Preparing a victory speech is important, it gives you that spur to keep going and go for gold, or in this instance, the success of a new campaign. The question of ‘which agency is right for me?’ then arises, do you opt for the bigger/‘safer’ agency or the established ‘smaller’ independent?
Choosing an agency can be difficult and customers experiences can differ, but you’re essentially buying into something through credentials and chemistry. It’s when you’ve chosen your agency the magic happens. So how do you manoeuvre the agency pitch mind field?
All agencies hold different mantras, here at Vivid we keep it simple no lengthy methodology or acronyms – Vision, Ideas, Victory® – (yes it’s trademarked but only to protect our brand not for pretentious reasons;)) this gives us a structure to work with so firstly we take our client’s vision and then design the outcome, this enables us to generate ideas generate results which gives us our victories, mantras help businesses with what they want to achieve with their campaigns, but if they’re saying too much in our opinion they’re trying too hard and resulting creative and reports will likely literally not worth the paper they are printed on.
Next look at what the agency tries to sell you! Of course no agency worth their salt will provide advice without considered research, but avoid being asked to undertake research without examining existing qual and quant data to understand your brand from the target consumer’s point of view and then use new research only to fill in the gaps. All too often we see a formulaic approach and the results like above offer no additional learning and once again not worth the paper they are written on!
Watch out for buzz words, whether it’s defined as positioning or a proposition, a brand essence, value or attribute – a great idea focuses on one single minded concept, that is distinct and helps you stand out. You are asking an agency for their considered thought not a rambling of consciousness and a hope that somewhere in there, there is something you ‘like’. It is an agencies job to deliver what will work.
Let’s bring in a metaphor (shock) and rewind back to when Anthony Joshua took on Wladimir Klitschko, I mean, we all knew Joshua was good and could pack a powerful punch, however, a lot of people thought that Klitschko was going to remain the world champion. WRONG! He had a simple vision, researched his competitor and a single minded concept – after a few slight tumbles, Joshua delivered, took the title as the underdog, this is similar to what smaller agencies experience. More often than not, the dedication, the experience, the passion and devotion to a job will overtake, even if it the alternative is classed as the ‘safe bet’.
Factors that matter are performance, ability, knowledge of the industry, connections, relationships and creativity. Although Vivid might be considered a small agency, we’ve been around for a while (18 years in fact), pack a great punch and possess a lot of personality which we like to inject into our projects, making them as innovative and creative as possible, we work harder and smarter to always drill down to the USP deliver those victories. The creative process is similar no matter what the size of the agency or client, the advantage working with a smaller, established independent agency, is a better understanding of how it all works, digging deep enough to identify the one area that is unique for each client which they can leverage and build on for your marketing.
To conclude, yes, big agencies can do a lot for your brand, but so can the smaller established agency. Some agencies have a multimillion pound turnover and some don’t, some have 150 staff whilst others have 15, but these types of factors should not be the deciding one, so when you’re next humming and harring about which agency to choose, then think of this blog and think of the underdog, you might just get more bang for your buck!