The Gist Of It

For best results, bring in the agency as part of your team, whenever possible and however appropriate, so that they can act as good stewards of your business, with similar context and information that you hold and often take for granted. An agency who wants to know, who strives to know, who wants to be the equal partner and elated, motivated steward of your business – that's when you know.

How To Choose

Agencies – love them, hate them, can't do without them, want to do without them?

Many marketers have been burned by agencies before. When it comes to web design and development, we've seen so many "beautiful disasters" –- brochureware that looks gorgeous but is either technically unmaintainable, unreliable in terms of meeting business KPIs and desired results, or both. When it comes to digital marketing, we've seen luscious email campaigns and landing pages that just don't convert, and fabulous websites that bring in minimal traffic.

As a marketer, you may love gorgeous things (we do, too!) but at the end of the day your management team cares, or should care, about results, data, KPIs, ROI, long-term cost of investment....hard numbers. Is it possible to find an agency that can handle the creative and beautiful along with the data and KPIs your boss cares about? Yes, albeit difficult.

The question is: what role can and should you play in the project to ensure its success? With an agency, you're not usually managing the team -- the team is managed by the agency. So, who is accountable, who is driving and measuring results? If you leave it up to the agency, you need to be sure they know what they're doing -- that they're data-driven, strategic, and actively aware of and considering your management team's business goals and KPIs.

Your managers are always so busy...until something goes wrong, or a project fails. If you can get them to take a bit more initiative ahead of time, to help communicate and convey the desired project outcomes, as it aligns with the company's future plans, that is ideal. If you can get your managers to express the importance of data, analytics, hard numbers, measurement, and communicate that with the agency and allow them to take an active role in executing your management team's vision, that's even more ideal.

This rarely happens, unfortunately, because the website or whatever it is you hire an agency for is the marketing team's baby, and your management team delegates that to you, but you have the advantage of being under more frequent communication, context, and ultimately supervision that the agency just does not have.

For best results, bring in the agency as part of your team, whenever possible and however appropriate, so that they can act as good stewards of your business, with similar context and information that you hold and often take for granted. An agency who wants to know, who strives to know, who wants to be the equal partner and elated, motivated steward of your business – that's when you know.

Share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions

An Agile Approach to Better Websites and Digital Marketing

How can you better meet your marketing and business goals in a way that's low-risk and based on actual data?