If you’re ready to elevate your brand and capture your audience like never before, it might be time to find a creative agency. It’s that simple, right? Not necessarily. Finding a creative agency that aligns with your brand can take a lot of time and effort. While it might be overwhelming at first, there are a few tips to follow and key questions to ask along the way.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about finding the right creative agency to fit your needs. From signs you may need to find a creative agency to exact questions to ask during the process—we’ve got you covered.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a creative agency?
A creative agency is an agency that offers a breadth of marketing and advertising services from strategy to execution to results. This means the agency is essentially a one-stop shop for all things creative to bring your vision to life. These services can include (but are not limited to):
- Creative Strategy: Full-funnel approach to creative with an emphasis on aligning content to business goals through audience, cultural, and media insights generation, A/B testing and performance analysis
- Graphic and Video Design: Graphic designers and video designers incorporate brand guidelines to deliver stunning, original content across platforms that create a cohesive brand experience across the web.
- Copy: Copywriters align with and elevate brand voice to craft stories and reach customers in a way that sounds, looks and feels like your brand.
- Project Management: Keeps projects on time and works across teams with strategists, copywriters, designers, and your brand to ensure every element of scope is delivered on time.
- Video Production: Onsite, on time, and on budget original content production led by art directors to align with campaign concepts and platform best practices.
During this process, a brand may interact with a variety of creative services team members including:
- Creative Strategists
- Art/Creative Directors
- Graphic designers
- Motion designers
- Video editors
How a creative agency can help your business
Many brands hire creative agencies, but how can they actually help your business and impact your bottom line? Let’s dive into the variety of ways creative agencies can help your business thrive.
Saves valuable time and resources
One of the top reasons a company might consider hiring a creative agency is because of internal bandwidth issues or concerns. Many brands don’t have the luxury of having an in-house creative team. Hiring a creative agency can save you valuable time and resources to focus on big-picture marketing goals and activations. By hiring an experienced creative agency, you’ll receive high-quality content at a quicker rate.
Provides industry knowledge and expertise
Are you privy to every new industry trend or have extensive knowledge in the creative universe? When you work with a dedicated creative agency, you’ll have immediate access to professionals who know the ins and outs of your industry as well as standard best practices that drive performance. With years of experience under their belts, creative agencies know the tried and true methods and techniques to take your brand to the next level.
Offers professional-quality content
When you hire a creative agency, you can count on receiving high-quality, professional content that you can use to build your brand and convert your audience. These professionals know what works and provide in-depth insight ensuring you’re getting the most bang for your buck. As an added bonus, experienced creative agencies can churn out high-quality content and design in a fraction of the time.
“A good creative agency should help you push your brand to new places, bring you new ideas and opportunities, and help you extend and bring to life the work that your internal team is already doing. That’s the value that outside thinkers can bring to your marketing efforts. At Tinuiti, our creative team has years of vast knowledge and experience. We’re on top of the latest trends, updates, and emerging best practices, helping our clients continue to drive performance.”
— Hudson Haines, Senior Director, Creative at Tinuiti
Provides a fresh perspective
When you’re in the thick of day-to-day tasks, it can be challenging to take a step back to focus on the bigger picture. When you add a creative agency into the mix, you can gain a fresh perspective to help better reach your audience. Creative agencies provide bold new ideas and tactics to implement so your brand can stand out amongst the competition.
“The best creative partners are active problem solvers. They answer your ask, but they also dive deep and proactively look to bring smart solutions that enhance your business in ways that only an outside perspective can provide.”
— Matt Perry, Creative Director at Tinuiti
Signs you may need to find a creative agency
If you are curious about hiring a creative agency, but aren’t quite sure if you need one, see if the following statements resonate with you and your business.
You’re tight on time and resources
Many brands are working with smaller-sized, internal teams to complete a wide range of marketing activations. If time constraints and limited bandwidth are concerns for your business, it might be best to consider bringing in a creative agency to help.
You aren’t reaching your marketing goals
If you aren’t reaching your marketing goals, it’s always a good idea to take a deeper look into your creative output. At Tinuiti, we offer a tailored approach when it comes to creative with measurable results. If it can drive performance, our full-service Performance Creative department makes it.
You’re looking for a creative partnership
Are your creative ideas falling flat or feeling a bit stale? Bringing in a creative partner is a great way to both reinvigorate your brand and inspire your audience via content. An agency is there to bring your ideas to life as well as offer up new and fresh perspectives—a true partnership
10 tips & tactics to find a quality creative agency
Finding a quality creative agency can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our top tips, tactics, and questions to ask to ensure you find the right fit for your business.
Ask why you need a creative agency
As we covered earlier, it’s important to ask yourself why you need a creative agency before starting the process. Is your team overwhelmed and understaffed? Are you looking for industry expertise when it comes to ad creative that converts? Is your brand needing a fresh perspective? These are all questions to ask at the forefront to ensure you actually need a creative agency in the first place.
Determine if you need a full-service agency
There are a wide variety of agencies out there so it’s crucial to determine which type of agency your brand needs to be successful. A full-service agency can assist you with all aspects of marketing from conception and strategy to production and design. A boutique agency is typically smaller and focuses on specific niches. One isn’t necessarily better than another, it will just depend on your unique needs.
Get references and recommendations
In this day and age, we are accustomed to reading reviews on anything and everything and this should also come into play when you are researching creative agencies. Reading client testimonials and reviews is a great way to see if that agency might be a good fit for your brand. It’s also a good idea to reach out to peers and colleagues who might have worked with this agency in the past for an honest review.
Review the agency’s previous work and case studies
Reviewing the agency’s previous work and case studies is a critical part of the decision-making process that shouldn’t be overlooked. In this step, the agency should showcase their portfolio and should demonstrate positive results through case studies and client examples. This is a great way to see if their work mimics the results your brand is looking for and to see if their experience aligns with your goals and expectations.
Determine if they have experience in your industry
Having vast experience in the creative industry as a whole is great, but if an agency has experience in your specific industry, they’ll be one step ahead of the competition. Having in-depth experience in a specific industry, and knowing standard best practices can help set a creative agency apart from the rest. Make sure you ask in initial meetings if the agency has experience or expertise in your field.
Ensure the agency can meet specific KPIs
While you’re in the pitch process, be specific with the goals and objectives you are trying to reach. This means being precise about the KPIs that your brand is looking to measure so everyone can be on the same page from the start. Take a deep look at what your brand needs help with (ie: traffic, conversions, etc.), and make sure to clearly communicate your needs at the beginning of the relationship.
Check for an agency’s awards and associations
In the research process, take a look at the awards and achievements the creative agency has won. Have they received national recognition or are part of a well-regarded association? This is usually a good indicator of excellent work and top-notch results.
Ensure they can produce enough creative to meet your needs
Be clear and communicative about the amount of creative your brand requires from the very start so there are no mismatched expectations. While most creative agencies are accustomed to creating high-quality work at a rapid pace, it’s still crucial to lay out your needs so you can determine if the agency will be a good fit for your brand.
Make sure your personalities match
When hiring a creative agency, making sure personalities match might not be the first thing on your checklist, but it’s an important factor to consider. Building a solid relationship with your agency of choice is key to growing your working relationship and strengthening your day-to-day communication. During the pitch process, don’t be afraid to ask about communication styles ensuring they align with your team.
Be specific when asking for a pitch and be realistic with your expectations
In the pitching process, it’s important to be both specific and realistic with your expectations. The creative agency that’s pitching should come prepared and well-researched, and you should do the same. Come in with specific questions so you can get to know the agency on a deeper level. Some questions to consider might include:
- How do you determine success?
- How is your creative team structured and who will I be working with day-to-day?
- Do you have experience in my industry?
- How is your company innovating in the creative space?
- Can you provide me with relevant case studies?
- Where do you see your agency in X years?
How Boston Proper Found Their Perfect Creative Agency Match
Boston Proper, a pioneer in the fashion and apparel industry, recently partnered with Tinuiti across paid media management across Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram, Shoppable Media, and Creative Strategic Planning. Tinuiti worked with Boston Proper to audit their existing creative process and develop a series of structural changes and recommendations to ensure that whenever a new concept for a print catalog came to life, the digital assets for paid media are being taken into consideration as well.
Over the course of a year, Tinuiti’s Creative team executed a series of A/B testing on Facebook and Instagram in order to understand what ad format was resonating with Boston Proper customers and the results speak for themselves…
“Adding Creative to our existing Tinuiti team made complete sense. We were looking to perfect our incredible assets into the paid social landscape, and this offered us the opportunity to do so seamlessly. The team took the time to understand who we are as a company, and more importantly who our customer is. They worked within our timelines and offered best practices and strategies that allowed us to see immediate increases in our paid social campaigns, which have since grown year over year, post-pandemic. The cooperation is augmented by having Creative integrated within the team, allowing us to move effortlessly from testing one creative to another while gleaning results. We look forward to maximizing our efforts further in the year to come along with the addition of influencers.”
– Bari Horton, Director of Marketing, Boston Proper
If you’re currently looking for a creative refresh, you’ve come to the right place. At Tinuiti, we have a Full-Service, In-House Creative Department who are experts in brand voice alignment and visual storytelling. We bring performance creative to life using platform and channel best practices to help your brand thrive. Check out our Performance Creative page for more information, or drop us a line if you’d like to chat through our creative offerings.