Teamwork does make your dream work.

A good marketing campaign depends on an effective collaboration between client and agency as much as it does on the teamwork between marketing strategists, writers and graphic designers. However, all too often, especially in large organizations where decisions by committee are the rule, this collaboration can be difficult to achieve.

In the interest of helping our clients work more effective with our agency, here are some suggestions to make approving creative executions easier and more efficient for all of us.

Agree on What You Want to Accomplish

Each project, whether it’s a brochure, annual report or ad campaign, has its own specific set of objectives. However, these aims may be viewed differently by different decision makers. Make sure that all of the stakeholders involved in the approval process agree on the project’s goals. Is it a sales piece for a product or service? Or will it increase brand awareness? These decisions will form a fundamental part of our creative brief and should help inform your approval process when we present our concepts.

Decide Who Does What and When

All of those involved in the approval process should participate in setting the goals referred to above. But it may not be necessary to involve everyone in each phase of creative development. Together we can determine who should see what, when. Whoever is asked for feedback should be encouraged to respond as soon as possible. Delays can strain deadlines and budgets – especially if they lead to rush changes for production.

Give Us the Time Needed to Fulfill Expectations

Before starting on a project, our designers, writers and strategists study your brand, offerings, target market and competitors. We also research your customers – their life styles, buying patterns and cultural references. Often this investigation leads to insights about the marketplace, consumer habits or a product’s history that are key to producing breakthrough executions. This exploration and rumination takes time in addition to that needed for writing and design. But it can be the difference between just filling space and creating great work.

Offer Meaningful Feedback to Concept Drafts

Try to be as specific as possible and tell us why you feel the way you do. We, in turn, will explain why we made the choices we did. Sometimes we may take an unexpected approach that you’ve never tried before. But remember, you aren’t our primary audience. You already know about you! Our goal is to fulfill the objectives of your project and also to raise awareness of your brand within the target market and beyond.

Limit Rounds of Changes and Approvals

Concepts aren’t developed piecemeal. Headlines are written to work with visual images and typefaces are picked to match the tone and language of the text. Of course, things can be altered, but making changes arbitrarily is counter-productive. Limiting the number of drafts not only saves everyone time and labor, it also preserves the integrity of the work—and the budget.

If you have any questions or feedback about these suggestions, please call us at 312.828.0200 or email at [email protected]. We’re always happy to hear from you at any time.