Long distance can be the right distance.
You’ve found your perfect agency. You know, smart, funny, they just get you and your industry. Except for one big thing. This dream creative relationship, it’s going to be long-distance. Don’t fret. Seriously, branching out will be good for business. And now, we’ll tackle any of your other questions, such as:
Should I work with an advertising agency that’s not in my city?
That was quick. But why should I work with a remote advertising agency?
When you work with agencies outside of your zip code, you get a new perspective. Not just on your brand and its possibilities, but on the world. This can open your eyes to unseen opportunities, and introduce your brand to a whole new section of the world. Not bad.
If I can’t just walk over and meet them, how do I get to know this ad agency?
Start with their website. From their site, you should be able to see what they do and who they are. (Run the other way if it doesn’t work on your mobile phone.) If they responded to your RFP, take a long look at how they present themselves on paper. Are your values the same? Is their work providing ROI? Is your gut jumping for joy?
Still on the fence? Give them a call or invite them to a Google Hangout.
If needed, we have traveled long distances to meet a new client. It’s important having face-to-face contact at the beginning of a relationship to learn the culture, location and business production.
How do I work with an agency in another state, or even in another country?
Meet in person at least once.
This puts names to faces and allows you to all be on the same page, in the same place. Often, agencies are more than happy to make a trip or host in-town visitors. This may even be a chance to see the place they live and how that influences their creative work.
Decide on your communication tactics.
Are they into UberConference or do they prefer an old-fashioned phone call? What time of day are you both in the office? Set schedules and expectations early on for best results.
Set up check-ins.
Now, it’s time to choose a time. Do you need to talk once a week or once a month? Establish this right away. Make sure check-ins are a two-way conversation, not a breathless monologue.
Speaking of two-way conversations, remember: creativity is about collaboration. On both sides. Don’t throw out ideas at first glance. Give the agency a chance to explain the thinking behind an idea, and then talk through it. Communication is what leads to stronger ideas. You’re partners, after all, so it helps to treat the relationship as such.
Take the leap of trust. It’s the only way you’ll see what they’re capable of, and for an agency to fully understand your goals and objectives. Working together toward a goal works better when trust is involved.
Build morale and celebrate when you get good news. An agency voicing their appreciation for the opportunity to work together and a compliment from a client can go a long way on relationship morale. Hello, warm fuzzies! And if your campaign is kicking the snot out of your competition, send each other a gift. Or, even better, fly everyone to Aruba for a sunny retreat. (Probably ask your accountant about that one first.)
Now that you’ve memorized these steps and bookmarked this article, it’s time to find yourself a long distance ad agency.
How do we know about long-distance relationships?
We’re in them.
While our hearts and homes are in Duluth, MN, we work alongside brands across the country, including North Carolina, Ohio, Washington D.C. and Alaska. If you’re interested in the working with some pretty strategic and creative minds who love abusing the heck out of UberConference, let’s talk.