When you hear the phrase ‘digital agency,’ what is the first thing that comes to mind? Digital marketing? SEO? Web design? These associations and the terms that accompany them are indeed accurate. As a general rule, digital agencies provide services focused on enhancing a business’s online presence – in other words, boosting the visibility and effectiveness of digital activities, including sales and marketing.
However, it’s crucial to remember that such companies often have their specializations. For instance, some exclusively focus on social media marketing, while others excel in search engine optimization (SEO). There are those with extensive experience serving small and medium-sized businesses, while others, such as Infinity Group, specialize in large-scale corporate projects. These examples highlight that not every digital agency will be an expert in precisely what your business requires at the moment. Therefore, your search for a digital partner should begin with defining your needs and objectives precisely. Without this clarity, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with poorly targeted offers, potentially wasting valuable time contacting firms that don’t specialize in your specific area of need.
With clear expectations, you can easily make decisions about which type of digital agency to approach. But the question remains: how do you prepare for a partnership, and more importantly, how do you choose the best company? Our article will answer these questions for you.
This article holds particular relevance for companies in search of a digital agency like Infinity Group, which excels in digital transformation, including the corporate websites development. However, as you will soon discover, the majority of the guidelines provided are universal and are equally applicable to digital agencies specializing in other areas.
How to prepare effectively for approaching a digital agency?
Achieving the ultimate success of your project starts well before the first lines of code are written—it begins just before selecting the right implementation partner. Regardless of your organization’s digital maturity level, the importance of thorough preparation for interactions with digital agencies cannot be overstated. This groundwork lays the foundation for well-informed decision-making and impacts communication efficiency throughout the collaboration, including critical steps such as requesting proposals and initial discussions. Below, we’ll explore key considerations to keep in mind as you embark on your search for the ideal digital agency.
This naturally leads to the next crucial step: identifying your specific needs. Do you aim to boost online sales, or is streamlining certain internal processes your top priority? Clearly articulating your expectations will facilitate communication with potential implementation partners, ultimately saving you significant time that might otherwise be spent fielding numerous questions from agencies.
Recognizing true digital experts
With information regarding your current state, business needs, and expectations, you can move on to researching digital agencies specializing in IT projects. Nevertheless, selecting the right agency entails more than merely comparing the scope of services and cost estimates provided in the quotes you receive.
If you aspire for your technology investments to yield substantial returns, you must collaborate with an agency capable of delivering more than a polished online presence. Your ultimate goal is not just implementing a new solution or enhancing an existing one; it’s harnessing technology to accomplish your business objectives. So, you might be pondering how to evaluate the expertise of a potential digital partner. Pay heed to the following key factors.
An agency’s portfolio provides a glimpse into its real-world experience, but don’t hastily skim through it and conclude your assessment upon encountering a few well-known brands among their list of past collaborations. Most agencies feature what are known as case studies on their websites – articles that delve into individual partnerships, addressing both the challenges faced and the results accomplished. Keep in mind that a case study is more than just a presentation of a solution; it serves as evidence of achieved objectives. Therefore, as you peruse these narratives, align them with your business requirements and seek confirmation that the company in question possesses the capacity to meet them.
If your prospective partner has prior experience in your industry, they are better positioned to devise solutions to the specific challenges you present.
Partnerships and certification
To verify the technical expertise of the agency you’re considering, look for information about their certifications and partner statuses. In the IT industry, certifications are granted by the creators of specific technologies and confirm that their experts possess both theoretical and practical knowledge of the solution in question. In other words, certifications show that individual members of the implementation team have the necessary experience. Similarly, partner statuses demonstrate the agency’s credibility, as they require meeting specific conditions set by the technology developer.
For example, as a Kentico partner agency—specifically a Kentico Gold Partner—we must employ a certain number of certified Kentico developers and marketers (professionals who have passed the Kentico exam, as discussed in our previous article). Additionally, we must undergo recertification and have our projects audited annually to maintain this esteemed partnership status.
When you decide to work with a partner agency, you’re essentially choosing quality as defined by the creators of the technology itself. It’s hard to find a more reliable endorsement than this.
Another valuable source of information about your potential implementation partner comes from reviews by their existing or former clients. These reviews typically provide insights into aspects of collaboration with the agency that may not be covered in publicly available marketing materials. Most IT companies establish their profiles on Clutch, a platform known for its diligence in ensuring only credible reviews are published. Reviews on Clutch often offer comprehensive descriptions of the most crucial aspects of cooperation from the client’s perspective. Thus, if you seek to gain an unfiltered perspective on a particular digital agency, search for them on Clutch and carefully assess both the positive feedback and any constructive criticism.
Pre-implementation analysis: the key to a successful IT project
Never underestimate the importance of a professional pre-implementation analysis—a service offered by most digital agencies. Simply put, this analysis helps translate business requirements into a concrete technological plan. It’s about clarifying your requirements, designing a solution, and creating a detailed project roadmap. While it’s not a free service, consider it an investment in your project’s success.
A professional pre-implementation analysis offers several benefits. It ensures that the proposed solution aligns with your business needs, provides an accurate project cost estimate, and allows you to get to know the agency you plan to work with. Through this process, you gain insights into their work methods, communication quality, and ability to meet agreed-upon deadlines and deliver results.
However, several early signs can alert you to a potentially unreliable agency. If you’re thinking about working with an agency that:
- Doesn’t seem interested in your business goals and needs.
- Doesn’t address the needs of your target audience.
- Doesn’t have a clear project plan.
- Offers only one-size-fits-all solutions.
- Takes a long time to respond to emails or doesn’t answer the phone.
In such cases, it’s likely not a company you can depend on. When you see these ‘red flags’ in a potential partner, it usually means that even if the agency provides a quality solution, it may not ensure a successful implementation that aligns with your needs and goals. Such collaboration can lead to frustration, extended timelines, and unnecessary costs.
Selecting the right professional implementation partner can be a significant challenge, especially with many companies making similar promises of digital success. The key to a successful collaboration lies in understanding your business needs and setting clear objectives. You can ensure success in finding a reliable digital agency by:
- Properly preparing for discussions with potential partners.
- Being vigilant in spotting warning signs.
- Conducting thorough research, including reviewing the company’s case studies and client feedback.
- Confirming the relevance of partner statuses and certifications.
Whether you’re a digital native like us or just starting your journey through this landscape, use our tips to achieve your business goals with greater ease.