In an era of increasing digitization, marketing has become dependent on the innovative use of new-age cloud and mobile-based technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), to find a wider audience. This has translated into a growing need for digital agencies to have a robust tech team. In this blog, we help you decide whether your company needs a software partner, and, if it does, the way to find the perfect one.
We are increasingly moving towards a world where you either digitize or risk becoming obsolete. The world of marketing is not insulated from this trend. Clients are looking to explore new and innovative ways to build their audience, but that is impossible without strong backend tech support. There is not one software that fits all the bills; customized solutions are needed for different problems. The right software partner will find the right solution for each of different needs and help you unlock business value without adding to your overhead.
But does your agency even need a software partner? The answer is YES, if…
Your company doesn’t have an in-house tech team.
Your client suggested using technology practices you do not have in-house expertise.
You would love to offer your clients 360-degree solutions but your tech stack is limited.
Your competitors are better-versed with digital mediums such as the web, mobile, analytics etc.
If your answer is YES, what is the next step?
SCENARIO 1 : “I have a friend who could help us out”
In case the need for backend software development is rare, getting your friends with domain knowledge on board makes perfect sense. It’s a field you have limited understanding of and having people you can trust is imperative. You could also hire freelancers on a project-to-project basis. But what if a big project comes through and your friend is out of his depth? Or your freelancers cannot commit because of time constraints?
SCENARIO 2: “Let’s hire a couple of guys and build an in-house tech team”
If you envisage a barrage of tech-related work and have a Chief Technical Officer to lead the team, this could be the way forward. This will provide you greater accountability and flexibility, allowing you to expand the business. But, on the downside, this is a long-term commitment and upfront investment. If you’re not sure of the way forward, this will increase the overhead company costs and could prove to be a burden if their work dries up.
SCENARIO 3: “We should outsource the work to a software company because modern problems require modern solutions”
Experienced software companies can give you more prompt and professional solutions than freelancers. They will also come without the added burden of increased overhead costs of manpower and equipment. You will not have to micromanage and can directly communicate with the Project Manager of the company. Your association with the company can be long-term or short based on their performance and the amount of projects in the pipeline.
Are you convinced? Then here’s how you should go about it…
Identify and shortlist
Do a bit of research and make a list of software companies based on your requirements and their reputation. Ensure that these companies are established enough to be able to take on big budget projects but also efficient enough to juggle many projects without undermining yours.
Once you’ve zeroed in on a company, start by outsourcing a small project. Make sure the project doesn’t have an urgent deadline so that you can assemble a Plan B if the company doesn’t deliver.
Get an external evaluator to vet the work and once you get the green signal from the client, you can start gradually increasing the volume of outsourced work. If you’re not satisfied? Since you don’t have an impending deadline, you have the luxury of trying out the same process with a new company, till you’ve found The One.
Checklist before you find ‘The One’
First be clear about what you want before you approach a software company.
Evaluate the company’s credentials and technical know-how through direct and indirect mediums.
Check with the company’s clients about their quality of work.
Throw as many problems at them as possible during the first project to test their depth of domain understanding and general problem-solving temperament.
Make sure the company isn’t too small to handle a huge project nor too big to undermine your work.
Most critical quality of technology partner to support a dynamic marketing agency is their flexibility and willingness to change. Look for this quality to ensure that they will be able to support you while working on demanding projects and evolving customer needs.
Damco is an experienced technology company working with Marketing agencies as their software partner. We offer wide range of technology services including Application development, Web/Mobile development, E-commerce development, CRM, and Marketing Automation and on-demand technology resources for helping your deliver faster and cutting-edge marketing solutions to your customer.