I often get asked about how I work with digital agencies to get the best from them or to cope with any issues that may have arisen. I don’t think there is a single model you can use as it really depends on the agency and the people (both yours and theirs). It obviously all starts at the point of appointing the agency.
I’m sure there are articles out there that suggest a specific criteria or questions you can use when making your agency choice (unfortunately links to any have escaped me today so please drop a link in my comments!). Yet it really starts at a slightly higher level – at the point just before you decide which agency/s to approach. So here are my thoughts…
You can typically categorise digital agencies along a spectrum, some agencies are very transparent about their focus but others will advertise themselves simply as full service. If you can identify where an agency sits along the spectrum it really helps you know if they’d be a good fit for your project. It also helps guide you on how best to manage them later on.
The ends of the spectrum
Creative (Form / aesthetic) driven
- Great at beautiful and innovative ideas and design
- Low/loose project management
- Flexible and adaptable
- Less likely to hit a deadline comfortably
Technical (Function) driven
- Great at dealing with complex functionality or infrastructure
- High/structured project management
- Process driven and less adaptable
- More likely to hit a deadline on time
Key questions I ask myself when deciding who to approach: does success focus on function or form? and how flexible is the deadline?
Does this spectrum idea work for you? Have you got an idea of where your agency/s sit?