Brand Management Agency Selection
Not all brand management agencies are equal. So what’s the best way to evaluate an agency to make sure it best fits your brand management needs?
Start with the end in mind. What is it that you’re trying to accomplish? Do you need strategic planning or do you need an agency that can deliver spec creative?
Compile a list of brands that you admire, perhaps even aspire to.
Collect print, online display and television advertising that you think do a great job of brand marketing. If nothing comes to mind, review trade magazines, advertising sites and associations to look at their annual awards programs for ideas.
Next, determine which agencies created those campaigns and do some research. Find out what, if any, experience they have in your industry. Sometimes it’s better when an agency offers a fresh perspective, others familiarity helps avoid potential missteps.
Check their references. Visit their website and find out who their clients are and contact those that have worked with them in the past as well as current clients on the roster. At times feedback from former clients can provide you insight that current clients might not be willing or able to share.
Look for clients that have similar marketing budgets as your own. A large full-service agency might not be the best fit for many reasons, and smaller agencies may not have the necessary resources that your project may require.
Determine which areas of support you’ll likely need and find agencies that can deliver. Few agencies have strengths in multiple areas – fortunately Anyone Collective is not one of them. Whether it’s strategic planning, creative development, media planning/buying, direct marketing, digital marketing, trade shows, or social media campaigns, find a team that has experience where you need it most. It will be easier dealing with one point of contact, simplify your budgeting and management.
It will also help to ensure that your communication is consistent throughout all marketing channels.
Narrow the list to the top three or four, then arrange face to face meetings.
Ask about capabilities in the following areas – industry and marketing knowledge, product experience or expertise, strategic planning, creative development and production. Ask who on the team will execute strategy and who will be involved in the day to day management of your account. Many agencies will sell you on having access to their executive team and top creatives, but hand off the account management to inexperienced, and less qualified team members.
Ask the team who their favorite clients are to work with, and why. Do they prefer clients that are performance focused but hands-off, or ones that like to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the process?
Ask to see their best work. Evaluate not just on the design, messaging or whether it won an award, but rather how it helped their clients meet specific objectives.
Present some of your current challenges and ask them how they would help you address some of your company’s strategic issues. Listen to their suggestions to see if they demonstrate an understanding of your situation.
Consider a request to create two or three campaigns that will help you meet your brand marketing goals. Be certain to pay the agencies for their work as it protects you should you use an idea that was presented but not hire them.
Create a scorecard that rates each agency with the traits that you find most important. Be sure not to overlook team chemistry as you’ll likely be spending a lot of time working together. It’s also good to consider how well the branding agency might interface with other marketing agencies that you work with.
If you go through these simple, yet important , steps for evaluating a brand management agency you should be in a great position to make a good choice.
To learn about how Anyone Collective, LLC can help you with your brand marketing needs, please contact us.