Your new retail display project is going well. You’ve secured the floor space, finalized the product mix, and engaged your agency to develop concepts. You may even be ahead of schedule and under budget.

Then, your vendor calls… They want to know when you’ll send content for the display. Uh-oh.

All too often, retail is the afterthought in marketing comms. How many times have you been on a photo or video shoot strictly for retail, or given your best copywriter a few days to craft the perfect display headline? Probably never, right?

Truth is, a few simple strategies can ensure your retail displays have great content without blowing up your budget.

Integrate retail into every campaign

Say your brand is launching a big, integrated, omnichannel, intergalactic campaign. It will include video, photography, unforgettable headlines, GIFs for social, a gamification engine, a unique design system, the works. Even if there is no initial plan to activate at retail, insist that your agency include some retail-ready content just in case.

Whether it’s a couple of headlines to support sales on the floor, a quick video to play on a screen or simply ensuring some images are sized for retail form factors, thinking through these assets ahead of time will save you a headache later on. It may add a few dollars to your overall budget, but it will cost a lot less – and be better thought out – than scrambling to develop content at the last minute.

Create a versatile content library

Maybe, you don’t have a big campaign this year. Your brand will still need a ton of new content to meet all its marketing needs. Developing a large portion of this content with one project can create process efficiencies that lower the cost per item. And if you’re saving on content creation, you can add retail requirements to your overall scope while staying within budget.

Don’t ask how much it will cost. Define how much you can spend.

So you weren’t able to sell in either of the previous ideas. You can still empower an agency to solve your problem for you. Starting the conversation by letting your agency know your budget allows them to get more creative with how they allocate your dollars. Whereas, asking how much something is going to cost forces them to cut back as much as they can to avoid being outbid by competitors. Think of it as the difference between building a solution that delivers the most value versus stripping away deliverables based primarily on cost.

This can enable your agency to develop concepts you may not be expecting, including new content they’ll be happy to create within your budget. Why? To blow you away and get more work, of course. Great vendors and agencies know – in your eyes – they’re only as good as their last job. They all want to do great work for you. Give them the flexibility to do it.