For a marketing team who’s used to doing things in-house, contracting with an agency can sometimes be an intimidating prospect. You’re used to your own processes and internal mechanisms, so to lease out that work to a group of marketers who don’t know your business or challenges sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Well, we’re here to lift back the veil and show you exactly what it’s like to work with a marketing agency like Bouvier Kelly. Listed below are 6 of the most common questions we get from prospective clients who’ve never worked with an agency before. The answers below will vary from agency-to-agency, so we’re going to walk you through how we like to do business.
1. How Involved Do I Have to Be?
Generally speaking, you can be as involved as you want to be. If you’re coming to BKI from an industry we’ve never worked with before, there will likely be more involvement up front as we get to know your industry and the landscape of your company. Whether that’s conference calls or face-to-face meetings, you’ll probably be seeing a lot of us at first (don’t worry—we’re nice!).
But as the relationship develops over time, two things will happen: you’ll become more comfortable giving us work without having to walk through every detail, and we’ll be more prepared to jump into a new project with engines at full capacity.
We always like to think we’re working with our clients, rather than just for them. Many of our processes are collaborative, so the bigger role you can play alongside us, the better. But we are more than happy to work independently, too, giving you time to focus on other affairs while we keep the marketing wheel spinning.
2. How Will You Learn the Ins and Outs of My Industry?
Bouvier Kelly has a wide range of experience across a diverse array of industries. From technical fabric manufacturing to regional tourism to medical devices and beyond, we’ve spent time with a fascinating spread of B2B and B2C companies.
But we can’t know everything that comes our way, so an extensive part of our onboarding process with a new client involves a deep dive into your industry. Whether it’s a full-on brand audit or simply digging through trade publications and surveying the competitive landscape, we do all we can to be able to speak about your company and its mission with authority.
Again, the learning curve and time it takes to familiarize ourselves will depend on how complex your company and its industry are. We know, though, that time is of the essence and we don’t like to draw this process out. So don’t think it’ll take us 6 months to get your project off the ground just because you’re, say, a 3D printing manufacturer specializing in highway infrastructure projects.
3. Who Will I Be Working With on a Regular Basis?
Bouvier Kelly is a full-service agency, meaning our team runs the gamut from account services to copywriting and everything in between. And while we have full faith in everyone who works here to interface with clients, let’s face it: some folks are better “people” people than others.
If you work with Bouvier Kelly, you’ll have a dedicated Account Manager who runs point between your team and anyone else working on your account. So rather than having to explain creative work or a new challenge to five different people, you’ll be able to pass along information through your Account Manager, safe in the knowledge that your message will be heard loud and clear.
Because we are a small shop, however, you will also have the ability (dare we say, privilege?) of working directly with our creative, digital or PR teams as necessary. If you’d like to pick an art director’s brain about a new branding identity, we’re game. Have questions about your latest social media campaign? You’ll have no trouble talking with the team members directly responsible for that work, but we like to make sure our Account Managers handle all that coordination. Having a singular point-person for every account makes sure everyone stays on the same page!
4. Is Your Creative Work In-House or Outsourced?
We’re fortunate enough to have a fully in-house creative team lead by our Creative Director, Philip Yeary. Staffed by a whip-smart group of art directors, copywriters and more, our creative department can concoct any number of marketing pieces you might need. Whether you need a new logo and brand identity or a tradeshow booths and tutorial video, we’ve got you covered.
There are some specialized creative services that we outsource from time-to-time, but we are 100% transparent about any time that occurs. For example, while our in-house team can design and build a website from scratch, we work with freelance developers who can help with nitty gritty projects like transferring databases or custom coding.
5. What is Your Process?
While we’ve discussed the details of how some projects get off the ground, we’ll walk you through the five-step process that will ideally outline any project we work on:
- Establish measurable goals
- Identify audience behaviors and analyze competition
- Evaluate opportunities
- Develop plan & messaging
- Test & measure
Granted, some smaller projects might not need to go through each of these steps the way a total branding refresh would. Having them be a part of our core underpinning, however, keeps us attuned to the bigger picture of anything we work on. It allows us to continually ask the important questions:
How is what we’re doing part of a larger plan? Does it fit with or improve upon previous work? What goals is this helping to accomplish?
Ideally, you would be an integral part in this process, filling in the details where we need to drill down into specifics and unknowns. Again, we value a collaborative partnership with clients, and this is one instance where that bears out.
6. What Results Have You Generated For Similar Clients?
This is a common question, but the answer vastly depends on who’s asking it! In some cases, we might have direct parallels that we can apply to your situation; in others, we’ll be breaking new ground as an agency. In the lightning-paced world of marketing, it isn’t always possible to predict that one previously successful strategy can be replicated for a new client or industry.
We do, however, work to provide an idea of what your ROI (return on investment) may look like. We understand how valuable this metric is when it comes to justifying a marketing budget to your superiors. Whether it’s an out-of-home billboard campaign or a highly targeted Facebook campaign, it’s important to understand the value your marketing dollars are bringing to your overall goals.
When it comes to working on your specific campaign, we’ll give you tailored examples of work that would be similar in scope to what you’re looking to accomplish—as well as how it performed. Please note, though, that confidentiality agreements with specific clients may prevent us from sharing specific results or work that may be relevant to your project.
But no matter how we approach your project, transparency will remain a huge key to our shared success. This core tenet has helped us establish long-lasting, symbiotic relationships with our clients for more than 40 years. If you’ve got questions, we’ll give you answers.
We hope this gives you a clear idea of what working with a marketing agency like Bouvier Kelly is all about. Have more questions that weren’t covered here? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!