Нow-to: choosing the right digital agency
The Ruward agency club asked business representatives to answer the question:
“Describe the most efficient way to quickly decide whether a digital agency/production suits your customer when you come across that agency for the first time. Some sort of a litmus test: if it’s passed, you can include the agency in your shortlist for further consideration.”
After giving it a thought, we selected three important points that, in our opinion, make a real difference.
1. If you are selecting an outsourcer, that means you lack either some specific expertise or management capabilities, or both. Determine what you are lacking, and then outsource it. Make sure you check the portfolio to see the level of expertise provided.
2. When choosing a candidate, you have to understand their attitude. Will they be able to act as a part of your team? Will they be able to tackle the problems as if they were their own? Will they be able to accept the goal, will they be able to think for you, and how many problems will they take on? To have an idea, check whether the agency has long-term clients. If the company has long-standing business relations, that means it’s good at building trust and comfortable workflow.
3. Then we look at the outsourcer selection process as if we are hiring someone into our own team. That means, the following aspects are important:
independence (meaning that tasks can be given to the outsourcer in a highly abstract form, and the outsourcer is able to independently supervise the delivery in-house);
learning ability (meaning that the outsourcer will quickly and willingly dive into your subject area so that you don’t have to provide lengthy explanations over and over again).
Ideally, you should send a small test to the candidates from the shortlist and see how they approach it: whether they start working with the task or with the solution. On the one hand, they should be good listeners and provide answer to the very question you asked. On the other hand, they should be able to infer the essentials. Because having expertise means you can connect your implementation capabilities with your objectives.
If the contract is large, clever guys would prepare a presale contract or a presentation with their vision of the final solution. Then you’ll only have to make a choice and pick the right candidate for you.
At least, that’s how we see it.