Have you ever come out of a meeting with one of your agencies, and wondered what value they added?  Is there any way you can get the last hour of your life back?  Why did we both agree a month ago they’d build your whole campaign, and nothing has happened?

What do you have to do in order to get the results you want?   Why is their campaign creative so repeatedly off-brief? What can you do to maximise their input?  Is there a silly mistake you’re making?

We think there is:

You aren’t measuring them.

It’s easy to turn this mistake around with these 3 tips.

Tip 1. Make them accountable.

Accountability can come in many shapes or sizes.  Primarily, accountability comes down to responsibility.  When you first engage with an agency, be sure to outline what your set of requirements is that they must deliver.

You may have one set of requirements, or you may have several that you need delivered.  Whatever the case may be, outlining these early in a written brief or initial meetings, should ensure that nothing unexpected rears up mid-campaign.

 Tip 2. Clear Objectives

Probably the worst thing you can do, is engage with any agency and not have a clear set of objectives that both of you are working towards.

Whether it’s a small run of printed flyers, an outdoor branding message, or experiential piece of marketing, be sure to have a clear set of objectives and agreed ‘measures of success’.  By setting clear goals from the beginning, both parties can agree on what their responsibilities are, and provide a clear direction for all further activity

By setting clear objectives, your agency will have a clearer idea of the role they are to play in the marketing or promotion of your pending campaign, and can tailor and adjust their communications and strategy around those goals, rather than assuming they are on the right track.

Tip 3. Quantifiable Metrics

By providing quantifiable metrics, you are able to accurately measure the impact that your agency is having.  If you provide ‘fluffy’ or broad metrics, you will receive fluffy and broad work.

If your marketing campaign is designed to increase pre-sales of theatre shows, the marketing campaign should be measured on this.  If the communications are increasing awareness of your theatre company, the campaign should measure pre & post-campaign awareness.

Marketing budgets in the arts are usually limited, and the best way to ensure that you are getting the best return on your investment is to measure what return you are getting.

The Good News: Agencies Want To Be Measured

Whether you have used an agency for many years across multiple campaigns, or if you are thinking of engaging with one for the first time, there could be any number of silly mistakes each party may make.

There’s one mistake you should avoid at all costs that will in turn save you lots of time and money.  You need to make sure that your agency is being measured.

If you have an agency working with you and they aren’t being measured, you need to take control and fix this situation.

If they don’t want to be measured, they’re making a very big mistake, and you should probably start shopping around.

What kind of mistakes have you had with your agencies and what have you done to fix them?