Traits To Look For When Choosing Your Full-Service Digital Agency.
By Tavares Kennedy, Digital Project Manager at Bayshore Solutions.
It’s generally agreed that one of the best personal experiences in life is finding and cultivating the perfect partner that enhances your quality of life to an otherwise unobtainable level. Take a second to think about it: peanut butter is great alone, but when it partnered with jelly, the world was instantly a better place. Likewise, rum has Coke, milk has cookies, and Tom has Jerry. In the business world, just like those perfect pairs, your company can reach much greater heights when partnered with a digital agency that has an aligned attitude and lasting commitment.
However finding “Mr./Ms. Agency Right” relies on solid research versus romance. There are several determining factors that can be used when selecting the perfect digital partner for your organization. Like with the search for the right personal relationship, there are some red flags about a potential agency that should send you packing when you notice them. At the same time, there may also be some blindingly attractive traits that shield you from the truth, such that six months later you kick yourself for not realizing that trap from the very beginning. Naturally, you want to avoid both extremes and guide your organization’s search to arrive smack dab in the middle of partner paradise.
Here is a list of things to consider when selecting an agency to work with. As you search the web or your contacts for a Web or Digital Marketing agency, keeping these six items in mind will save you a lot of heartache, a lot of time, and yes, in this case, time absolutely equals money.
1. Breadth of Experience
You want to know and trust that the agency you partner with has been tested and is capable of guiding you in the right direction. You should do adequate research on an agency before you start spending time together. Spend some time combing through their website, case studies, news articles, and any public financial information available. Take a full inventory before you sit down and meet any potential partners. Ask questions. Ask tougher questions. Get a good feel for who this other entity is. If you still have doubts about a firm’s ability after you’ve done a considerable amount of research, they aren’t the agency for you, or it’s not the right time for your organization.
Get yourself someone that’s been there, and done that, and found a way to do it better in ongoing rounds. Trust in a digital agency partner is built by having a track record that speaks for itself. Look to the numbers to gauge that track record. For example, Bayshore Solutions has 20 years of experience. That equates to over 2,600 clients served across 16+ industries, over 200 digital marketing engagements created and maintained, and 500 sites currently hosted by Bayshore Solutions. We’re ready for whatever your organization has in mind.
2. Continual Innovation
You want an agency partner who demonstrates up-to-date “Best Practices” and proven methods balanced with innovation that keeps their clients at the forefront of the competition. This shows that your potential agency partner is capable of responsibly creating change based on your business needs and the dynamic forces of the market.
Change is inevitable and if an organization is reluctant to change in this day and age, they may not be the best teammate to help keep your organization moving forward. Often, growth happens when you leave your comfort zone: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Your organization should look for an agency partner that challenges you to become better in every way possible. Be open to hearing ideas that maybe aren’t exactly about what you think you want, but about what your business truly needs – and be sure your potential partner can explain why and how.
3. Industry Recognition
Anyone can brag about their own accomplishments and “impressive” track record. However, pure self-promotion doesn’t demonstrate results. If an agency isn’t recognized or awarded by a non-biased external entity, this may indicate that there isn’t much to recognize. If you can’t find any reviews, or credible third party information or recognition of accomplishments on your potential partner, you should be wary.
4. Ongoing Support
There will be good days, and challenging days. Your digital partner should be at your side for both. Likewise, the best agency relationship benefits grow over time. The launch of a new website project should mark a transition into the next phase of partnership. This can range from comprehensive maintenance plans to continuing improvement and promotion of your web presence with an effective digital marketing strategy and implementation engagement.
5. Long-Term Goal Alignment
The digital agency you select needs to have your best interest at heart. Everything they bring to the table should be in line with your organization’s principles and goals. Make sure the agency you partner with is in sync with your business vision and that you both are committed for long term success – because the right digital agency isn’t a “Date” it should be your business’ steady, strategic soulmate.
6. Wise Investment
Many people use cost as a key determining factor in their in evaluation of web development or digital marketing agencies. Be careful with that one. You should absolutely have a budget in mind, but don’t automatically jump at the agency with the lowest price tag; you could be overlooking some very important unknowns. Do your research, ask questions, and understand the difference between cost and value.
Bayshore Solutions makes it our mission to be a trusted digital partner that combines marketing and technology expertise to deliver ongoing results to our clients.
Contact us today and let’s get started building a relationship that grows your business.