This is part three in a series of three blogs about searching for a creative agency.
Last month I suggested you do some pre-planning before you interview your list of creative agency candidates. This month I’ll coach you through the interview process.
I highly encourage companies to take the time to meet with a short list of agencies before asking them to develop a proposal or pitch your business. How you two work together, relate, think etc. is so important that it overshadows everything else. Period. If you are on the same page from the beginning, expectations are understood, work processes are comfortable and any proposals you get will be more insightful.
So how can you use the interview to find out who’s the best fit for you?
Check for chemistry – ask to meet with more than the front man. In fact, meet the whole team if you can. It’s like speed dating – you’ll know in the first few minutes if the fit is there or not.
Ask about their work – When you study the agency’s sites or blogs jot down a couple of questions or notes about work you liked. To get a feel for their rates, ask them about the campaigns or clients similar to you and what they cost.
Let them interview you – A good agency is also looking for a good fit. They should ask you questions, too. Some of my favorite prospect questions are: Describe your last agency relationship –what worked and what didn’t? What is the primary goal for your company over the next 12 months? What do you want marketing to accomplish for you?
Interview your short list of four or five firms using this method. Then, if you need to, ask select candidates to develop a plan or proposal around a specific project or need.
After having built a rapport with you, agencies will be able to provide more accurate proposals. And they’ll be working hard to win the business of a firm they know they like and fit.