The simple answer is to “be great”. But what are the building blocks of being “great” for an advertising agency?
A truly great agency needs to be excellent in all areas. From strategy, media, account management, creative, operations, traffic and finance to human resources, an agency needs to settle for nothing but greatness. So if an agency is great in all of these areas then surely growing great is simply right?
This is partly true, but what is the one thing that an agency needs to be the greatest at.
Creativity. An agency needs to deliver great creativity above all things if it is to truly grow great.
I believe the most essential thing to cultivate an environment that inspires great creativity, is the belief that it is the most important thing. That it is the only way to serve your clients’ growth, the best way to serve your people’s growth and the most efficient way to drive your systems and operations. That it is the most important thing to drive your everything.
Because once you truly believe creativity is the most important thing, the things that drive this belief will become equally important.
Achieving excellence in operations becomes a necessity. Great account management that builds high levels of client trust become a must-have. Disciplined project management and world class production outputs become a basic requirement.
Creativity and problem solving across all areas of the business automatically happen, because when your aim is great creative output, great creative input is needed to deliver this. In fact every single thing in your company will need to deliver on this belief. Your vision, purpose and values will need to be aligned to this belief, and the people you appoint will need to be inspired by this belief.
Your clients will need to share this belief. They should demand great creativity. They should demand it because it’s the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal. It’s how we win hearts, minds, and market share. It’s the most effective way to deliver on their growth objectives. It becomes the only way to truly deliver, period.
When all is said and done what moves consumers most to invest in a brand, is creativity that engages them and creativity that converts them. What consumers want is great creativity. Because ultimately it’s what we all want.
And the notion that creativity feeds growth is not just a belief, it’s a proven fact. James Hurman’s, “The Case for Creativity,” a book based on 15 research studies conducted over two decades, factually records how creatively awarded campaigns are 10% more effective on a high spend, and 27% more effective on a low spend than other campaigns.
This, and the fact that it’s been proven that great creative is 11 times more efficient at generating market share increases than less creatively driven campaigns, should be evidence enough that to grow great you need great creativity. But if the facts aren’t enough, then just think about the game changing brands out there that have moved you. Think Apple. Think Nike.
And the answer to the question “How do you grow great?” can and will only ever have one answer.
See Gareth discuss further with Adlip Editor: