Do you want to introduce a new digital platform such as a new content management system, CRM, or e-commerce solution to your ecosystem? Then, choosing an implementation agency for your digital transformation project can help your business move forward expertly.
For this endeavor to be successful, you need an agency that will be a true partner to your company and deliver the experience that your customers need. To do this, you may need to interview numerous companies and weigh which best suits your needs.
Is the implementation agency a suitable size for the project?
The size of an implementation partner is a critical factor in whether the company can deliver to your customer base. Unfortunately, a company could be a perfect fit culturally, but the wrong size for your project needs.
Smaller agencies are often more transparent and have fewer bureaucratic processes to slow down your project. However, they also lack the personnel and experience to excel in every niche. It’s simply not possible, so you should only consider companies with a proven record in your industry. A project partner in your industry can be a strong asset in terms of dedication and long-term commitment to your project. This distinction allows a deeper understanding of your project.
Meanwhile, larger agencies also have their pros and cons. A large agency has a larger body of work, team, and variety of specializations. However, you may find your project tied up in bureaucracy, passed to less experienced team members, or not receiving the focus you expect. Additionally, vetting a large agency can be difficult.
Does the agency have relevant experience?
Your niche and market are unique, as is your product. These factors should be part of your considerations when choosing an implementation agency. Otherwise, you’re only hoping that the agency staff can pick up the nuances that make you successful.
For example, choosing an implementation partner that knows the local market can make or break an expansion project. An example is entering the DACH region in Europe, where traditional emotional sales tactics from the USA are often unsuccessful in the B2B markets. A local partner with relevant experience knows how to adjust your messaging to resonate with the local market.
How does the implementation agency create solutions?
Ideally, any service provider you consider has an existing body of work and case studies. These demonstrate how competent other companies find the implementation agency and the solutions the agency specializes in. Ask the agency about their case studies and experience. That will also shape your project.
Asking a potential implementation agency how they see their experience applying to your project provides an example of the company’s vision. You can expect to see personalized connections to the agency’s previous work in the response. The questions you ask reveal how adaptable a company is and how unique an implementation plan they’re prepared to create for you. Your solutions vendor should be separate from your implementation partner.
What process will the company use on your project?
Understanding how your potential partner creates solutions for your company is paramount to forming a partnership. You need to know what to expect and when to expect it so your company can provide the appropriate feedback at the correct times.
We at P8 Marketing work with the Agile approach, which uses frequent iterations to produce a more aligned result with your needs. However, while this approach achieves solid results, it also requires more frequent input from you than traditional project management methods.
Understanding the implementation agency’s process before you sign a contract is vital, and it goes beyond laying out project milestones. You are considering a partnership, and you need to know what to expect for the initial development and ongoing implementation. Otherwise, there could be needless project delays that affect your customers.
What makes the company unique compared to direct competitors?
Often, asking a project partner this question yields the best results. You want to know what the agency sees as its unique selling proposition and how it applies to your project. The response to the question often reveals how the company operates and whether they are the right partner on your project.
The other side is that a company that struggles with this question may lack the vision for your project. Therefore, you want an implementation agency that understands its place in relation to its competition and can help your company with its specific experience.
What are the service provider’s values?
Values define the culture of any company, and understanding the values of a service provider helps ensure that you choose a partner that is compatible with your own company culture. You can either ask directly about values or request a scenario where those values have shaped the company’s actions.
For example, your company could share the value of transparency with an implementation agency. Having this value in common may promote communication between your two companies and improve your project since your team members feel they are part of a shared culture. Ensuring this match can accelerate your project efficiency as well.
Where is the implementation agency based?
Location is an essential factor for understanding a market as well as what you can expect your project to cost. You need to know where the experience of the implementation agency is as well as the general background knowledge it has. Knowing this information can help you plan your strategy for entering the market with the potential partner.
The location should be a factor in your considerations. An implementation partner, even one that is smaller than you might like, may have valuable knowledge and experience in a market that your project requires. For example, an agency located in the DACH region would understand that the responsiveness typical in the USA often has the opposite effect there.
With location also comes language understanding. While the language may seem insignificant in the age of automated translation, it is not. Understanding language enhances understanding of local customers and regulations. These forces shape the market you are entering, and a comprehensive picture may not be available in English sources. A reliable partner agency helps you navigate the language barrier.
Are there legal factors that require consideration?
Legal considerations are a critical factor, and privacy is currently a prominent topic. Hiring an implementation agency must take this into account or risk legal penalties that could force the company to close shop. Therefore, you want to ensure your partner agency takes these legal considerations as seriously as you do.
For example, many people claim the California Consumer Protection Act as GDPR-lite. However, you want to ensure your partner understands the differences between the CCPA and GDPR when bringing your project into the new market. These legal factors and how you navigate them as partners are crucial to success.
How is success measured with this company?
Every company has different measures of success, and implementation agencies are no different. You want to determine what success looks like for you on this project and how you want to measure it with the service provider. There are many distinct measures and timelines, so outlining expectations is critical.
If you hire an implementation partner in the DACH region, you may experience different metrics than you would implement in the USA. An example is the long sales cycle in the DACH region, which means you will wait to see adoptions. The other side is that DACH customers tend to remain longer than US customers would. However, if you went in without defining success, you might feel that the agency ignores your project.
Do you need an implementation agency that understands the intricacies of the DACH market? Connect with us today and receive a personalized consult on your project.