Choosing a digital agency is more complex than what you may have imagined. To forge a working relationship that helps meet your targets, leveraging the team’s skills with the requirements of your project, assessing the work quality, expertise, and price point are vital. What is most important about your decision is whether or not the agency you have opted for fits well.
Whether you need the agency to run a social campaign, consistently write blog posts for you, or to design your website, you’re looking most for a partnership. A mere sign on the line contract is outlived by a partnership, which runs deeper and involves a partnership of equals who respect and value the talents, integrity, and perspectives each brings along.
To ensure that your partnership with the agency is sustainable, for a short period or an extended time, it is essential to consider the following tips.
It is essential that you attain clarity of idea on what you seek from the partnership before you move onto interviewing any prospective digital agency for the partnership. For this, you must first decide on what you require to be done for your brand by the agency. Whether you need to build social media presence for the brand which was previously absent, or simply rebrand the company to enhance visibility, the task must be set first to ensure that the agency you choose is equipped, skilled, and experienced to handle the task at hand and prove fruitful for your goals. Considering the following before beginning discussions with a potential agency can prove beneficial for your company:
These should comprise of your hopes for future campaigns and any concrete plans you may have in mind.
KPI’s, better traffic on a specific site page, or other concrete methods to prove the success of the campaign are essential.
Financial negotiations can be best done when you have established a marketing budget internally. However, you must acknowledge that depending on the expenditure, the quality of the campaign too varies. To ensure an overall best product, you must weigh your budget and goals side by side.
Not only will your discussions with the prospective agency be enriched if you have your goals outlined ahead of time but it will also enable you to select an agency with a team whose skill and experience suits your goals.
Look for qualities you would seek in an employee.
While you’re not exactly hiring an employee who will check into your office daily, the digital agency will be working with you for a prolonged time. You must thus consider the skills and strengths of the agency, as you will for an in-house employee.
You want to work with a team that delivers quality services and is accountable for the results and value you seek to add to your business. You must thus ask probing and direct questions, inquire into their work process, and review their portfolio. Then, consider their answers as though given by a prospective employee and then decide whether or not is it a beneficial hire.
For the agency to fit your goals perfectly on a professional level based on skill and experience, it is essential they jive well on a personal level with your team and you. First impressions, deeper insights on succeeding meeting and your chemistry with their professionals is what will end up being valuable to the company and translate into a long-term partnership. Here is how to assess this abstract vibe:
People from your company who would be communicating with the agency to carry forward a campaign must be present at meetings with the agency. Similarly, you can request the agency representative to call for a meeting with designers, lead writers, creative directors or project managers who will be responsible for handling your projects to ensure a dynamic relationship between team members.
A little sense of humor and non-work related questions would not only ease the relationship between team members but also reveal their characters better. Their perspectives, personality and pain points are all important, as they will reflect not only in the partnership but also in the campaign they will put forward. To know best of the overall integrity of the leaders, you must ask for employee benefits and perks. Employee satisfaction leads to better performance thus reflecting in the campaign and its success.
Certain projects may consume more resources and time. While the agency fits perfectly with experience, skill, and culture, the strength in number too is a consideration to be made. You do not want them to not be able to deliver on projects with more-than-average number of deliverables. You must air out project details early on in the communication with the agency, playing your own advocate to avoid regret. You must realistically assess their claims and understand clearly of how much are they capable of delivering in the required time. However, if the vibe and connection is strong, holding off isn’t the only option since many companies are willing to hire more employees when they bag right projects to keep the employees busy. If you see the potential of developing a long-term relationship, go ahead or simply keep your option open for the future.
It requires immense patience and discernment to choose a digital agency whether for long-term partnership or a short campaign. However, to look through the lens of scope, culture, experience, skills, and your own goals, you would soon have a decision to hire an agency that supports your endeavors in the best way possible.