How to find the right creative digital agency

Filed under:

Process, Strategy
Things to consider when evaluating your prospective agency partners for your digital project.

“Oh. My. God.”

“We HAVE to redesign our website.”

“And we need it yesterday.”

So far, you’re nodding in agreement. Of course “we” need a new website. And “we” need the impossible, done yesterday.

And then the hammer drops. Leadership has decided YOU are the perfect person to find the firm and make this happen.

<record scratch>Whaaaa?</record scratch>

In an earlier post, we outlined some key areas of consideration for writing a website redesign RFP. That focused largely on what you should consider about your own digital situation. The other half of that equation is focused on what you need to make sure your agency of choice is the right fit for your organization. With that in mind, please consider the following questions when evaluating your prospective agency partners for your digital project.

Why do clients usually hire you (or not hire you)?
Firms often get hired for one or two key reasons. Knowing why others have chosen them in the past can help you prioritize your internal needs. Sometimes good firms are passed on because “they’re not a good fit.” But that can be too vague an answer to be useful. Knowing why a firm doesn’t get chosen can help you better asses that elusive goal of “fit.”

What types of projects do you most gravitate to? What types of projects do you typically avoid?
Given their druthers, many firms will say “what do you got?” as the answer to this question. However, it’s good to know what fits in the sweet spot of a firm’s collective interest and skillset.

What different types of technology (CMS, CRM, AMS, etc.) do you have experience with?
Technology isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. It’s also often not the first thing that needs to be established. However, knowing an agency’s breadth of technology experience can help frame up numerous subsequent conversations.

What types of technology / projects are you working on now that you weren’t 12-18 months ago?
Little changes faster than the digital marketing and communication landscape. Firms that aren’t growing are dying. The firms that show an ability to adapt are the ones that will win the future for themselves and their clients. In Taoti’s case, the answer is a combination of interactive infographics projects and some early-stage Internet of Things projects. But this post is about YOU, so we’ll get back to the remaining questions.

Please describe your approach to working with large stakeholder groups? Small groups?
True story. I once was part of a 25-meeting process to get the idea of a website redesign approved. Knowing how a firm handles such a large bureaucracy can be helpful as you’re planning out your next steps. Smaller stakeholder groups can bring their own challenges that include being too insulated to truly understand their audiences. Getting these questions answered can help you and your team get an early mental picture of what it would be like to work with them. Which is important, because you’re going to be spending a LOT of time together.

Interested in reading more? We have plenty more questions that we recommend asking your potential digital agency for your next project.

Of course, if you’re interested in asking us a few of these questions, we’d love to talk. Send us a quick note via our contact form and we’ll get right back to you.