GLOBAL: The best marketers possess a number of “soft skills” that enable them to get the best work out of their creative agency partners and deliver business results, according to two industry figures.

In a free to access WARC Best Practice paper, How the best marketers get their agencies to deliver the best work, Deb Giampoli and Karen Adams, co-founders and partners of Stone Soup Consultants, stress the importance of leading a partner to deliver optimal creative work.

“Research has proven a direct link between the creativity of work and the business results it generates,” they note, adding that a brand’s message needs to be highly creative and entertaining to cut through in a complex media landscape.

They highlight seven things the best marketers know and do that enable their agencies to do their best work.

First, they know what their brand stands for in the lives of their consumers. “A clear brand purpose serves as a ‘north star’ for creative work and a filter for evaluating ideas.”

And they understand how a great brief – concise, stating that brand purpose, articulating consumer insights and providing clear direction and ambition – conveyed in an inspiring way, sets the tone for the relationship.

“Successful marketers know that creativity is personal,” the authors add. “They take the time and make the effort to build a strong personal relationship with the creative team working on their brand.”

That investment makes it easier to lead the team, identifying and nurturing ideas while respecting the creative process and avoiding over-direction. “And they are respectfully candid. This means there are no hidden agendas, no approvals in the meeting, followed by rejection via email or phone later.”

Similarly, the best marketers know how to deliver effective feedback, providing one voice to the agency and maintaining a clear direction.

They are also passionate about great work, say Giampoli and Adams, communicating high ambition and being willing to overcome resistance and fight internal battles when necessary to keep great ideas alive.

And they are candid about money, honouring their responsibility to manage their brand’s budget, but also respecting the agency’s need to be paid fairly for the work.

“You owe it to your business and your brand to not only find the best creative talent at the best agency, but to be the client you need to be to lead them to their best work,” the authors conclude.

Sourced from WARC