What does a dental office look for in an ad agency?
One that knows the drill.
And that’s true with the most successful client-agency relationships. Prior to joining forces, the agency was already known for a certain niche—serving a particular type of clientele that benefits from the agency’s specific, focused expertise.
Whether the niche is ecommerce companies that cater to pet owners… or manufacturers that make aftermarket vehicle accessories… or independently owned dental offices.
The client provides the product or service.
The agency provides the marketing.
But they both get it.
It’s the same type of one-two punch that makes a good agency-outsource partnership.
The agency knows the strategy.
The white label knows web development.
But they both get it.
Choosing a Partner: to Do or Not to Do…
1. Not To Do
Don’t lose focus. The outsourcing partner is not providing the strategy. That’s the agency’s expertise, its niche. In fact, that’s why an agency would want to outsource in the first place—so it can focus on what it does best and leave the distractions (and fixed-cost staffing) of commoditized production services to the partner.
Don’t blow your AGI. The agency is not having to add employees. Sure, the outsource partner is bringing web-dev expertise, but it’s also bringing a fill-gap staffing solution – a transparent, variable pass-along cost. One that optimizes the agency’s annualized gross income.
Don’t sweat the competition. The partner is not trying to sell the client your goods and services. Not pitching the business nor answering RFPs and competing against agencies. They don’t know about the client’s dentistry or manufacturing or pet-care business (that’s the agency’s cup of tea). They know development and all that goes with it. Just like the agency focuses on its niche, the outsource focuses solely on web-dev.
2. To Do
Do talk the talk. Look for partners dedicated solely to agencies (just like the agency might be dedicated solely to dental practices). The most successful outsource is going to be no stranger to the agency business. Able to talk the talk… understand the crush of deadlines… anticipate the vagaries clients often pose (and solve for them). Able to navigate the many layers of agency structure… of reporting… of scoping the project to remain on time and on budget.
Do check the boxes. The best partner will bring integrity. And that is many-fold:
1) Confidentiality—proven guardians of proprietary information and NDAs.
2) Contracts and questionnaires—proper scoping and identification of red flags.
3) Fixed pricing—not change orders.
4) Subject matter expertise—specialists who ensure such things as ADA and security are fully compliant.
Do flex your muscle. An expert partner has the right talent, at the right time. Designers and Frontend Developers, WordPress Specialists and Sysadmins, UX/UI and Digital Marketing, SMEs and QA. And the key word to talent is flex—core-flex staffing—when more or less is needed, any level can be accommodated without the agency having to go out and hire full-timers or less-engaged freelancers. Take the partner off the shelf; put it back on. No worrying about when or if help is available. Flexibility makes the agency more confident. More focused. More capable. In a word, stronger.
Do keep up. The premier partner delivers digital transformation that makes client websites more engaging… fostering personalized, long-term customer experiences online… featuring custom product configurators, dealer locators, customized shopping cart experiences and integrations with Salesforce.
Websites are now more complex and so is the well-rounded service offering an outsourcing partner should be able to provide. Not just a web-builder platform. Not just some plugins.
When agencies are focused on a niche, they are on the same page as their clients—knowing what to do and what not to do. And that same sensibility applies to choosing outsource partners—those that respect the agency business and contribute to profitability, with a full appreciation of the do’s and don’ts along the way.
They know the drill.