I work agency side and have been thinking about how companies use digital and emerging media. I find it astounding that some agencies aren’t getting on board and truly engaging with some of the more popular emerging digital media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, widgets, video, mobile, new types of banners etc. I realise, particularly for smaller agencies, that there is a danger in being ‘jack of all trades and master on none’. But I think the agency staff should at least be engaging with the new media and technologies to be able to best advise their clients.
You might stumble across a fantastically creative smaller agency, who you think can’t do you the full digital strategy job for you. But dig a little deeper. It might not be that particular agency themselves who can deliver the complete solution. But if they are using new technology and media, it will mean that they understand how they work and thus they will be able to give more well-rounded advice on their digital strategy. If they can’t delivery the solution themselves, they are likely to also have preferred expert partners who they work with, who they know can do a great job for you.
So first step is to look at an agency’s site. This is their shop window after all and should be top notch. Do you like their creative approach and art direction? Look at their previous work. Does it always have the same look and feel? If so, is that the direction you want? What are their strengths and what do they state as their core services. But don’t stop there and think that is all that they do, they might have some hidden gems. So, if you like their site – why not set up a chemistry meeting. People, as well all know, being the next crucial piece of the jigsaw.
Then some good questions to ask during this could be:
– How do you guys market yourself?
– What campaigns have you done for yourself? How effective were they?
– Are you using Twitter, apps etc to promote yourself? How do your staff utilise new technologies and media?
-How do you stay abreast of the latest trends in digital?
This is of course only a small part of the process of choosing a digital agency. Plus if you are only looking for a digital production house, then this will not be relevant. However, quite vital questions if you are looking for a well-rounded digital agency with hidden talents.