Creativity is the stock-in-trade of virtually all marketing services agencies. It's what ad agencies, in particular, pride themselves on. But it is an elusive concept, and hard to manage, while the growing research literature on the subject is quite limited in its scope (11).
For advertisers, there are two key problems: to identify an agency that offers the style and type of creativity that is right for your business; and to manage the relationship in a way that ensures that the agency delivers (7). This means aiding the process and being willing and able to recognise and support the right creative solution.
For agencies, much of the focus on creativity lies in getting the right combination of people and in establishing a process to deliver to clients the imaginative solutions they seek (8). For both sides, a key element lies in the nature and detail of the brief, which is the subject of a separate paper in this series (14).