Like the fists being thrust together in unity in the picture above, so too are we stronger together.
There are several different ways that we approach our relationships with our clients (partners). Today we'll talk about our base philosophy: a partnership is more fruitful than of a client/vendor relationship. Put another way, you need a partner not a price.
It seems like a no-brainer, but we regularly see creative agencies taking more of a client/vendor/quantity approach to their work. They create one-size-fits all products and fit everyone into those products. Don't get me wrong, this is a great approach for profitability: create one type of unit that you can sell the heck out of. It can also be extremely useful for a business. There are some cases, especially when a company is starting out, that an off the shelf model will work.What we look for is different, though. We look for marketers and entrepreneurs out there who are looking to shake things up by communicating their stories in a new way. We look for people who understand that working together, to construct a story in a new way, will have exceptionally greater return on investment, than turn-key marketing.
Before we get too far I'd like to mention budget. You don't need an Apple or Google budget to create great marketing. You do, however, need to treat marketing as more than just a thing you purchase and put in your store. You have to treat marketing as a comprehensive strategy that is ongoing and is made up of lot's of smaller pieces: web, brand, digital, video, physical, etc.
Ok, so that was a long setup, let's get to the good stuff. Here are the 5 benefits of a creative marketing partner.
1. Greater Integrity
Honest, direct communication, including constructive dialogue, are fundamental to a strong relationship. When you're working together to create something new, you're able to discover the best ways to communicate and are able to form greater trust. After all, both parties want an awesome outcome on their project, whether it’s a brand, graphics, video or a website. In the beginning, the creative partner should ask probing questions, checking in at regular intervals, and approach the discussion with a high empathy for where the client is coming from organizationally - and even who they are as people.
2. More Rewarding
Creative projects are inherently interesting. We are regularly told they are the most fun project our client's get to work on all year. A partnership approach is a human approach - it takes time to share experiences and build relationships. If both sides approach it as a partnership, the relationships naturally strengthen. And voila!…..the project is more awesome. Happy people in positive relationships create uplifting work! Afternoon creative sessions become the highlight of the week and you discover things you normally wouldn't, which leads us to #3.
3. More Creative/Deeper Insights
We live in a landscape that bombards us with marketing at a level that we wouldn't have even dreamed of ten years ago! This means it's that much harder to stand out. To better foster awesome creative ideas, a partnership encourages trust, which allows for more fruitful collaboration. There are regularly lightbulb moments when a creative concept is discussed that resonates, which may even have been outside of comfort zones before. A partnership allows us to more regularly manufacture these 'aha' moments through practice. These are often the best ideas that break through the marketing noise and emotionally engage with target audiences the best.
4. Better Mission Match
We, as people in a creative agency, have our own values and likes/dislikes. For instance, we really like beer, all of us, really really like it. Stands to reason that some of our favorite clients are micro-breweries. All the partners and even some employees are strong Christians. All of us want to make the world a better place. So when we are doing work for an organization that is doing good in the world, it resonates with our hearts. We find that in our partnerships, we genuinely believe in a partner's mission and want them to succeed. We naturally glum onto their culture and become a part of their team, providing expertise that would be prohibitively expensive to build internally.
Relational partnerships make it easier for the client to get what they need, when they need it. Sometimes projects/opportunities come up fast. Working with a small creative agency, like Backflip, increases the creativity and energy to figure out how to plan such a project and pull it off quickly and awesomely (yep, we said awesomely). A partnership increases the flexibility the vendor feels to re-configure schedules and approach it with an enthusiastic “can do” approach. It allows us to provide creative marketing services on-demand for your organization at whatever level you need it: small or great. We thrive on deadlines and the opportunity to beat a partner's expectations.