What really makes a Great Digital Agency?

Strategic…Flexible…Proactive…Aside from the usual lacklustre buzz words we all churn out, I was looking for something more than the expected. We can all talk-the-talk, but it’s those who really get what makes an agency great who reap the rewards – even in this tough climate.

I asked a handful of the UK’s top digital agencies what they thought and got some thought provoking answers.

The guys at Grand Union were on fine form; “being driven by the ideas, not the technology”. EXACTLY. Time after time, I see marketeers look for the solution before working on the angle. Clients work to this mentality – not good agencies. If I hear that “we want to do something on Twitter, but we don’t know what” conversation again, I’ll cry!

Binal Shah from Front of Mind also gave an inspiring response. “Being able to deliver original and workable ideas with personality, honesty and enthusiasm.” I like this; Honesty does make a good digital agency.

MD of (Untitled), Rob Hollands dropped in a response that would keep the clients smiling. “Digital agencies should have the ability to get to the heart of their clients business…and ultimately deliver an outstanding return on investment.” He’s right, being able to understand a client’s business model intimately is vital. And so is delivering a return – whether that’s sales, exposure or awareness – it’s their goal that counts, and certainly not a shiny design award in the agencies trophy cabinet.

This said, creativity is key to a great digital agency. After all, we’re the ones who push the boundaries for our clients in terms of digital innovation. But don’t get this confused with creativity just for creativities sake. Director of Collective, Adam Cleaver’s response It goes without saying but, creativity is critical. But this isn’t creativity for its own sake, it’s creativity that utilises technology to do more than entertain, but to deliver usefulness.” – This reminds me of my client team at Redweb’s mantra – “form follows function”.

But surely something’s got to be said about the clients themselves. They can follow like sheep – “This agency works with XXXX – that must make them great” – not entirely true, but it’s a harsh reality of the industry we work in.

In short, there’s no one attribute that makes a truly great digital agency. But those who are capturing the essence of what digital is all about are getting closest. We’re not here to boost our own egos by creating Picasso-esque masterpieces. And we’re not here to pretend we’re always right and deliver a solution that’s a best guess. A great digital agency is the one that adds true value to a client’s business model through digital solutions. One that delivers, exceeds and surpasses.

What makes a great Digital Agency?

What makes a great Digital Agency?


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One Response to “What really makes a Great Digital Agency?”

  1. neilpotter Says:

    Thanks to all those who gave opinions and helped with this post. And apologies to those whose responses I didn’t include – This post could have been 5 times as long!!

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