Recently, a fellow coworker of mine said something that I still think about whenever I meet with clients and prospects. He said: “Think of a mechanic. Someone drives a mysterious car into the lot that you’ve never seen before. The driver tells you they want a number of modifications to the engine and an estimate for the work. As a mechanic, it’s pretty tough to estimate the job without looking under the hood first.” I love this! Many times, in our industry, we encounter individuals who are looking for “marketing and advertising help,” but more often than not, we find that the services they are asking for are not what they truly need. We are here to make sure that they are making the most of their agency experience!
The Advertising Agency Process
Every client has unique needs and goals. To make sure we are staying on track and hitting all of our client’s objectives, we follow our creative process. We know it can be intimidating stepping into an Advertising Agency for the first time. We also know that when you come to us, you are eager to build your brand and your business. Knowing the steps we take during our creative process before your first meeting can set you up on an early track to success.
Step 1: Uncovering The Client’s Goals
Our first step in this process is to accurately uncover our client’s goals. For example, a client may come in thinking that they need to have a brand new website designed and developed. Our first question will always be, “why?” Their answer could be a few different things: there are not enough visitors to the site, the website seems to be outdated, they just want something new, etc. Great! Now let’s take a step back and address the situation as a whole.
Next, we will be sure to ask, “what other efforts are you doing to try and drive traffic to your business?” The client may say, “we do a couple of direct mailers each year and e-newsletters every couple of months.” Do you see where I am going with this? From here, we can address their marketing plan as a whole once we know the actual reason they came into Gaslight that day. There could be other, more cost effective steps that we can take to achieve the desired result.
Step 2: Research and Strategy
Okay, we’ve uncovered our client’s goals. So now what? If only it were as easy as going back to the office and designing something that is pretty and attractive. We will get to that! But first, there are more steps that must take place before the designers start to create those beautiful pieces.
From here, the client’s designated project manager will go back to the drawing board. This person will need to evaluate a few things: the marketing plan that was discussed in step one, what competitors are doing, what has worked in the past and what isn’t working in the present, as well as the design elements: colors, fonts, layout, illustrations, etc. All of this is what we call the “strategy behind the design.”
Once the strategy is in place, the designer then takes all of that feedback and starts creating the first round concepts.
Now we are finished, right?!
Not quite. There are a few more steps that must go into this creative process before we can present the final product. So keep in mind when working with an agency, it’s not a “one step and we’re done” type of partnership. There are many steps and phases to go through to be sure that the client’s goals are reached and results are achieved.
Stay on the lookout for the final steps to be posted next week!