Before selecting an agency partner, every client should answer a few questions regarding the type of thinking they need…Do we need business strategy? Communications strategy? Creative strategy only? Because “strategy,” when left undefined, can be misinterpreted, misconstrued, and even result in the wrong partnership.
While every client will have their own needs and nuances, here are three of the most prevalent strategic agency models to consider:
The Creative Strategist
If you opt to keep intellectual capital in house, look for an agency that will focus exclusively on creative strategy and execution. No need to have your agency provide business strategy or consumer insights if you have internal teams for that. Consider agencies that live and breathe creative. A partner that can take your strategic direction and create work that connects with your customers and supports your business goals.
The Full-Service Business Partner
If you have limited internal resources, you’ll need the 4Ps of marketing from your agency. Consider agencies that drive business strategy, gather consumer insights, and build the overarching creative platform. You want an agency that not only brings creative chops, but also has a business strategy team in place.
The Hybrid: Niche Strategy + Creative
You may have some, but not all, strategic capabilities in house. Outsourcing specific, niche strategic chores, like media and channel planning, might make sense. Agencies with channel planning can take your business and consumer insights and recommend the appropriate media and creative tactics. Understanding your audience, the right dayparts, the best message…you might look for an agency with this expertise.
Strategy can mean many things. Before selecting your next partner, be sure to define what it means for your brand and your future agency.