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digital design

How to Choose a Digital Agency for Your Next Project

written by Matt McLean
27 Mar, 2018

 

Whether it’s planning a brand launch, redesigning a website or reworking your marketing strategy, choosing the right digital agency can go a long way to helping your business succeed.

Being on the hunt for a new agency can be both an exciting and daunting time. Your business could be going through a growth phase, launching a new product or simply in need of a refresh, and now you need some talented people to bring everything to life.

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But how do you make the right choice when there are so many digital agencies out there? And is it possible for an agency to tick every box on your wish list? 

To help guide you through the selection process, here are a few questions you and your team should be asking to get the ball rolling.

What are you needs as a client?

It’s impossible to narrow down digital agencies to choose from without understanding exactly what you need in the first place. Here are a few which immediately spring to mind:

  • What challenges do you want solved and do you think you can communicate these to a potential creative agency? 
  • Have you nailed down a scope-of-work with your deliverables, timelines and budgets?  
  • Will you want any creative concepts, such as logo designs or website wireframes, implemented by the new agency or will it be handled internally? 
  • Do you have other agencies or freelancers working for you that will impact on the project?
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what do you expect (at a minimum) from those you work with?

A good agency can help you define some of the above in the early stages, but it’s worthwhile having a solid understanding of why you’re going to market and what you expect of a new agency. 

What’s the digital agency’s previous work like?

You may have been referred to the agency by another business or perhaps you’ve seen their handiwork before, but it’s important to do a thorough background check.

  • Have they handled projects of a similar size and scale in your industry?
  • Can they demonstrate a return on investment for their clients?
  • What have previous clients said about them? 

Be sure to check their case studies, portfolios and also look at recent blogs to see how they communicate their thinking and deliver value to clients. 

What are the digital agency’s resources?

Check the agency has the right skills and resources to deliver your project. 

Firstly, bigger isn’t always better. But it’s possible you’ll need a full-service agency with large production capabilities for your project. A smaller agency can generally give you more specialised services and be willing to adopt new practices and processes just for you. 

Whatever the case, remember that your project can seem relatively small until you realise how interconnected something like a website refresh is to your overall brand.  

It’s also common for a design or digital agency to work with advertising, PR or PPC agencies to deliver larger projects. Ask how these partnerships might impact you and if you’ll be forced to deal with any 3rd parties.

Are you just looking for another supplier or a true agency partner?

When you first sit down together and listen to the agency’s pitch, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what they stand for. Aside from judging on their pricing, talent and capabilities, you’ll want professional chemistry. Ask as many questions as you need to get a sense of their culture and values. 

It’s easy to rush or skip this feeling out process, especially if you have a fast turnaround on a project and just need to make a decision. However, these early meetings can save you a huge amount of time, money and heartache in the long run.

Look for agencies with collaboration, innovation and storytelling ingrained in their DNA. While these characteristics mean different things to different agencies, at their core is the ability to connect at a deep level with your customers. 

Side note: If a potential new agency talks more about themselves in these early meetings you’re probably best to keep searching!

Finding the right fit works both ways…

In an ideal world, we would love to work with every business we meet with. But in reality we appreciate we’re not always the right fit. There’s nothing good or bad about this, it’s just the nature of professional relationships. 

It could be anything from capabilities to resources to location - either way we’ll always help them on their journey to find the right creative and branding agency. 

However, if you’re looking for a Melbourne digital agency that lives by teamwork, collaboration and design thinking, then get in touch with Honest Fox for your next project.