I felt compelled to write this article on agency and client collaboration. We’ve recently been working on a large website project for a PLC. With their in-house resource maxed out, they looked for external support to help get this project off the ground. Being a brand, design and marketing agency we’re used to getting website briefs for an end-to-end project of consultation, design, development and deployment. This time around is was development and deployment as the visual aspect of the website had been designed by their in-house team.
From initial meetings with designers, project managers and IT teams, the chemistry was awesome. It got me thinking – this is how agency client relationships should be. There was a shared vision for how the project should run, expectations on responsibilities and deliverables – all mapped out. Here are some thoughts on how we feel agency and client collaborations should work.
Listen to everyone involved
Sounds obvious, but listening to the client team and understanding not only their challenges, but vision for the project is vital. Only then can you start to formulate the real brief for the project – not the paper copy that’s been presented to you. Also, dealing with multiple stakeholders for a project can highlight individual success metrics.
Define roles, responsibilities and goals
Both agency and client have their role to play in projects. Make sure everyone in the room understands their responsibilities for the project.
Use collaborative tools and communicate
When multiple stakeholders are involved in a project, there’s nothing better than using a tool to capture comments, thoughts and progression of a project. We’ve all deleted that all important email right! As an agency, we use Basecamp. If you haven’t seen it, set up a trial. It’s brilliant. This goes without saying that face-to-face meetings are still crucial, but for day to day use, something like this is handy.
Having a genuine interest in the client’s business is fundamental these days. Share insight, industry challenges and competitive analysis on a regular basis. As a team, we’re always looking out for this kind of insight, it not only deepens our understanding of the industries our clients operate in, but it shows that we genuinely care. For this particular project, we took time to answer technical development questions which the in-house team asked.