Misconceptions About Creative Agencies

March 1, 2016 | by Taylor Wells

Working at a creative agency like BatesMeron, you get used to hearing some of the same assumptions about what work life is really like. “It’s like Mad Men at your office, right?” or, “You guys just sit around thinking up taglines all day, don’t you?” come up often.

While yes, we are an exceptionally good-looking and talented bunch here, and we have been known to brainstorm some pretty awesome taglines, there is a lot more to being a branding and marketing agency than one might assume. So this week, your friendly creatives at BatesMeron would like to dispel some of the most common misconceptions about our industry and set the record straight:

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note clear signs of attractiveness and talent.

It’s All About the Creative

We, like all creative agencies, pride ourselves on creativity. After all, creativity is what makes it possible to build an identity that has never been seen before, or dream up a marketing campaign that’s completely unexpected. But creativity is only half of the equation—to be a truly exceptional agency, your creativity has to have an equally inspired strategy behind it.

Branding and Marketing isn’t just about making things beautiful, it’s about making something that solves a problem, achieves a goal or answers a question for your client. This takes an approach that’s 50% Michelangelo and 50% Sun Tzu, with hours of research and interviews informing your creative brainstorming to come up with a concept that is as effective as it is elegant.

You’re Always Thinking “Outside of the Box”

We’ve all been told in our lives that it’s important to learn how to “think outside of the box,” or to get away from thinking within set parameters. This is absolutely a huge and important part of what we do—some of the best ideas you’re likely to have will come from throwing the rule book out the window. But other times, the box (or in our case, the brand) is home.

As branding gurus, working within a brand’s guidelines is second-nature. You can’t throw in a sassy headline for a conservative client, just like you can’t use serious corporate photography for a goofy, personality-driven brand. The real (exciting) challenge is discovering ways to bring new and unexpected ideas to life while still thinking inside of a brand’s standards.

Creative Agencies Know What Clients Need 

It’s easy to see dramatic ad pitches from movies and television shows and picture creative agencies as confident mind-readers who know what’s best for a client as soon as they walk in the door…

But in reality, building a brand, marketing campaign or otherwise is a very collaborative effort. Creative agencies might come prepared with ideas and strategies to get a client’s mind working in new ways, but there is always a conversation that takes into account the client’s goals, ideas and advice. It’s only after you’ve talked with a client and internalized their brand that you can really know what they need (and how best to give it to them).

Creative Agencies Are Fun, Exciting Places to Work

Creative agencies and their teams are often portrayed as collaborative, creatively-fueled companies who don’t shy away from having a good time while they work, when actually…

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Wait, no, that one’s true. Sorry.

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