At Mindtree, we’ve been heralding the importance of having an “anchor partner” with a highly collaborative culture for digital marketing initiatives, but many people still wonder exactly what that means. It starts with the idea that the old model of hiring one creative agency to conceive and execute end-to-end digital marketing initiatives is dying. Instead, many companies are turning to technical service providers to execute all of their digital production work after the various creative agencies have created individual brand campaigns.
In this a dual agency model, we have found that there are distinct, important best practices that technical service providers need to follow in order to help brand organizations get the most mileage out of digital marketing spend while also ensuring the highest level of engagement for consumers.
Understanding the Creative Mindset – Experience working with design or user experience groups – how they work, what their expectations are, what types of guidance helps them, and how they tend to deliver their output – helps technical service providers appreciate what to expect from the digital marketing delivery process.
Planning Face Time – Spending time with members of the creative agency, whether on their turf or yours, goes a long way toward building a relationship and a mutual understanding. It gives insight into their work processes, and enables both teams to appreciate each other’s needs.
Clearly Defining “Handshake Points” – Every creative-technical collaboration should begin with a meeting that defines the processes involved on both sides, and clearly calls out what information and deliverables will come, and when. Working jointly on this planning leads to an understanding of the mutual dependency between all parties, and it goes a long way in reinforcing confidence and transparency.
Using Their Collaboration Tools – Rather than try to impose, technical service providers should adopt whatever industry-standard tools the creative partner is already using. It avoids a lot of annoyance and new learning on their part, it raises their quality of collaboration, and it increases their ability to relate to the technical part of the work.
Being Flexible About Changes – No technical service provider will ever convince a creative agency that their late-stage changes are not necessary – it is a creative agency’s nature to believe that their final vision is important and cannot be compromised. So taking a rigid stance against changing processes or specifications will only put the project’s success at risk. For this reason, it’s imperative to build a certain amount of flexibility into the schedule in order to accommodate certain changes.
When these steps are followed, the dual agency model becomes a “win-win-win” scenario for all involved. The brand organization gets the obvious benefit of doing more with the same spend, and having more predictability and a higher level of quality to promote their brands. The creative agency gets a larger canvas to showcase their creative abilities. And the technical service provider can show how to build scale, and how re-use and standardization can control spending while delivering engaging customer experiences.
Interested in taking a deeper dive into these concepts? Check out our POV “Collaboration: The Secret Ingredient in Digital Marketing Excellence.”