Three agency must-do’s you’ll regret not having optimized sooner

Can speed, quality, cost really coexist without driving one another down? Most agencies say you must choose which ones are most important, but is that really the case – even in today’s climate? 2020 has been quite the year so far, presenting all manner of new challenges and obstacles none of us could have foreseen at the beginning of the new decade. The ongoing pandemic has forced businesses of all shapes, sizes, and persuasions to learn to adapt to the stress and need for constant fluidity and change.

It’s a state of survival that digital agencies are also having to face in these trying times. The Drum recently summarized it best, noting that agencies that not only want to survive but thrive to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technologies and trends, while fostering stronger relationships with clients in times of uncertainty. A wise lesson we should all take to heart.

If anything, COVID-19 has forced everyone to take a long hard look at ourselves and our approach to business. It’s all well and good knowing what your clients want and need – and having the expertise and means to execute that vision – but that doesn’t mean you can’t ensure your business is benefiting from that strategy as well.

Of course, it doesn’t take long for the classic conundrum to rear its ugly head – the uneasy dance between speed, quality and cost. Can these elements really coexist without driving one another down? Most agencies say you must choose which ones are most important, but is that really the case – even in today’s climate? And why not all benefit from that information?

Can speed, quality, cost really coexist without driving one another down? Most agencies say you must choose which ones are most important, but is that really the case – even in today’s climate?

Robert Lugg

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1. Do you have a need? A need for speed?

What exactly defines ‘speed’? Does it mean how rapidly your team can deliver a creative idea to fruition or how quickly you can deliver the result the client desires? At the risk of repeating ourselves – the real question is: why should you need to choose?

By freeing your creative teams of the drudge work you’ll be able to inspire them to explore new and potentially fruitful creative shores on new platforms. It’s a decision that will ultimately benefit them, and you, in the long run. It also helps to automate the creation process – by letting the right software do the boring legwork in the background, you can focus on keeping your clients happy with the final collateral.

Take digital agency Libris Systems. The moment they started using Smart Templates they saw an immediate difference in the amount of creative time that got freed up. “We saved a significant amount of time for our clients – by up to 90% in some cases,” reveals Ben Summers, Lead Information Architect at Libris Systems. “What used to take an hour now takes ten minutes.” - Learn more about this client case

2. Quality AND volume? They don’t need to be mutually exclusive

Agencies always aim to keep their quality output at its highest, but high volumes cause stress and place that final product at risk of slipping below standards. Human error is bound to creep in when creative processes are purely manual in nature and users are having to change size settings between formats every single time.

The right software, embedded in core creative systems, can de-stress a team and guard brand guidelines – while constantly rolling out vital updates to the mode du jour. Whatever the size, or format or increased quantity, that high standard of quality is guaranteed, day in, day out.

Smart Templates made sure the design perfectly matches the content,” says Nico Potvin of KAN Design on the benefits of leveraging the revitalizing benefits of software automation. “We can now offer a print-ready design for any volume in 10 minutes, instead of sitting around for days waiting for corrections, design or content changes, let alone corporate approval.” - Learn more about this client case

3. Cut (to) the cost – Playing the long game, not the short

Your agency knows what it does best – offering creative brand solutions to make the lives of your clients easier. So why waste your time – and theirs – pouring time, money and resources into costly one-offs? You want customers to see the long-term value in retaining your services and that means turning those wares into value that saves you money while communicating that cost-effectiveness to the client just as clearly.

Brands aren’t great at handling lots of data either, so by taking the weight of that responsibility from them, you can show your mastery and keep them focused on the things they do best.

After only three months of implementation, Precision Marketing has realized an 80 percent reduction in file creation time, while time to press and to mail was reduced from 2 days to 2 hours,” comments Precision Marketing’s Gary Howard. “Our solution is such a communication streamliner that it has become an online marketing hub where our clients store all their marketing collateral.” - Read all about this client case

[BONUS] When in-house meets external – there’s no need for mutual exclusion

Smart Templates empower agencies with speed, improved quality and the benefits of reduced costs. Through integrated automation, external agencies fold seamlessly into the work of in-house designers. As the two begin to merge, there’s a greater chance for seamless creative cooperation between the output from within and from without. Even in times of uncertainty such as these, bringing smaller teams together is of benefit to every stakeholder in the marketing world.

This year has pushed us all to cling to the principles that started our creative journeys in the first place. So, perhaps it’s time to move away from the safety of the status quo and strive to thrive in 2021. Marketing is more important than ever, especially in a post-COVID-19 world, so help your customers by helping yourself with the right software solution that works smart, just like you.

Want to know more about having it all?

CHILI publish has some spicy free tips in our new business report. Click below to grab your copy, then get in touch and let’s talk smart futures.

This article is only available in English

Marketing

Robert Lugg

Oct 29, 2020

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