6 Benefits Brands Can Reap When Their Agencies Collaborate

And, yes, they really should collaborate

When it comes to developing and nurturing your brand, teamwork across agencies is essential—and yet many agencies find it difficult to lean into it. It could be a natural reaction to protecting their "secret sauce"—what makes their agency stand out. It could be that it's just "not how things have been done," and we continue to work in silos. Whatever the situation may be, we should recognize that it's the combination of our efforts—the harmony of several chords—that truly helps a brand shine.

It shouldn't be only the client's responsibility to facilitate collaboration. Agencies themselves should be driving these initiatives. Why? Because it's for their own benefit as well. From our experience, clients like to work with teams that have built strong, collaborative networks and which share their same values and ideals. But they also want and increasingly expect cohesive, 360-degree solutions, which are only possible when agency partners band together.

Something we always keep in mind when we're working with our clients is that no matter how important we think our work is to our clients, we know it's still only a small portion of our clients' responsibility. Marketers today have to wear many hats and be familiar with every possible marketing platform and opportunity. Time is precious, and interagency collaboration can improve the value of the work, and also create a vital efficiency that we're all striving for. 

With that in mind, here are six ways brands stand to benefit when their agencies collaborate with intention. 

1. Booms in creative outputs.

To cut through the noise in a crowded marketplace where consumers are also feeling overwhelmed by massive amounts of information, brands require outstanding creative work. And what's better than having one excellent creative team developing ideas for your brand? Having two or more teams of creatives cooperating to generate the most fantastic ideas that could get your brand more customers, raise your visibility and attract new generations of consumers. One of the most essential benefits of having your agencies interact is that together they may generate more unique, effective ideas than working isolated. 

2. Different points of view from a wider set of people.

Creative teams need diversity of experience. When different agency teams work together, your brand may reap the benefits of an awesome input of diverse perspectives. Thankfully, organizations all throughout the country are making significant efforts to entice a more diverse pool of talented individuals. Although there is still much more to be done to make our teams more diverse, the diversity that we have accomplished to date benefits the brands we support. Because let's get real: When you have separate, diverse teams collaborating together, you get an amazing variety of world views and cultures that can ensure that the end results make your brand more appealing. 

Also, the likelihood of using damaging stereotypes or prejudiced language in your marketing initiatives and communications is reduced when you have access to a varied range of voices within different agencies. We can all recall brand marketing mishaps when there's an absence of diverse voices at the table. 

3. More consistent brand messaging.

We all know that repetition is a key part of marketing. The same thing happens when a brand has a solid network of agencies that work together—it forces your brand to communicate its values and its overall messaging repeatedly and more clearly because it needs to be cohesive and understood by all of the agencies you're working with. This, in turn, makes your messaging stronger because it's reinforced not only in brand-to-agency communication, but also across agency teams. Those agency teams can then be your champion during interagency collaboration—keeping themselves in check with your messaging and values. 

4. Greater flexibility. 

Being exposed to multiple teams requires you to be adaptable, flexible and eager to listen, all of which are qualities that are, of course, highly valuable in the current state of the industry.

5. Healthy competition… because rising tides lift all boats.

Although the term "collaboration" denotes a cordial way of working with other agencies, it also means that teams can engage in a healthy competition to produce their best work. Why? Because it will not only be seen and purchased by the brand, but also by teams from other agencies. After all, this industry is a small world and we all want to have our name associated with the best work and ideas we can produce.

6. Greater sense of humanity.

In order to collaborate effectively, all parties involved need to put their human side front and center in everything that they do. While working with creatives at each and every agency, brands will frequently be required to abandon that tired "corporate tone" and, instead, become active listeners.

Clearly, there are a number of factors that brands should also take into consideration when working with collaborative agency teams. For instance, they should be aware that agencies develop intellectual property and that the involuntary disclosure of it can be damaging to both the agency and the relationship. Also, collaborating with direct competitors can be challenging; therefore, brands should aim to form an inter-agency team with services that complement one another rather than those that are in direct competition. By doing this, you can create a healthy and happy inter-agency experience.

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Ashley Cooksley
Ashley Cooksley is CEO North America of The Social Element.

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