Dear Brand Marketer: Your Agency Must Build With You, Not For You

Nov 01, 2017

When you need that next digital product that will separate your company from its competition, there’s no shortage of creative digital agencies you can partner with. Any one of them can most likely deliver a final product that meets your RFP requirements. But, if you want long term success from your investment, you need to partner with an agency that will force you to get your hands dirty.

Every project you pay an agency to build -- be it a website, app or improved SEO rankings -- plays a part in your larger business goals. For us here at Genuine, we believe the only way to build a product for sustained growth is with your insight and help.

So, to embrace the “get your hands dirty” mindset, approach your new agency assignment with these key things in mind.

1. Get Ready to Deep Dive
Your agency should ask you to play a central role in the discovery phase. They need to better understand who your company is and how it works, so plan on answering lots and lots of questions. This is a critical foundational element your agency will use to create your plan for success.

2. Show Them How You Want it Built
While your agency will take care of the technical nitty-gritty, you’ll still need to arm them with key info regarding how the product will work into your day-to-day operations and workflows. During the architecture and development phases of your project, your agency should encourage you to elect subject matter experts (SMEs) from your organization; colleagues who will use the product daily and provide insight, approval and ultimately ensure the product will make their jobs easier.

3. Learn How to Use It
After the project has been completed, guess who has to use and maintain it? YOU! That’s why it is important to learn the ins and outs of your product while it’s being built. During development and sprint demos, ask your agency questions on how things work. And, if you have them, get your technical internal resources involved with development tasks. Work alongside your agency’s content team to write documentation and training guides that use language your team is familiar with, allowing them to know how to use the product correctly.

At Genuine, we live by the phrase “Invent Together” -- so much so, that we have a neon sign prominently displayed in our Boston office. It’s a mantra we use to encourage collaboration internally between departments. But, more importantly, it also serves as a reminder that the client is as much an integral part of a project as are our strategists, designers and developers. We approach every client engagement with the mindset that we are building solutions not for our clients, but with them.

Mike Miles, Senior Technical Solutions Manager at Genuine, spoke to the concept of inventing together at the 2017 Acquia Engage conference with our client Kronos. To learn about our collaborative and award-winning work with Kronos, read our case study here.

Interested in how we Invent Together with clients on-the-daily? Get in touch today!