How to choose the right Digital Agency?

Posted By Gerrit Veeder In Digital Strategy 10/26/2015

Despite unparalleled growth in mobile media usage there has been a notable lack of discussion about Digital Technologies and the need for a holistic approach to Digital Strategy.

Because of this trend, companies need trusted partners to help them navigate the complex and protean digital landscape.

Recently we asked James Raddock - Director of Operational Strategy & Finance at DOOR3 to outline the most important steps in selecting a Digital Agency.

Here's James' short list:

DOOR3: Selecting an outside consulting company or a digital agency is always a complex process. Where is the best place to start?
Raddock: "First and foremost, verify whether or not the consulting company or digital agency has credible Subject Matter Experts and the business expertise that relates to your business. No SME's no dice!"

DOOR3: What is the best way to vet a Digital Agency?
Raddock: "Take a moment and try to understand if the agency is run well. Spend some time researching their digital assets and properties - the website, the omni channel - multiple device experience, and their understanding of their own digital landscape. Check their case studies and references and see how they relate to your business.
Some of the most important questions that you should ask are:

  • Do they have the right people for your business needs? Read their bios, do they sound like people you would hire?
  • Can they provide a sense of security that the project will be delivered?  
  • Do they understand their own KPI's?
  • How do they staff a project? Are they using modern technologies and processes to manage the resourcing? Do they have a good career page and are they using innovative platforms to find great people?
  • Do they have a big turnover that could put your project in peril? "

DOOR3: One of the most difficult parts to understand and vet is how the estimation of your project is made. Is it comprehensive? How you are going to be billed?
Raddock: "Whether you are looking at a Mobile App Development shop, Digital Marketing Agency or Software Product Development Company you have to make sure that they have systems and processes in place that track the work that the consultants are doing and how that gets reflected into your invoices. Having a company with a clear billing process and transparent reports on work hours and resourcing will provide you with invaluable piece of mind."

DOOR3: How important is it to make sure that the agency you choose has the capacity and can handle the scope of your project?
Raddock: "We all know a company's size matters. Project sizes matters as well. If you are about to select an agency that works mainly with small businesses or projects and your company or your project is medium or large size - you should try to understand if the agency really has the capacity to optimally serve you.
Some important questions to ask are:

  • How many consultants, with your desired skill set, do they have on staff?
  • Can they ramp up staff quickly if the need arises?
  • How are projects, change requests, scope creep managed? What is their response time when those things arise?"

DOOR3: James, thank you for your time. Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
Raddock: "The relationship between an agency and your company is unique in nature and needs to be handled intelligently. In order to make your project successful, and I can't stress this enough, it is really worth investing the time to understand who you are getting into a relationship with. Asking these questions and getting a realistic and honest answer should put you in good shape when selecting your digital agency.

Are these some of the criteria that you are using in selecting the right partner? We are happy to hear what worked and what does not for you. Drop us a line and tell us more.

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