Designers and account executives sometimes speak in very different languages. This may come as a challenge in the workplace when the account executive has to translate what the client wants into terms the creative team understands. This communication starts with the client, and can be made a lot more effective when the client can communicate what they want clearly in the initial conversation.
I’ve compiled four useful tips to remember when communicating with your AE to help clarify your design goals.
Gather Your Thoughts
When you are ready to communicate a new project idea to the AE you work with, it’s always important to start by organizing the details. As an account executive myself, if I try to handoff a project to the creative team without organizing myself first, I will likely get a cup of coffee thrown in my face, or a less extreme response, such as a blank stare.
Although your AE won’t throw coffee in your face if you aren’t clear (and let’s hope there are no blank stares), answering a few questions before approaching the agency is a good place to start: Who is the target audience? What type of design do you like? Do you have any examples? What are your expectations? What are your goals for the piece? What are you trying to make happen?
Clarify and explain your vision as much as possible when you meet with your AE. He/She can then help to mold your vision to reach it’s greatest potential using his/her professional guidance.
Use Visual Examples
Not every AE is lucky enough to be skilled in graphic design or artistic theory. Because of this, we aren’t always able to visually communicate our client’s exact vision to the creative team. If a client brings visual examples, or we review visual examples the AE pulls, we are more likely to be successful when taking those visuals to inform our creative team.
Using both print and digital examples are very helpful. Start by surfing around the Internet to find some designs you like, regardless of the industry. Pinterest and competitor websites are both great resources for colors, design styles and inspiration. By viewing design choices your competitors use, you may have ideas for how to better differentiate yourself and stand out. Sometimes sketching on a piece of paper is a useful method as well, although if you’re like me, your drawing skills aren’t very promising.
Stay In Touch
Once you outline the project with your AE, make sure you are easy to reach if they need your feedback. The internal process at Thoma Thoma, for example, involves a lot of proofing, editing and client feedback. We want to make sure we not only get it right but exceed our clients’ expectations with any creative work we do.
A big part of our success is the feedback and quick response time we receive from our clients when we send them something to review. This will also prevent any unnecessary time and effort spent on revisions, and will ensure everyone’s deadlines are met.
Trust Your Agency
The employees at the agency you work with were hired for a reason. They are incredible at their jobs, and they have the skills and expertise to do great work. At Thoma Thoma, it’s because of our skills that we are so successful at what we do.
When our clients trust our input and guidance, it makes for a wonderful working relationship. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to use our creativity and experience to our fullest potential.
When a team communicates clearly, we help each other succeed.
When you work with this creative marketing agency, you are considered an extension of our team. When a team communicates clearly, we help each other succeed, and you can trust that your ad agency has your best interest in mind. Both you and your agency will benefit greatly.
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