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Experiential marketing is changing how brands interact with consumers by allowing for the opportunity to introduce them to products in an authentic, tactile and memorable way. In turn, this fosters lifelong relationships between brands and their consumers.

At CerconeBrownCompany, we believe that an experience can be a brand’s most valuable offering and has the power to convert a person from a one-time customer into a brand advocate.

Hiring an agency is a wise investment, as one that is successful will create, deliver and share a positive experience on behalf of your brand. But before you sign on the dotted line, review the qualities below to make sure you are selecting the ideal partnership.

Consider your company’s values

Read between the lines of the mission statement and opt for an agency with similar values to your own. Collaborating is more successful when both parties genuinely enjoy working together.

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You can’t do experiential without “experience”

Every agency will admit to spaces that are more in their areas of expertise than others. A quality agency will host a kick-off or strategy session when you first begin work together. It’s not always a deal-breaker if the agency hasn’t worked in your industry before – sometimes a group of people with a proactive, go-getter attitude with experience in getting their hands dirty for their clients is more efficient than anything else.

Creativity is a skill

You wouldn’t buy a car without reading about the reviews and expert opinions, right? It’s no different when selecting an agency. Peruse the agency’s portfolio and see how they’ve brought other brands’ creative visions to life.

For example, CBC hosts a variety of unique House Programs – an opportunity for influential journalists to immerse themselves in unforgettable brand experiences in idyllic settings.

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Communication and accessibility

We totally get it, you are passionate about your brand. The right agency will understand that and do everything they can to keep you in the loop. It is important that you work with a team that is responsive, the direct point of contact, and collaborative.

One way an agency will communicate is through consistent and formalized reporting. At CBC, we report with two different platforms: TrendKite for public relations and Brandwatch for social and digital.

 What are your goals?

If you’re looking into experiential marketing, it’s likely you have specific business objectives in mind. Whether it’s growth or overall brand amplification, make sure the agency understands your goals and is proactive about addressing them in their proposal. If you are upfront and direct about your goals, you will better identify the agency that will best fit your needs.

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Inhouse vs outsource

Why look somewhere else for an asset you might have right in front of you? An agency with a photographer, designer, and creative director in-house is a bonus because it means they have the all of the essential tools readily available. Agencies who want to outsource talent require extra time, money and resources.

Stalk on social

You know the old adage “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Check out how the agency presents itself on their own social posts – if you see a strategy or unique quality in their digital presence, that’s a good indication they will power up their client’s channels too.

For example, we at CBC are strategic in our social approach, pumping up our Twitter feed with daily industry news and coloring our Instagram feed with the happenings in our House Programs.

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There are certainly many other traits to take into consideration when picking the best experiential marketing agency. What are the qualities you look for in an agency?

“Treat others how you want to be treated.” We are all too familiar with this rule; we’ve heard it from our parents, our teachers, and our peers. But as time goes on, we have realized just how relevant that quote continues to be. Take our industry for example: an ageny’s success in the public relations and marketing world is dependent on your treatment of your clients. More often than not, you are exposed to a variety of different client personalities and with so many varying types of relationships, the agency team must know how to navigate partnerships in a positive, mutually beneficial way. Here are a few tips of the trade for successfully managing a client/agency relationship:

UntitledCommunication flows both ways

Since you don’t share an office space, the relationship between client and agency cannot be sustained without consistent communication. Both parties must be active listeners and inform other on all related news, even if it doesn’t always seem relevant to the other party right away.

 

 

Untitled1Expectations are managed and trust is mutual

Have expected roles, responsibilities, and KPIs (key performance indicators) explicitly laid out from the get-go. If both parties can set realistic expectations for each other, then the collaboration will be significantly more cohesive and enjoyable.

 

 

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Reliability is key to keeping everyone in this relationship happy. If you want your clients to love you, you need to follow through with promises Even small tasks can pile up over time and add serious frustration to the relationship. Make a to-do list, set calendar reminders ­– whatever it takes to make your deadline!

 

 

 

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Say “Thank You”

Something as simple as saying “thank you” can go a long way for both the agency and the client. Often, we forget how much work goes into those little tasks that don’t rank quite as high on the list of priorities. But at the end of the day, it’s one of those human responses that are mutually appreciated.

 

 

At CBC, we’ve been known to post client ‘Thank You Notes’ to the fridge in our kitchen so that the whole agency can see and appreciate the recognition.

What other tips do you have for nurturing a good client/agency relationship?