It’s critical to ask the right questions up front to ensure your agency can meet all your needs. A lot of the time though, important questions that can improve the relationship with your agency  aren’t asked, causing misunderstandings and cost overruns. Good agencies will provide most of this information to you without you having to ask them but if they don’t, take note of the questions below to make sure you are getting the most out of your creative agency. It will go a long way in generating success for your brand. which after all is why you are doing this in the first place right?

1. What is your opinion of our current brand design and marketing materials?
If you trust your agency to give you an honest opinion, ask them. They won’t ( or shouldn’t) rip it to shreds but they will provide constructive criticism, a reason for it and suggest improvements. If you don’t agree you can voice your opinion which will increase the agency’s understanding of your requirements and start to build the relationship.

2. What do you think of my objectives? Are they realisticand achievable?
Your agency will love you for asking their advice on how your idea might work. For example, you want to launch a monthly newsletter to be emailed to clients and prospects. Once the agency has researched your market, audience and competition, they can suggest more effective alternatives.

3. Do you understandmy target audience?
Don’t be afraid to ask your agency what their experience is with your target market. Consumer insight is critical in order to achieve brand success. Everything that you do should have your target market in mind. There is no point selling Rugby Balls to Swimmers.

4. Can you write the brief for/ with me?
If you’re not from a creative or marketing background it might be better to ask your agency to write the brief with you. Writing the brief together will mean the agency has a thorough understanding of your requirements without having to keep asking questions. No stone will be left unturned. Just be very clear on what your objectives are and how you will measure ROI once the project is completed

5. What information do you need from me?
The more materials and information that you have to supply the easier it will be for your agency to understand your business and to help you. Good agencies will ask you for everything they need. If they don’t, bring this up. It will save you both a lot of time (and potential misunderstandings).[

6. Is my budget realistic?How can I be assured I won’t be hit with hidden charges?
This the most overlooked question.  Ask your agency upfront about their procedures to avoid cost overruns. A good agency will understand what triggers this and have procedures in place to account for this. They will give you regular progress updates to avoid unexpected expenses.

7. Can you provide different cost options?
You might have a budget in mind for your project but speak up if you want your agency to offer more cost effective options. It will challenge them to find alternatives which may suit your budget better; making sure you get more for your money. If your aim is to keep things as cheap as possible, it’s important you voice this straight away as this will affect the entire project.

8. I don’t understand this design lingo – what are you talking about?!
Being a Web Designers love abbreviations. RGB, PHP, HTML, CSS  and a hole host of others. You’re not expected to understand these terminologies. Designers are people too and when down the pub with friends, they speak the Queen’s English (well maybe not quite). If want to know what they mean just ask.

9 How will you ensure the design is rolled out effectively across my business, getting employee engagement?

A good agency will not just create a new brand or design without helping you to implement it. They will help you to roll it out effectively across all parts of your business that will be using it. Ask your agency whether the roll out is included in the cost estimate.