6 tips for a successful digital agency partnership
The increasing demand for strategic partnerships with specialized agencies as part of companies’ digital transformation efforts requires a more thought out and streamlined approach to conducting these partnerships and ensuring their success.
In this article, we’ll break down six essential tips for getting the most out of a digital agency partnership no matter what kind of outsourcing model you choose. Let’s get started.
Choose the right partnership model
The first and foremost consideration should be what kind of partnership model best fits your needs; perhaps you need full support from an agency partner in a specific area, and you thus need them to take care of every aspect of the project.
Maybe you need a full team to then integrate into your existing processes; or you may just need one or two additional people due to bigger than expected scope.
Choosing the wrong model is more likely to lead to an unsuccessful and unsatisfactory partnership – or to an altogether aversion to outsourcing, which might prove a detriment in future digital initiatives and/or strategic partnerships.
Look for reliable technical expertise
Once you’ve decided on the right outsourcing model for your business, the next step is to find the right agency to partner with, where you’ll primarily need to determine whether they have adequate technical expertise to help you realize your project or digital initiative.
The best resources here will be the agency’s case studies and references, as well as any other content that showcases their expertise in the areas you’re looking for.
Conduct a thorough discovery phase to get on the same page
A thorough discovery process will be essential to getting your new partner aligned with your company’s mission and vision, without which they will have a hard time providing the best possible services for you.
Bring the new partner up to speed on the most important past considerations for the project and any existing work done on it, and have them also actively participate in the process by asking questions and/or presenting their own ideas for solutions.
Needless to say, make sure you thoroughly communicate the project specs and requirements – its key features, goals and KPIs, plus any other important considerations, such as specific audience characteristics, milestones and deadlines, or any new or particular regulatory requirements.
Integrate external team members into your teams & processes
You can’t expect your outsourced teammates to work well with your in-house teams and processes if you treat them like outsiders. The people ultimately working on your project will not be the same ones participating in discovery, so you’ll need to familiarize them with your culture and values to ensure optimal collaboration.
Of course, if you’ve opted for a managed services type of partnership, you’ll want an external team that’s pretty much self managed, but in all other outsourcing models, not incorporating the new teams into your existing structures is likely to have a detrimental effect on the project(s) and/or the quality of the partnership.
Have good, regular communication with the partner agency
A while back, we wrote an article about the most important thing in an agency partnership – communication; and of course it still holds true today, perhaps even more so.
Good communication forms the basis of any good relationship, be it a personal or a business one, with the latter having higher stakes due to the complexity of decision making and other factors such as brand reputation.
Make sure to have well established communication channels between you and your partner agency, and get involved throughout the project rather than demand drastic changes at the very end stages. Transparency and a good feedback loop will be vital to a successful collaboration.
Establish longer-term partnerships
A relationship will be much more fruitful if there is mutual commitment from all sides. The longer a partnership lasts, the more attuned your partner agency can become with your culture and hence more committed to satisfying your needs in the best way possible.
Trust is key to a strong relationship, and building a strong foundation of trust typically requires some time – which doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate effectively right from the start, just that the collaboration will only improve and the value of the partnership will grow as time passes and trust is reinforced.
What’s more, you will waste time and resources if you look for a new partner every single time you need external support. It’s better to forge strong long-term partnerships and have someone you know you can rely on, even if you don’t need their services 100% of the time.
We hope this article will help you get the most out of your agency partnerships. If you happen to be looking for a partner specializing in web development, you can learn more about working with us and/or get in touch directly if you have any specific questions. Together with our client representatives you'll decide on the best way to collaborate, and our skilled engineers will be happy to help you take your development to the next level.