Open letter to a client in search of an agency
Sir or Madam,
If you have decided to hire a new agency, permit me to suggest a simple way to go about it. (We’ve tried to keep it simple and sweet. Please have some patience and make sure to read the entire article).
“Don’t delegate the selection to a committee of pettyfoggers. They usually get it wrong.
Do it yourself.
Start by listing out through a simple GOOGLE search. Look at their Google My Business Profile. Get to know what all services they offer. To dig deeper go through their website. Have a look at their clientele and what kind of work they have executed so far for each brand. Check out every page. God is in details, don’t miss out on observing the content, graphics, videos and animation used in the website. Still clueless about their capabilities and potential? No worries. Scroll through the company’s social media profile and LinkedIn company profile. Now you must have got some gist about their working, service offerings. It’s always better to look out for a Holistic – Integrated Marketing Agency that has got digital, creative, strategic and media solutions under one roof.
What else you can do is save advertisements you have looked at on any of the social media platforms, print ads or TV Commercials and find out which agencies did them. Make a list of creative posts and stalk some digital content curators, designers, photographers, professionals who produce some amazing video content, writers, tech geeks.
Note down your observations and search if any one of them works in any of the ad agencies. You now have a list of agencies and artists. Find out which are working for your competitors, and thus unavailable to you.
By this time you have a shortlist. Meet the head of each agency and his Creative Director and Strategic Minded person. Make sure the chemistry between you and them is good.
Happy marriages fructify, unhappy ones don’t.
But don’t ask to meet the working-level people who would be assigned to your account. You might find them congenial, but have no way of judging their talent. Or you might find them repulsive – some of the most talented people are. A prospective client once passed up an opportunity to hire Quick Time Production because the very able copywriter to whom I introduced him had long hair.
Ask to see each agency’s 5 best works (digital, social or traditional)
Pick the agency whose campaigns, thought process, presentation and working method interest you the most.
Quick Time Production Policy: During First Meet With Our Potential Client:
Above all, listen. The more you get the prospective client to talk, the easier it will be to decide whether you really want his account.
Tell your prospective client what your weak points are before he
notices them. This will make you more credible when you boast about
your strong points.
Don’t get bogged down in case histories or research numbers.
They put prospects to sleep. No manufacturer ever hired an agency because it
increased market-share for somebody else.
The day after a new business presentation, send the prospect a three-page letter summarizing the reasons why he should pick your agency.
This will help him make the right decision.
We firmly believe in this. And that’s how we work.
Ask what the agency charges. If it is 15 per cent, insist on paying 16 per cent. The extra one per cent won’t kill you, but it will double the agency’s normal profit, and you will get better service. Whatever you do, don’t haggle over the agency’s compensation. I know a big corporation that insists that its agencies negotiate terms of business with its Purchasing Department, as though they were selling office furniture.
Would they do this with lawyers, doctors and accountants?
Keep a note in mind the person who you are meeting is an advertising professional, not street vendors. Negotiate sensibly! There should be respect and honour from both sides of the table.
Insist on a long-term contract. This will delight the agency – and protect you from being resigned if one of your competitors ever tries to seduce them with a bigger budget. If you have still not made up your mind, give some time to the agency – once their work starts speaking and gives a boost to your business. Move forward and pay the buck they deserve for their work. And negotiate to work on a retainership model.
Building trust and letting the agency do what they do their best – Collab and Guide them whenever needed throughout the process.
Now you have your agency, are you going to get the best out of them? Clients get the advertising they deserve. I know some who are a malediction, and others who are an inspiration.
“Don’t keep a dog and bark at yourself. Any fool can write a bad advertisement, but it takes a genius to keep his hands off a good one.” – David Ogilvy
Once a year give your agency a formal report on its performance. This will serve as an early warning of trouble which, if ignored, could end badly for all concerned.
Even the best professionals are preternaturally thin-skinned. When you have to reject their work, do it gently, and praise them to the skies when they perform well. They are the geese who can lay golden eggs. Inspire them to keep lying.
Hire an agency that can create a campaign run for many years without losing its selling power.
#BuildingStrongBrands is not just about producing content that gets viral – It’s all about a good advertisement that sells the product without drawing attention to itself.
Creating a brand is not a one night game.
Lot’s of factors need to be taken into consideration. Brand Positioning, Creating a Brand Image, Brand Equity which includes brand name awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality and brand associations. All this can be achieved when clients and agencies work together in collaboration with each other.
Building a brand is not a one-man show – Team efforts and brand owners vision will lead to fruitful results.
P.S. Join With Us & Make 23% More Money