Describe the most effective way to quickly understand whether a digital agency Portland is right for a customer during the initial communication. A kind of litmus test, when passing it, you can include the agency in the short list and communicate in more detail.
Key Factors When Choosing Digital Agency
So, you are a client, you need to choose an agency and you have formed (based on ratings, portfolio, recommendations, etc.) the first circle of potential candidates. By the way, it is desirable that there are no more than 10 agencies in it.
And then there comes that magical moment when you send a description of your task to the digital agency and conduct the first communication. How to determine the short list (3-5 agencies), with which to continue more detailed work? From the advice of our colleagues from the Agency Club, three main recommendations can be distinguished:
Understand the digital agency’s willingness and willingness to work with you. To what extent does the manager on the other side show interest, did you immediately agree in the style of communication, do you speak the same language. If not, this is a bad sign, and it will be difficult to work in the future. Yes, this is a very “evaluative” thing, but it is in it that the magic of successful cooperation often lies. And yes, we must not forget that communicating with a sales manager is one thing, but in reality the project can be managed by other people (account, project, etc.). They, too, must be “felt” for communication.
Understand the relevance of the agency’s experience to your tasks. How competent is it in your industry, in your specifics, does it understand the subtleties and pitfalls. If the manager on the other side starts to give general phrases about the efficiency and solution of the customer’s problem – it’s bad. And if the conversation starts in the key “A, the site of a residential complex? Yes, there you will need a master plan, a chessboard on floors, this is how it will work normally, but this will definitely not work, but look how they learned how to do it in the west, you can also try it ”- that’s good.
Focus on measurable results. It is clear that the mantra about “effective solution of the problem” is started by 99% of agencies. But try to dig a little deeper. Ask which KPIs for the project are the most important for the agency, what it is ready to guarantee and what is not. And here it is important to see a reasonable approach (it is clear that not everything depends on the agency in the overall process). If you are told “we will do everything, the guarantee is 146%, we swear by our mother” – it is bad. And if they carry out a normal assessment of risks, optimistic and pessimistic scenarios in terms of indicators, they refer to the knowledge of the figures for your competitors – good.
There are undoubtedly a number of criteria worth paying attention to. Firstly, it is the personalization of the agency’s offer. This point allows you to look at two important things at once: how much the agency understands the customer in the business and how interesting the potential customer is to the agency.
Secondly, it is a well thought-out approach to solving the customer’s problem. If the customer receives a detailed answer to the logical “Why exactly?”, This is a signal that the agency has worked out the task and already has a clear plan of action.
Thirdly, this is normal communication between the customer and the digital agency. If the participants of the meeting are on the same wavelength, then when working together they will receive the synergy of their knowledge and skills. The partnership, of course, will be successful if, at the first meeting, the contextual advertising contractor demonstrates:
- Activity. He should be interested in you, this is manifested in the questions asked, which will help him to quickly grasp the specifics of the business.
- Comprehensiveness. Not only to offer your own approach to planning and setting KPIs, but also to argue for it.
- Experience. It is desirable to have a similar experience in the subject.
Also, +100 points to the experience are added by the strongest team of certified professionals testing all the novelties of the market.
What do customers come to agencies for? The customer comes for a solution to his problem. Website development is not a problem, just like an advertising campaign. The problem could be declining sales, loss of market coverage, or finding new buyers. If during the first communication both parties agreed on what problem they will solve, then you can include the digital agency in the short list and communicate in more detail.
Respect Your Time
Value your time and choose agencies that ask you to share the minimum amount of information when you first communicate, only on business. The first thing to start communicating with potential project teams is a huge brief. More often than not, at this stage, you do not have a detailed understanding of what should be there and filling out briefs turns into pain. To be honest, filling out a brief is a waste of time, this document is rarely used in work.
Pay attention to the time it takes to process your request. The waiting time should be no more than two hours. If the answer comes within an hour or two hours, then for me it means that the company values discipline.
If I were choosing a contractor for the creation of a website, I would be guided, in my opinion, by the most important factor – how much the manager is immersed in the task and how knowledgeable he is in the matter of development.
The more questions the manager asks about one point of the TOR, the more accurate the estimate. The more accurately you answer, the more likely you are to see what you want in the end. Even the most precise TK does not guarantee unambiguous implementation!
What Do We Recommend?
I am always wary of the phrases “simple”, “uncomplicated”, “just like …”, there are no simple or complex projects, there is a time frame and resources that are required
State the problem briefly in your own words. In short, this is half a page maximum. Define for yourself 2-3 key criteria for choosing a contractor. Feel free to provide benchmarks for budgets and deadlines. Focus on two questions:
How quickly did the manager respond to your request? You need agencies that have enough resources to quickly process incoming applications and are interested in your task. Others answer for a long time or never.
How did the manager start the conversation? You only need those who ask specific (not general) questions about the project and those who briefly explain how their company will solve your problem. Then rank the agencies by how well they hit your key criteria.
When choosing a contractor for the development of a website, you should pay attention to whether the digital agency has cases and completed projects in the field of the customer’s company. The presence of such cases will allow assessing the level of performance and the agency’s approach to performing tasks close to those facing the customer. And the performer already has the necessary background, understanding of the activity and the market, which will reduce the time for preliminary discussion of the project and the search for optimal solutions, taking into account the existing experience and knowledge, what works and what does not.
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