Getting edutainment creative that is eye-catching, well targeted, and effective is no accident. It starts with good communication up front between the marketer and their creative agency.

Here are 5 ways edutainment marketers can help their agency get it right the first time and deliver a creative product that meets or even exceeds their expectations.

1.  Share the big picture and what you want to accomplish. The best way to do this is to give your agency a well-rounded overview of the whole project rather than only telling them about the piece of the project they’ll be working on at the moment. It’s important they understand how this piece fits within the whole picture. The more your agency team knows upfront, the smarter and more strategic they can work on your behalf. This knowledge can also help them avoid potential issues down the road.

2. Details, details, details. Provide all the details you can at the beginning to ensure a smooth, accurate start to the project. This can also prevent revisions that may occur and effect time and budget, if major new details start coming in down the road. Here are a few examples of details your agency needs to know:

  • Basic information about the target audience (e.g. stay-at-home moms/dads; educators; grandparents; science teachers; homeschoolers; parents and kids; parents only; existing customers; etc.)
  • General information about the deliverables (e.g. are you supplying any elements of the project: copy, photography, etc.?)
  • Specs and timeframe
  • How and where the creative will be used

3. How much is that doggie in the window? Share your budget—or at least a range—up front so your agency can tailor creative to fit it. I explained the rational for this in another post. But, if for whatever reason you are not able to give your agency a ballpark budget, please understand that they are not mind readers. If they come back with an estimate that is too high, talk to them about it and give them a chance to come up with a revised scope of project and budget that is fair and workable for both parties.

4. Experienced client contacts work best. Some clients assign an assistant who has little background or understanding of how the creative process works, to serve as a liaison with the agency because edutainment marketers are very busy people and don’t always have time to spend going back and forth with the agency as the project unfolds. (This is why we work so hard to get a good understanding of what our clients want to accomplish upfront so that we don’t have to constantly interrupt them with questions.)

The challenge of working with inexperienced assistants is they may not make good decisions or give good direction. They may not be strategically minded, and some are unwilling to accept input from creative professionals. In the long run they can cost the company more. For example, in my agency we make changes the liaison requests (even when we recommend they don’t make that change). Inevitably, after their internal routing, we are asked to change it back to the original or go in another direction. My advice for marketers who need to use inexperienced assistants to serve as the point person for the agency is to supervise them carefully to ensure the creative process stays on track and on budget.

5. A little feedback goes a long way. Once the project is complete, give your agency feedback on the results of the project so they can use that knowledge when it comes time to create your next project. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time or be formal—just a quick email or phone call saying “the email campaign was a success—the response and sales were greater than we expected,” or “we’ve heard from quite a few 2nd grade teachers telling us how much their students are learning from the curriculum kit” can be very helpful input. My agency is very vested in our clients’ success, so we love hearing about the end result.

Want great work from your agency? Good communication from you—combined with giving your agency team the freedom to do what they do best—is a formula for success that’s hard to beat.