By: Matthew Bagshaw on June 26th, 2019
What Technology Services Should My Creative Agency Offer?
When they’re looking to hire a creative agency, your clients put the most emphasis on your output and strategic thinking.
These days, technology is becoming the key differentiator for companies to make the final choice between potential creative partners. For example, 74 percent of marketers say that they want to work with an agency with strong data and analytics capabilities.
In the past, the situation was much different—some (not all) creative agencies would offer some (not all) technology services. A few of the most common offerings were review and approval, asset storage and distribution, and a brand site to deliver the assets when they were needed.
Functionality like quick, efficient asset searching and easy asset tagging used to be “nice to haves” when it came to winning clients: beneficial, but not an absolute must. As competition has continued to ramp up, however, these features have become essential. Technology is key to getting client buy-in, so creative agencies have upped their offerings considerably.
These days, clients are seriously evaluating your technology infrastructure, making sure that potential agency partners have the most efficient and intuitive systems in place for collaboration. All of the client’s needs must be met throughout the entire asset lifecycle: creation, approval, management, and distribution.
So what does this look like in practice? Read on to find out.
What Technology Services Should My Agency Offer?
The average company now oversees a mind-boggling 163 terabytes (163,000 gigabytes) of information, which is far too much for any of your human employees to monitor. Your agency will almost certainly want a digital asset management (DAM) solution, which is used to efficiently store, manage, and search for your organization’s digital assets.
DAM software provides advantages such as:
Maintaining a consistent brand image
Tracking how assets are used across different channels
Limiting the use of assets to certain individuals
Ensuring compliance with any applicable copyrights or restrictions
In short, DAM software drastically simplifies the task of managing your digital assets.
However, to truly go beyond and stand out from the crowd, agencies must offer a collaboration solution that does more than just store assets. Rather, the system should become a veritable hub for all of the information and communication that occurs during the asset production and marketing life cycles.
For example, the solution can also serve as a “campaign hub” that provides complete visibility into all of the current marketing campaigns. In order to do so, your choice of solution may pull in data and insights from other sources. Just a few examples are:
The current position of each asset in the review and approval pipeline
Delivery timetables for sending assets off to the printer
Product information management (PIM) data such as UPCs, technical specifications, language translations, etc.
When it comes to integrating external data and insights, the sky’s the limit for your agency’s choice of technology.
Any “campaign hub” worth its salt should also make it as easy as possible to launch and ramp up new marketing campaigns. For example, the software’s users should be able to initiate a campaign, write a creative brief, and quickly get feedback on the campaign, including an estimated budget and delivery date.
Meanwhile, the campaign hub should also cater to the needs of your clients. With a single glance, your clients should be able to see the status of each campaign and which approvals remain to be made, as well as to make change requests for a given asset.
Your chosen solution should serve as not just a marketing campaign hub, but also as a conversational hub for any communications about an asset. If your clients have questions or concerns about an asset, all of these messages are preserved in the software alongside the asset itself. Anything useful for the client within the context of campaign delivery should go inside the software.
While all of these features together may seem like a tall order, this is the kind of high-level offering that the best creative agencies are now heading towards.
Having a centralized location for all of this information is tremendously valuable for both your organization and your clients. It’s not hard to see how such a cutting-edge solution will make you more efficient, decrease your average time to market, improve your ROI, and increase client retention.
As a creative agency, you need every ounce of inspiration and innovation that you can get. That’s why your choice of technology should be as convenient and efficient as possible—so that it can get out of your employees’ way and give them more time to do their jobs.
Having such a modern technology solution at your fingertips is a great way to win over potential clients, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to creative operations. By actively working to make your creative production more timely and efficient, you can streamline your workflows and improve the quality of your creative output.
Ready to find out how you can successfully implement creative operations within your organization? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for. Our all-in-one guide “Welcome to the Age of Creative Operations” should be your next stop.