Embracing Digital Partnership in 2020 and Beyond.
By Adeyinka Adebisi
In the last decade, the growth of Creative and Technical Digital Agencies has brought about a comprehensive experience which is now popularly referred to as ‘Full Digital Service’. Catering for brand identity and innovations, these agencies have touched on services like Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, and a lot more. Due to the increase in the number of people seeking the help of technology to solve their daily issues, Digital Agencies have significantly contributed by integrating their expertise into almost every human endeavour.
The number of Digital Agencies all over the world has greatly increased in the last decade; likewise, over the years, Agencies have formed relationships that have yielded great achievements. Technological advancements, capacity to improve and expertise are some important factors that have promoted such relationships. This does not imply that these Agencies are not individually capable, it only shows how important it is for an Agency to seek partnerships with and help other Agencies struggling in certain areas where they can be of help while their effort is reciprocated. Consistently, top words used to describe relationships between Agencies include synergy, merger, and partnership. Several symposiums and seminars have been organized in recent years to encourage this relationship. In the subsequent points discussed, we will be taking a critical look at the integral features of each of the relationship types.
Description of Agency Relationship
The term synergy could be strongly described as the combination of innovative ideas from distinct companies to create a particular solution to achieve a greater effect which is the common goal. Synergy doesn’t just occur based on interest, it depends on owing to a drive to address a relevant issue which if properly and professionally solved could yield convincing industry strides and profitability. Merger, on the other hand, portends possible acquisition or amalgamation of different companies for a common objective and operational management in order to expand the resources and reach of the merging companies. This is aimed towards financial expansion both in the areas of revenue and expenditure based on agreed financial commitments. Partnership, according to investopedia, is a formal arrangement by two or more parties to manage and operate a business as well as its share of ensuing profits. Be it limited or general, such partnership is geared toward achieving a common goal without necessarily merging company’s distinctiveness.
It is a subtle merger without acquisition to promote synergy that exceeds the limited statute of the individual professional relationship with clients. In other words, the partnership does not mean a company will have to lose its identity to achieve a greater goal, there will objectively be a collaborative effort aimed at creating an innovative endeavour or business solution. There is no way the managements of Digital Agencies have not entertained the thought of partnership with other Agencies regardless of their location. Ideas like this linger when there are higher stakes in terms of project capacity. The word innovation is the paramount factor in this kind of relationship by its simple meaning which is ‘taking a chance on things others have not considered and investing time and resources in it to bring it to fruition’.
The Need For Partnership
Business to business relationships has soared greatly in the last decade owing to the interconnectedness of the world through internet facilities. The decade in which we just moved into is going to create a bigger bond between people of the world regardless of their continental location. Digital Agency relationships can be a great way to supplement a team and grow any business regardless of the distance. Putting in place an effective structure for communication and planning ahead by having contingency arrangements, a veritable business relationship between Agencies will effectively increase the prospect of a constructive experience and encouraging returns on your investment. According to research carried out by the Manifest Survey, almost half of all businesses spend at least $500,000 on digital marketing initiatives yearly and consider digital marketing agency partnerships to cater for their different needs.
Benefits of Partnering With a Digital Market Agency
As curious as the management of an agency could be about the prospect of establishing a partnership with another agency, certain benefits should be advantageously considered.
Firstly, a partnership is sought in order to make up for something one doesn’t have, in this case, Digital Agencies seeks to complement their effort with another agency with much-needed expertise in certain fields of their collective venture. This kind of partnership brings about exposure to services not previously offered but is integral to customer success stories, in so doing, widening the scope of services an Agency could offer potential clients.
Secondly, a digital partnership helps each of the partners focus more on creativity in their core areas, thereby, serving their clients satisfactorily and even gaining new clients through a better-developed sales process with a renewed drive on capability afforded by their partnership. Ultimately, these partnerships become cost-saving and effective at the same time due to the amount of time and effort that has been saved on completing a client’s project across agencies simultaneously.
Self-Assessment Before Agreeing to A Digital Partnership
It is important to pinpoint your company’s core strength and level of expertise before seeking partnership; this will help your agency assess their professional needs in terms of expertise. So also, your company should set goals and objectives for the partnership per duration. Such a partnership should not be open-ended, else it loses its efficacy over a period of time. Furthermore, financial commitment in terms of percentage on expenditure and remuneration should be factored carefully so as not to hurriedly sign-up to a partnership that will cost one party to the agreement more to execute a particular project while the other party gets more financial reward for the same project.
What to Look Out For Before You Partner With An Agency.
Long before agreeing to create a professional partnership with another agency, some understanding has to be established as to how best a prospective partner-agency could serve your company’s needs. It is important to check the legitimacy of the prospective agency, seek their history, level of exposure, and most importantly study their portfolio. Paying attention to obvious and subtle details could determine a lot about the partnership being offered. It would be better to have more than one prospective partner to assess. Check the online visibility of your prospective partner’s agency as well as their performance; their online feedbacks and ratings, as well as their portfolio. Your agency should be able to sight certain qualities that could be leveraged on as transferable knowledge. It is equally important that your agency understands the goals of the prospective agency, their core values and their financial stature; this will help determine their goals and objectives. Endeavour to have a robust discussion about their tech-stacks and other technological advancements in your field that they hope to adopt in the nearest future.
Having clarified the above criterion, set out your digital partnership by starting gradually- have your prospective partner give your agency an honest audit of your websites and social media platforms. This will afford you an insight into how well such partnership will transparently blossom. Ensure that you establish a confident and honest relationship from the onset by having common ground on possible working arrangements. So also, have an agreement on the mode of measurement of the partnership effectiveness and value proponent. Lastly, ensure proper legal teams are availed of the conditions of the digital partnership as well as its provision before it is duly signed.