and nuances that become recognisable and unique to your brand. Their dedication to your account means you are more likely to see alignment and consistency in any output.
Creative agencies like ourselves here at Stratos believe in becoming an extension of your team. We are a partner, and that’s how we intend on treating the relationship. Over time, we get to know our partner’s brand like our own. That relationship is the foundation for creating and executing successful strategies.