What do the agencies want you to know?
To grow effective relations with a business partner, you need to adapt to each other, stare in the same direction, get united by the challenges and the shared goals should lead you to the top. When writing a brief, describe your ideas considering the whole structure you provide information for. There are certain sensitive moments for the other party you will need to keep in mind to hold on to mutual respect.
There are several principles that influence the relationship between a service provider and a client:
- The preparation of the proposal takes time. The agency must have at its disposal the necessary amount of hours and days to study the details, to consider different ideas, to evaluate the ideas. Subsequently, you need to develop and fill in the concept all content details – for example, design, media planning, etc. Only then can you get a basic frame of the proposal.
- Wholistic solutions. The agency wants to be able to create and present complete solutions for a specific task. Working just on the smaller pieces of the big picture allows neither a strategic direction of the activities nor actual control of the execution and outcomes. And the service provider is the one that puts its name on the campaign as well. There is one more downside to separating the creative idea and its execution – usually, the revenue comes mainly from the paid media positioning, and the budget for the actual strategic creative work is – at least partly – a bonus for the customer. Keep in mind that if you as a client want to separate the strategy and the execution, you have to be ready to pay the actual price of the creative work.
- Provide all necessary data. The service provider must rely on receiving complete and adequate information within the brief. For a proposal to work successfully, it has to be proofed from all angles. If you are not familiar with the corporate goals of the organization, the main market facts, the specific commercial or organizational tasks to solve, there is no way for you to offer an effective solution. Imagine a visit to the doctor – if you just say that it hurts a little right below the ribs, this may rarely be enough for a definitive final diagnosis. For example, they will need to do blood tests, maybe examine you with a specialized device. You will have to share some more information – for how long does it hurt, what happened just before the pain appeared, how exactly does it ache, does it change when you move or stay still. And even seemingly unrelated things like how you sleep, whether anything else has changed in your body. It is the same with the brief – to receive the best solution, you have to provide more information so that the agency can do quality work.
- Payment based on labour input or the results achieved? Agencies prefer to get paid for their services based on time spent and according to the different involvement of the diverse specialists. Customers want to pay based on the achieved result because all you aim the efforts there. Our advice: relate the pay to the formation of added value. That is, how the proposed and implemented by the agency solution improves the product performance, increases the brand value, contributes to business development. Keep in mind that the agency does not have full control over the management of the brand, which is a very complex process. So, it is difficult for charging to be based only on results achieved. And paying an hour is also not the best alternative because there is no way to assess the effect of two hours of effort. Take, for example, a virtuoso musician: does his hourly “rate” seem high if we count it based on the fee for a 10-minute performance? Or is it too low, considering the years of daily effort for hours and all the deprivation to develop his talent at such a level?
That is why we advise the two parties to meet somewhere in the middle, creating an appropriate mix of the two payment approaches.
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