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Things to consider when choosing a digital agency


With so many agencies to choose from, there’s a lot of pressure on brands to pick the right third parties to complement their in-house skills. And it’s not just a cost thing, either – it’s as much about people, policy and performance as it is about keeping a hold on your disappearing budget. Which is why we think it’s worth being fussy when you choose who you work with.

When you find the right agency, they’ll become an extension of your team – so why don’t more brands treat choosing an agency like choosing an employee? With that in mind, here are our tips on how to make the right selection.

1. Can they deliver what you need?

Whatever the nature of your project, you need to be confident that your agency has the skill and capacity to take it on. Specialist departments are imperative – it shows importance and investment given to specific skills. After all, you want experts working on your account, not interns.

It’s always best to go with an agency that can deliver more than you actually need to begin with, so you know they’ll be able to provide what you’ve asked for comfortably. Be specific about what you need, especially when it comes to the problems you want to solve and how success will be measured. And don’t be shy – make sure you ask plenty of questions about the agency’s experience and competences.

2. Do you get on with the team?

As well as competent, the agency you choose should be friendly and approachable, and shouldn’t try and blind you with jargon or promises they won’t be able to keep. You need to be able to trust them to direct and deliver your projects and take the initiative when you’re not available.

If your delivery team isn’t involved in the pitch, ask to meet them. It’s important to know who you’ll be working with, and it won’t hurt to get a feel for the agency’s offices either. A good working relationship is what makes people go that extra mile; and it makes your day job a lot more pleasant, too.

3. Is your brand important to them?

Big, glossy agencies in the right postcode are great – but consider how much your business matters to them. Look at their client portfolio and think about where you fit in. The last thing you want is to play second fiddle to a higher earning account, or sign up with an agency that doesn’t have any interest in gaining clients in your industry.

Look for an agency that specialises in your sector and has other clients of a similar size to your business. That way, you can be sure that your work will remain a priority. And don’t be afraid to ask for references, either.

4. Are they flexible?

Working with third parties shouldn’t mean you have to forego any flexibility. Make sure you’re clear on the agency’s policy about rush jobs or last minute changes to a brief. While no one aims to work this way, the truth is that sometimes lead time is a privilege – especially in the fast-paced digital world.

A good agency should be agile and able to scale their services up and down to support you through the busy periods. That’s not to say that they should promise to always say yes – you need to be able to trust them to be honest and up-front about deadlines, as well as additional costs for overtime or rush jobs. After all, no one likes a surprise invoice.

Working with an agency shouldn’t be a chore. If you’re looking for a digital agency or have questions on any of the above, we’d be happy to help – just get in touch.

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