We’re in an era where so much of our lives is experienced through the digital that it’s become paramount for traditional businesses to transform and to establish a digital presence.
This ubiquity of digital transformation has given rise to a plethora of differently suited digital agencies essentially “lending” their expertise to other agencies with which they work on end-clients’ projects.
So, on the one hand, we have this trend of partnerships with specifically skilled agencies, and, on the other, the trend of doing all the work in-house. Both approaches have their own peculiarities and it is useful for agency leaders to be aware of both.
In our experience, the first model of strategic agency partnerships is generally the more effective one and yields better results.
In this post, we’ll discuss why this is so by outlining the main benefits for creative and design agencies of adopting this model and partnering with a development agency rather than doing their work in-house.
So, why should creative agencies partner with a development agency?
1. Greater focus on the things you excel at
There’s a reason why clients like to work with specific agencies: they trust in the expertise of the partner agency’s team and know they can rely on it. If you run or work for a creative agency, this is the skill your client hires you for.
Of course, a transition to digital or a website redesign also demand adequate web development expertise. But taking care of all the dev aspects of a project in-house means focusing less on other areas, such as design and marketing.
And, positioning yourself as an expert in design and/or marketing, you probably don’t want that.
If, however, you decide to partner up with a development agency and trust them with the project’s development side, you can put a greater focus on the things you excel at - the things your client hired you for and is expecting you to deliver.
2. Access to the latest trends & technologies in development
This point ties back to the previous one, but looks at the situation from the other perspective. Prioritizing creative work means dedicating less time to researching and learning new technologies and keeping up with the latest trends.
Luckily, this is exactly one of the key benefits that a partnership with a development agency brings to the table. Just as you are the expert in your area, they are the experts in their own area.
And that means staying on the cutting-edge of software innovations, following development and security best practices, and just generally having an excellent overview of the web development ecosystem.
In the case of an open-source software project such as Drupal, the agency you’ve partnered with likely has developers actively contributing to the project, meaning they have an in-depth rather than just a superficial understanding of the software.
Another major benefit that this entails is the ability to make fewer compromises in software capabilities, as your partner agency’s developers will be versed in the necessary technologies and won’t have trouble finding the most suitable solutions.
3. Access to top industry talent
Web development has grown into an immensely popular field, with the role of web developer becoming an extremely sought-after job, and young people from diverse industries thus transitioning into this one.
Yet the demand for developer capacity remains unprecedentedly high. One of the biggest challenges for agencies today is acquiring and retaining the crème de la crème of web developers - naturally so, since the competition is downright vicious.
By partnering with a development agency, however, you’re able to bypass the fiercely competitive hiring process - your partner agency will already have taken care of that for you!
And the best thing is - you’re able to quickly and easily determine the legitimacy of their expertise. Most agencies will have a section of their website dedicated to case studies and references, where you’ll be able to explore their successful projects and first-hand client reviews.
4. Help with technical consultancy when pitching & managing projects
As an agency, you should always be consulting your clients and guiding them through the process.
This is something creative agencies do naturally when it comes to user experience or graphic design, but due to a lack of certain development experience, you will likely need help when it comes to consulting about technical implementation.
In this case, having a partner that can support your team during the pre-sale and project management phases will be a truly treasured asset.
Experiences that your development partner will have are extremely valuable to your client and, by passing along that information as consultancy, you’ll increase your value to them.
5. Ability to adapt & stay on top of disruptions
The rapid pace of technological innovation makes it extremely difficult to predict the next groundbreaking technology. Paradoxically, this is exactly what leaders in the digital must do to stand out among the competition - they need to be future-ready.
This proves to be quite a daunting task if done (entirely) in-house, especially for smaller creative agencies that lack the development resources to always operate in the now as well as two steps ahead. Besides, as already pointed out, they need to focus their talent elsewhere - this is what their clients hire them for.
By contrast, development agencies can - and do - focus their attention on the latest trends in software development. They are experts in the technologies they use and follow best security, SEO and accessibility standards along with all the development best practices.
They’re likely even researching newly emerging and as-of-yet unestablished trends and technologies, often being early adopters and helping with the development of the project if it’s open source.
This means that, in order to be prepared for future disruptions, your best bet is partnering with an experienced and reliable development agency.
6. Smoothness of workflow & scalability with no overhead
On the one hand, the partnership allows you to allocate more of the HR-related resources to other areas of your business and thus streamline business operations.
More importantly, however, it enables you to get exactly the number of developers versed in exactly the technologies that the project requires. Put the two together and it’s clear how such a partnership makes scaling particularly easy.
On top of that, since the partner agency’s developers are experts in their respective fields and well versed in best practices, they’re able to integrate themselves into your team without any disruption whatsoever to your internal workflow, especially when they have clear and thorough documentation.
And this extends to all future projects - the more work you do with a specific agency, the more they will get used to your in-house practices and workflows.
Opting for a long-term agency partnership thus allows you to scale efficiently without having to make any sacrifices to your established workflow.
7. 100% control over your project with minimum input
There is one benefit to managing the entire project in-house that really stands out: having complete control over all aspects of the project, and as such being able to dictate the course the project will take.
But this of course requires a lot of input from your in-house team - not just the people directly involved with the project, but also, for example, the HR department who are tasked with recruiting those people.
With project outsourcing, surrendering control over the entire project to the partner team can be quite intimidating. If, however, you decide to team up with a development agency, you get the best of both worlds:
- You’re able to appoint your own project managers who oversee the project.
- The bulk of the work is done by your partner’s developers, freeing you from the need to be involved in every single detail of the project’s progress.
This approach permits you to retain complete control over the project, while keeping the input from your side to a minimum.
We hope this blog post has armed you with enough insight into the benefits of partnering with a development agency that you’ll be able to make the best possible choice for your next project.
If we’ve managed to convince you that such a partnership is your best bet, and you’re now looking for a skilled development agency to partner with, we’d love to help out - learn more about how we work with agencies, or reach out to us and we’ll immediately start working on the best solution to your needs.