Finding and establishing a strong relationship with a digital agency can play a vital role in how you can differentiate your company from your competitors. Here are four tips and benefits of working with a digital agency.

1. Benefits of Working With A Digital Agency

Focused skill set
A digital production agency specializes in areas not commonly found with an in-house marketing team. Areas like 3D animation, digital strategy, video production, and mobile or web development are difficult to come by in a potential full-time hire. It’s unlikely that a marketing team member will excel in all these areas. Digital agencies are comprised of professionals who specialize in different areas so no matter what digital project you need, their teams are fully equipped to meet your needs!

Pay for what you need
While agency hourly rates may be higher than a full-time employee, there are no overhead costs with a digital agency. You don’t have to worry about paying for office costs, equipment, software programs, etc.

2. Digital Agencies Are Cost Effective

Digital production agencies are a great way to get the most out of your budget while getting maximum results and making the biggest impact within your market. They deliver results within a fixed budget. Here are a few tips to reduce scope creep during a project, and how to get the most accurate bid possible before the work even starts:

• Preparation
As the old saying goes, “measure twice, cut once.” Here at Infuse Medical we consult with our clients before any project is even bid. Consider a separate PO for an architecture phase to allow you and the vendor to align on the objectives of your project.

• Deliverables
Letting a digital agency know up front what you need to communicate your message to the masses will save you money in the long run. Be sure to be let them know what your challenges and goals are so they can come up with the best solution specifically for your company.

• Creative Brief
A creative brief is the first step in identifying objectives, target audience, competition, deliverable types, and helps communicate to the digital agency what success will look like at the end of a project. Set your expectations early on before the project even begins!

3. Don’t Jump From Digital Agency to Digital Agency

When switching from agency to agency, it will end up costing you more money than you may realize. Here are some things to think about before switching:

• Source files
Dumping a digital production agency may make it difficult to obtain source files. A common reason is they don’t want their trade secrets falling into the hands of another agency. So when it comes to making edits to a certain project you’ll probably have to start all over which comes with increased costs.

• Loss of knowledge
In particularly complex industries like medical device and pharma, the time and money savings you thought you would gain by going with another agency may be lost in trying to get them up to speed. You know that feeling of on-boarding a new employee? That also applies when you switch agencies.

• Leveraging of assets
When you stick with an agency you can save costs by re-using that 3D model used in an animation in a high-quality trade show print. Or break out a section of a mobile app into its own standalone web application.

• Strong partnership
We don’t take the trust, experience and partnership our clients build with us lightly. A good client/agency relationship takes time to build. Just like any relationship, conversations become easier over time, and so does understanding one another. It may take years to find another digital production agency to build a similar trust level with.

4. Communicate Clearly and Often

A digital agency should be a partner to you and your team. Constant communication is essential for both the client and the agency. Here are some key areas that should be clear for all involved:

• Deadlines
Work back from your “drop-dead” deadline. If you are working on an animation for a trade show, make sure your agency has enough buffer time to conduct quality assurance before delivery. In addition, make sure there is enough time to run the project through the regulatory processes in your company, and your agency has enough time to implement any regulatory feedback.

• Works in Progress (WIP)
No one likes surprises during a project. WIPs are a good way to ensure that your digital agency is making progress towards your deadline. Errors can be caught early on, rather that the day before that big trade show. Just remember, WIPs are “in progress” and that polished look or flawless code won’t be evident in the first week.

• Establish one point of contact
Showing a beta version of a product to your boss or other key stakeholders for feedback in the 11th hour is a recipe for disaster. It’s easier for the agency to change course early in the project. And designing by committee will cause round after round of changes and blow your budget. Ensure there is one key contact on the client and digital agency side. That doesn’t mean others can’t be part of the process, but there should be one key decision maker to filter any feedback sent to the agency.

• We’re people too
Miscommunications and mistakes can happen. Emotions can run high at times. Take a deep breath…and then just talk openly with your agency. A face-to-face meeting is ideal if things seem to be going off the rails.

As you can see there are many benefits of working with a digital production agency! As you work with your agency, remember these tips to help maximize the value of your partnership.