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 their digital production work after various creative agencies have created individual brand campaigns. In this dual-agency model, there are distinct 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 ensuring the highest level of engagement for consumers.
Understand 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 know what to expect from the digital marketing delivery process.
Plan 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 work processes and enables both teams to appreciate each other’s needs.
Clearly define “handshake points”: Every creative-technical collaboration should begin with a meeting that defines the processes involved on both sides, as well as clearly calls out which information and deliverables are coming 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.
Use 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.
Be flexible about changes: No technical service provider will ever convince a creative agency that their late-stage changes are not necessary—it is in the 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 enjoying 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 to scale, as well as how reuse and standardization can control spending while delivering engaging customer experiences.
Interested in a deeper dive? Check out “Collaboration: The secret ingredient in digital marketing excellence.”
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