'In My View'... How to get the best from your digital agency
Published 00:00 on 24 May 2018
Having worked in digital now for nearly 20 years, here are some key lessons I've learned about getting the best from your digital agency.
Is it all about results?
At the end of the day, yes. An agency is commissioned to deliver a set of results that the business on its own cannot do.
Having a set of clearly defined results at the start can really help focus what the agency is doing. They may and should change as you both learn what is and isn't working, but having some clear objectives defined should be your starting point.
Additionally though, maintaining a good relationship with your agency is very important to get the most from them. Any agency worth its salt will have people who are deeply invested in their clients' brand and objectives. Rather than treating the agency as just another supplier, the best results go hand-in-hand with the agency-client relationship, and the agency team gaining a deep understanding about the business, its peculiarities and personalities.
Know your budgets
Knowing what the business has to spend early on really helps the agency focus on what will bring the most value to the business.
Projects and relationships can hit the rocks because people don't understand their role, or over-reach on what they're meant to be doing and step on someone else's toes. It is important that people on both the agency- and client-side know what their role is.
Let the agency do their job
Once the deliverables are agreed with your agency, let them do what they're good at, whilst the business focusses on what it's good at. Don't over-direct them: it can be frustrating for the agency and can often result in a poor outcome.
Expect a project plan
A project plan will simply lay out who is doing what, by whom and by when. They can be very simple or more complex depending on what's being delivered. A project plan can also show the impact of making a change part-way through and how that affects the delivery dates.
If your agency has not produced a project plan for a deliverable, you should insist on one: it will lead to a better outcome.
Expect regular catch ups
Weekly status calls keep things moving at pace during a delivery, so expect one: covering what's been achieved, what needs to be done in the week to come, and any changes in scope or issues with the project. Expect at least monthly catch ups for ongoing campaign work.
Be cautious of agencies who don't offer regular catch ups by phone or in-person. It might mean they have too much on or are not giving your business the attention it deserves.
Jason Miller, Director Chichester Chamber of Commerce & Industry and SteadyGo Digital
Office Chichester Chamber - Thursday, May 24, 2018
Last updated 13:54 on 13 November 2020