As you’ll have probably worked out if you’ve reached this article, there are web agencies, and then there are web agencies. In this brave new world of Web 3.0, “The Cloud”, Gamification and all of the other digital marketing buzzwords you’ll be sick of hearing by the end of the year, it’s more important than ever to choose the right partner to help you deliver your digital strategy.
But how do you cut through the noise and separate the charlatans from the true digital experts? It’s easy to put together a great looking website these days and claim yourself to be a digital agency (I won’t go into too much detail about the agency I stumbled across lately who claimed to be experts in delivering SEO, Mobile Marketing and Internets), but true experience is a lot more difficult to fake.
Finding a partner who are endorsed by the platform you’ve decided to deliver your website through is one step. If you’ve chosen to put Sitefinity at the heart of your digital marketing strategy then selecting a Sitefinity partner means you’ll be teaming with an agency who are committed this award winning platform, and are not only experts in Sitefinity development of websites through this powerful Content Management System but also are part of the developer network who contribute to the product roadmap. Working with a Sitefinity partner means that you’ll be benefitting from the expertise of Sitefinity Certified developers too (we’ve got four of them ourselves), so you know your website won’t just look great but will have been built by a team of Sitefinity developers who have comprehensive knowledge of best practices and hands on experience of developing award winning websites.
Size is an important factor too. Too small an agency and they may not have the might or capacity to take on your project. Too big and you become just another name in the account manager’s rolodex. Looking at an agency’s portfolio page will give you a good idea of whether they’re the right team for you to invite into your business. Choose an agency who’ve worked alongside clients like yourself and you’ll know that they’ll take the time to understand your industry and objectives. I always used to work on the basis that if you’re in an agency’s top five spend then you’ll gain from the expertise required to deliver projects for their bigger clients but you know they’ll pick up the phone when you call them.
Finally, and this is one of the more difficult factors to judge, is personality. So you’ve identified a Sitefinity partner with a team of certified Sitefinity developers who’ve delivered some fantastic looking award-winning websites, but how do you know if this is the agency for you. Finding an agency to partner with can sometimes be a bit like online dating, a flattering profile picture and a list of interests similar to yours can be a great indicators that you’ve found someone compatible, but to really know whether you’re heading towards another better-forgotten one night stand or entering the honeymoon period of a long term relationship you need to contact them to find out if you click, and see if they’re geeks that you want to roll in the sand with.