When kicking off your partnership with a creative agency, it’s important to come prepared with questions. Asking questions at the beginning of a creative engagement can prevent miscommunications or project delays down the road, and it is a great opportunity to clarify any confusion, flag potential issues and address any outstanding unknowns. And while a kickoff call is an ideal time to ask questions, you can bring them up at any point in the collaboration process. Not sure what to ask? We’ve put together some questions to help get you started.
1 – Who will my main point of contact be?
There are a lot of moving parts involved in marketing— and just as many stakeholders. It’s important to identify one person who will be your go-to throughout the process. On the agency side of things, it’ll typically be an account director or project manager. You should also identify a point person on your end that can facilitate communication, consolidate feedback and keep an eye on deadlines.
2 – How much work is produced by your staff vs. outsourced?
In the agency world, it is not uncommon to work with contracted creative partners like a video production house. In fact, one of the benefits of an agency is that you can tap into their existing network of reliable pros. That being said, it’s important to know who your creative team will be, so that you can know who will be responsible for what.
3 – What does your process look like?
While every agency is unique, every agency has an established process to get projects done on time and under budget. Ask your agency to walk you through their process in detail, and make sure you touch on what contributions they will need from you at each stage. Don’t be afraid to flag any potential hiccups or timing conflicts on your side of things. If they say they will need feedback around the time a key stakeholder will be on vacation, you should flag that up top.
4 – What’s the best way to communicate?
Your creative agency will have a tried-and-true production process in place, but when it comes to communication, you should identify the best way to communicate for you. Whether you prefer emails to conference calls or Zoom meetings to Slack, let them know during your kickoff.
5 – What materials do you need from us?
In addition to brand materials, your agency might ask you to provide any inspiration you have for a creative project. Whether it’s a Pinterest board or a competitor’s campaign, sharing these materials can help your creative agency better understand your vision and goals.
6 – What are common roadblocks or pitfalls we can avoid?
A major benefit of hiring a creative agency is that they have insider knowledge about what does and does not work based on their experience with other clients in your industry. They know what issues can derail or delay a project and will appreciate your interest in helping things run smoothly.