So you’ve decided to work with a digital agency…
Digital agencies possess a unique set of skills, and here’s how to get the most out of them.
Say what you will about the progression of ad tech, the evolution of online properties, and the rise of brand-powered social media channels, one thing is for sure – Digital marketing is here to stay.
Over the past decade or so, digital agencies (like us) have made friends and shown what we can do. Many of you have already figured out, it’s hard to categorize digital agencies. Digital agencies are part old school ad agency, dev shop, and design firm filled with tech nerds who love solving marketing problems with digital solutions.
To get really good work out of a digital agency isn’t all that different than getting really good work out of any other agency. But to get great work out of a digital agency in particular, there’s a few things to consider.
5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Digital Agency
1. Come Prepared
Clients with established brands always manage to get the most out of digital agencies because they don’t need to spend the time and effort defining the purpose of the brand in the digital space.
Think about how your brand translates from billboards and TV spots to 140 character tweets, responsive web experiences, Instagram comments, e-commerce platforms, and more.And if you don’t have a well-defined digital brand, take the time to work through it with your agency before assigning projects. In the end, the work will be much stronger.
2. Embrace Experimentation
Technology changes so fast, especially in digital marketing (remember Shockwave?) To get the most out of your digital agency, have an open mind to new technologies and methods. Whether it’s coming up with new ways of integrating videos or adding a new layer of gamification over an existing property, digital agencies love being pioneers.
Champion this spirit and embrace experimentation. A little freedom to try new things, goes a very long way.
3. Dig Into The Data
With digital properties, everything can be tracked. You can find out when people arrive at your site, where they are from, and even what people are saying about your brand on social media channels. You can also get metrics on who they are and what they believe in (to an extent).
All of this trackable data can be extremely valuable in the context of improving the results of digital projects, so take advantage of it.
4. Expect More Than Ads
Fact: a software engineer capable of developing complex backend systems is not working at a digital agency to make web banners all day. Nothing wrong with banners. But imagine what your digital agency could be doing and building?
Think of every click, interaction, and stop along your customer’s journey to your website or store, and how digital can go beyond the ask and solve problems with technical AND creative solutions along the way. So the next time you brief your digital agency, expect them to come back with more than a series of ads.
5. Encourage Collaboration
When it comes to large client projects, we can probably all agree that working together is better, but what might come as a surprise is that this collaboration should happen as early as possible. It’s painful to tell a client that the app idea another agency pitched isn’t going to work or that it’s not on-strategy.
Situations like this can all be avoided if all of the agencies get together in very beginning. Awkward? Yes. But totally worth it when the magic happens. Also when it comes to cross-agency projects, everything gets tricky when agencies start working in silos.
As a client, encourage your digital agency to work with your media agency, your ad agency, your PR agency, etc. The sharing of knowledge and learnings from past projects, combined with the expertise each agency brings can result in some incredible work.