With the global crisis establishing digital transformation as an unavoidable strategy, many businesses are now thrown into digitalizing their operations, or suddenly needing to dedicate everything they’ve got into streamlining their digital transformation.
Due to all this, we’re also seeing a growing demand for services provided by digital agencies through outsourcing or staff augmentation. Whether that be design, development or marketing, the ability to rely on the proven expertise of a digital agency sure is a welcome one.
But with so many agencies now offering and advertising their services, how can you start looking for the right one for you? And how can you know you’ve found the right partner before actually working with the chosen agency?
This is exactly what this post will focus on: how to find a digital agency that will take care of your specific digital experience needs. We’ll define the three most important criteria for determining if you’ve found the right one, as well as let you in on some convenient places to look at in order to check that they meet those criteria.
How do you find the right digital agency for you?
So, let’s say you’ve found a number of agencies that could meet your digital experience needs, and you’re now faced with choosing one among this (likely large) selection.
The first thing you need to determine is, well, their expertise, industry and/or technology-wise, that is. If an agency doesn’t specialize in the tool/technology you need, or doesn’t follow your desired methodologies, you can safely eliminate it in this initial stage.
But things get a little more tricky when you only know what you need, but not which technology to use to achieve that goal. It certainly helps if you’re at least somewhat familiar with the capabilities and limitations of different tools and platforms.
The best partner agency would ideally also help you make the right technology selection in addition to helping you deliver the project. This also means that the partner will work closely with you, and not just execute the work on their own without any oversight and/or control from your side.
Second, you need to determine if your potential partner’s company culture aligns with your own. What are their mission and vision? How do they treat their employees? If they’re an agency that specializes in open-source software, how active are they in those respective communities?
Due to the globally distributed, remote nature of work having eliminated a lot of cultural and physical barriers which used to hinder effective collaboration, culture fit is much less important than company culture fit.
So, you’ll want to check out their company culture, their communications (both internal and external), stuff like that. The agency’s blog will typically be a great resource for all of these; blogs often contain posts on different topics, ranging from technology tutorials and industry insights to company-related posts and pieces of news.
At Agiledrop, we even have a Community section of our blog, which is mostly dedicated to interviews with members of different open-source communities and industry experts discussing a variety of topics.
Another great way to ascertain community involvement is social media. In the tech communities, Twitter is probably the go-to platform, but other giants such as Facebook and Instagram also come into play as more company-oriented platforms, while LinkedIn is a great place to learn about individual team members. These are all places where you can learn a lot about a company through content about their culture, events and contributions.
Some open-source projects such as Drupal have a system set up that allows a company’s contributions to the ecosystem to be recognized and displayed on their official website. A bit of a brag here - over the past few months, our team has done a huge amount of work contributing to Drupal, racking up over 100 issue credits in this short time!
Okay, so, when you know that the agency you’re eyeing specializes in the technologies that you need, or offers to help you determine the right tech stack for your project, and also their values and culture align with yours, what’s the last thing you need to do?
Well, you need to find out if they actually own up and deliver on what they offer. And how do you do that?
A lot of companies will have a Clutch profile with additional information and/or client testimonials. Other platforms such as TopDevelopers also do regular technology-specific lists of top companies in a certain field.
But perhaps the best bet would be to just look at the agency’s website, as most of them will feature case studies and client testimonials right there.
You can learn about the types of companies they’ve worked with, types of projects they’ve worked on, and even more specific information such as details about developer diligence, for instance, or a testament to your potential partner’s timeliness and/or efficiency in communication.
It can be especially helpful if you discover that the agency has previously worked with companies and on projects that are similar to yours - e.g. you’re an educational non-profit from London, and find out they’ve successfully worked with a higher ed institution from, say, Bristol.
If you manage to find a company that satisfies all three criteria - so, inudstry/technology expertise, company culture and proof of success - you can rest assured that you’ve found the right partner, either for your next project where you just need to scale temporarily, or a long-term digital partner that you know you’ll be able to rely on for all your future digital needs.
Finding the right partner agency among a plethora of options can be a difficult task. We hope this blog post has armed you with the right set of tips to make the process of selection at least somewhat easier.
If you’ve checked out our blog and social media, and discovered that Agiledrop would be the best fit for your development needs, reach out to us and we can start talking about how we can help you out.