Pitfalls to Avoid When Partnering With an Interactive Agency

 

Hiring an Interactive Agency? DON’T Do These 5 Things

At the end of the day, most websites out there are designed to sell. So, if the interactive agency doesn’t have a clear grasp on what it is you’re selling, that could be a real problem. They also need to understand all the latest marketing tools and the finer points of customer relations management if you can ever hope to expect them to do a good job. 
 
If you come across any of the following when trying to hire an agency or notice these things in operations once you’ve hired an agency, figure out a way to gracefully make your exit. It’s going to likely, more often than not, be a relationship that’s more trouble than it’s worth. 
 

#1: It’s All About the Look

Yes, how your website looks is really important. It can largely determine the quality of your target consumer’s experience with your site. However, looks aren’t everything, especially if they aren’t utilized with said end-user in mind. Every interactive agency should begin their work flow with research that delves into both what your competitors are doing and what your target market finds the most appealing online. Beta testing should also be conducted to make sure the site functions and is received by your user base in the way you intend. 
 

#2: It’s Too Much of a Group Effort 

You know that old saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth”? It means having too many people involved in the completion of a task can ruin the end result. So it goes for website development. If the interactive agency you’re considering uses primarily telecommuters who are located all over the world and who each handle one small part of site development, you’re bound to end up with a mess of an end product. It’s always a much (much!) better idea to go with the company who has everyone in-house so the site looks like it’s made by the same person because it is made by the same person. There’s also a greatly reduced chance of the project hitting roadblocks, since there would be central management involved. 
 

#3: Fails to Look at the Big Picture 

At the end of the day, most websites out there are designed to sell. So, if the interactive agency doesn’t have a clear grasp on what it is you’re selling, that could be a real problem. They also need to understand all the latest marketing tools and the finer points of customer relations management if you can ever hope to expect them to do a good job. 
 

#4: Doesn’t Take Content Into Consideration

An agency that doesn’t bring up your content needs during an initial consultation isn’t one you’re going to want to do business with. The content of your site can affect the overall design greatly. If you don’t have a content strategy before the site goes live, you may find that the finished site doesn’t fit what you decide to do and may actually reduce the effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts. Content is king and you stand to lose out if you forget it. 
 

#5: Maintenance Not Included

At least some level of site maintenance should be outlined in your initial project plan. After all, once the site is launched, it can’t just site there and be stagnant. The content will need to be updated regularly. Graphics may need to be swapped out. An interactive agency should always offer a schedule for making site updates for a set monthly fee. A few things this plan should include are content updates, graphical updates, maintenance of web standards, and SEO. 
 
 
If a potential agency exudes any of these qualities, you’re better off taking your checkbook elsewhere.

 

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