3 Mistakes to Avoid with Internal Creative Agency Projects

When it comes to client projects creative agencies work diligently to manage projects and deliver them on time and on budget. However, when it comes to managing their own promotional projects or when developing internal sales collateral agencies seem to fall apart. From consistently spending too much on internal projects to never updating your agency’s sales collateral it’s easy for internal projects to get off track. Here’s the best way to keep your internal agency projects right on the money.

1. Marketing and Sales Doesn’t Have a Budget

Mistake: Having the resources of an ad or design agency at your fingertips can be great but when a resource is so accessible it’s prone to get abused, especially if there is no budget attached. An agency would never work with a client that didn’t have a defined scope and budget and producing your internal agency work done shouldn’t be any different.

Fix: Set a yearly budget for the development of all marketing, sales projects and materials. Allocate the budget to each project and make sure the billing rate is the same rate you would charge a client. You want to be able to look at your budget from a market rate so you can tell if your budget is in line with your revenues. Then, stick to the budget! If it’s not in the budget then it doesn’t get done or it has to be switched out with something else in the budget.

2. Everyone Can Access Studio Time

Mistake: In addition to not having a budget many creative agencies allow anyone within the agency to send requests to the design studio, often just to “make a little tweak”. Having an all-access pass to the design studio, in this case, is a dangerous business decision, especially if you haven’t been utilizing an internal marketing and sales project budget. Allowing everyone and anyone to request the studio to do work can cause the studio team to be constantly interrupted and barraged with internal requests – this will quickly burn out a creative team. Not to mention, this is how agencies end up spending three times the cost of what a project of that scope should have cost.

Fix: Have a point person who is in charge of the Sales and Marketing budget so they can keep track of the expenses as they go and also ensure that all studio assignments go through the traffic or studio manager to follow the proper flow of projects.

3. Projects Operate Outside of Standard Procedure

Mistake: The biggest mistake that creative agencies make in managing their own internal projects is that they deliver these projects outside standard operating procedure. Every agency has rules and clear procedures about how projects are produced such as having a complete brief, having an assigned person to sign off, having an approved budget, or making compromises to achieve the project scope within the budget. Yet, when it comes to internal projects agencies throw this all out the window.

Fix: This fix is easy in theory, but harder to execute in reality. Simply follow procedure. Have a budget and stick to it. Appoint a project manager that is accountable for this project just as you would for a client. Ensure that there is one key decision maker that signs off on the project and always keep the project within scope with the account manager and the assigned project decision maker.

How do you keep your internal agency projects on track? Perhaps with agency project management software? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks so please share with us below.

Marissa Ho

Brand & Product Coordinator

Marissa was raised on a steady diet of mountain and ocean activities. She’s a product marketer by day, reader by night, and human being by day and night.

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