An agency in the room is worth …

Brandy Munro
October 28, 2014

What do creative agencies at brand team meetings have in common with Heston Blumenthal’s thrice-cooked, hand-cut chips?

At first glance, both might seem to represent overkill.

Heston Blumenthal

Let’s start with the chips. The standard version has been around forever and a day, and I’m pretty sure its creators never foresaw the fuss that Heston’s recipe calls for. Is steaming, freezing, lightly frying, freezing again and then deep frying really the best way of handling your spuds?

Well, actually, yes it is – if you like perfectly cooked, delicately crispy morsels that fill the inside of your mouth with chip-tastic joy. As Homer Simpson would drool it: ‘mmm, Heston Blumenthal thrice-cooked, hand-cut chips’.

So, that’s the chips covered.

But what about the other part of the analogy? Does having your creative agency at your brand team meeting really offer any advantages?

Surely your agency can be briefed about projects on a need-to-know, ad hoc basis. Why on earth would they also need to attend internal meetings? Sounds like a waste of everyone’s time. But consider this. How would your own team fare without continuous access to strategic insights, market research results, rep and customer feedback, and competitor intel?

As a writer for an agency with a sizeable portfolio of healthcare, corporate and PSF clients, I can tell you this:

First principles of marketing communications dictate that we start with the big (strategic) picture for your brand before doing, well, pretty much anything.

This allows your writer to get your messages spot-on. It allows your account manager to identify new opportunities for building your brand. And it puts your brand in the best possible position to grow and thrive.

Allow your agency into your inner sanctum and you’ll find out how collaborative the relationship can be.

What is your brand strategy? What are your key messages? How do your proposed promotional materials and events fit into the overall strategic plan?

Knowing the answers to these questions is invaluable. It means that your agency can use its experience to offer ideas that assist you in achieving your marketing objectives. Good agencies can even help you develop the communications strategy for your brand – one that shows you how to deliver the right messages to the right audiences using the right channels.

Properly leveraging your agency can pay handsome dividends – so why not help us help you? Those with the foresight to embrace this concept will not be disappointed.

Because some chips ain’t just chips.

Some agencies ain’t just agencies.

And some brands ain’t just brands.

 

Brandy Munro is a Senior Writer at Wellmark. Connect with Brandy via LinkedIn.

The Wellmark team regularly tweets about topics relating to brand strategy and marketing communications. Simply follow the Twitter feed most relevant to your business:

@wellmark_corp (corporate communications and annual report design)

@wellmark_health (healthcare communications and pharma marketing)

@wellmark_psf (online branding and thought leadership for professional services firms)

Image credit: ‘Heston Blumenthal‘ by Surian Soosay, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons under a CC BY 2.0 attribution license.

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