Getting comfortable with your new marketing agency

*Superdream Account Manager Amy Nibbs describes how choosing a new creative or marketing agency is like buying new shoes…*

When selecting a new pair of shoes lots of questions run through your mind. Do you like their style? Does their style complement yours? Will they make you look good? Will they be a good fit? Are they worth the money?

Whether you’ve worked with an agency before or not, this is probably an oh-too familiar concept. There can be a lot of unknowns and things to consider.

As an account manager, it’s my job to help clients and prospective clients feel at ease and understand what they can expect from working with an agency. Our ultimate goal is to be seen as an extension of clients’ businesses, rather than a separate unit they commission. The best work happens when we reach this goal together.

How you brief your agency plays a big part in how comfortable this whole process will be. Here are five things we always advise our clients to cover to make sure we offer them the best-fitting answers to their business’s problems.

**1. What do you want to achieve? **What’s your objective and what are you asking us to produce?

**2. Are there any KPIs you need to hit? **What are they? How can we help you join up your marketing activity with sales?

**3. What’s your budget? **We might think we have £50k to work with, when in reality there’s only £5k. Without an understanding of the budgetary parameters, we can’t be sure we’re developing the most effective or efficient campaign.

**4. Who do you want to target? **It doesn’t have to be your standard demographics – just help us get to know your customer!

**5. Why has this brief come about? **And is there any other general business knowledge we need to know?

Just like the first few times you wear a new pair of shoes, the first few projects with your agency might feel a bit uncomfortable or different to what you’re used to. You might even find yourself wondering if you chose the right one. Will it always hurt this much?!

But just as we all have that pair of shoes that started out pinching and ended up becoming old favourites, your relationship with your new agency is going to change and adapt as you work together.

The more clearly you brief your agency, the more clearly they’ll understand the shape of your problem. They can start to fit around you, give you support in the right places, and bit of slack in others.

Before you know it, you’re getting work that’s on brief and you’ve got a relationship that’s so comfortable, you can’t remember what you were doing before.