Agency Process Does Not Equal Creative Process

There are a million agencies throwing jargon, claiming to be the seamlessly integrated, 360-degree slam-dunk brand/digital/design shop of everyone’s dreams. Capabilities? Everything. How’s it done? Expertly. You can read about their special process on their website. It has several stages that say little, may involve animation, and definitely contain arrows.

They probably have a Trademarked Name™ for their process, too.

Most of those agencies are lying to you. Rather, I mean to say, they take creative license. They then prove to abuse that license — because surprisingly few agencies follow the proprietary process promoted on their own site.

Strange, huh?

Stranger still, the processes described are rarely specific to creative. In fact, most agency websites boil process down to something like, “we do research to find insights, we formulate a strategy based on those insights, we do creative based on that strategy, and therefore you and your customers shall feel great delight in the work we do. We’re irreverent. We’re zany. We’re creative!”

That’s awesome. But before we all go out to celebrate, can we talk about your actual creative process? How does your agency make (not market) the donuts?

It should be an easy answer. It shouldn’t be smoke and mirrors.

This is a sample chapter from my new book, So You’re a Client, now available on Amazon (print coming soon!)

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Originally published at on January 13, 2017.