Digital agencies are springing up in India like mushrooms in a rainy season. Getting into the digital agency business is a no-brainer for traditional advertising firms and many have done that – Publicis, Omnicom, Group M and IPG have a strong global foothold. When it comes to starting up, the hashtag economy offers a low barrier to entry, and many businesses have cashed in with the very basics of social media, creatives, web design & development services.
Digital agencies, established or start-ups, may choose to focus on a niche industry or manage a diverse portfolio of clients. When it comes to the later, an agency needs to be further prepared. Here’s how today’s digital agency can manage a diverse portfolio of clients:
1. Diverse People on Your Team
People from different walks of life bring different perspectives to the table. A prime example of this is Google, which hires the best in class engineers as well as the best in class psychologists. Another example is design consulting firm IDEO. People with varied academic & professional backgrounds help creating ideas & content that caters to a diverse set of clients.
Moreover, agencies need to encourage employees to pursue their interests with passion. Employees taking up tennis or baking lessons or learning Mandarin/Spanish over a weekend add to the company culture in the long run.
2. Solid processes & role definition
There needs to be a method to madness. Digital agencies that win play by the rules. To manage a diverse portfolio of clients, one needs to have set processes to regularize ideation, content creation, and content dissemination. Processes and tools work well only when each and every member on the agency team has defined roles & responsibilities.
Digital agencies need to adopt agile methodologies when it comes to ideation & execution – daily scrum meetings where every person on a team talks about what his/her tasks for the day are and what potential roadblocks may arise, helps in smooth functioning and collaboration within team members.
3. Individual & Team Thinking
Some people find it easier to think in isolation, whereas others like the concept of a brainstorm. Digital agencies must encourage both. Allowing individuals some “me” time helps them crystallize ideas before they are put up in front of a larger group. Team thinking sessions help break down complex problems and arrive at solutions in a shorter time frame.
Again, when it comes to thinking in a group, make sure to involve folks from all divisions – the engineer on your SEO team, the jolly social media manager, the business thinker and the out of the box creative thinker. Diverse portfolios are much easier to manage when there are multiple people thinking about a business, rather than silo teams.
4. Your social networks
Make good use of your social network. The best way to learn how doctors use the internet is to call up a few doctors in your social network and ask some relevant questions.
For one of our clients who are in the food & beverages space, we called up nutritionists, dieticians, gym trainers, and health conscious folks within our networks to gain an understanding on their snacking habits and what kind of content would evoke engagement, when shared on our social media channels.
5. Snoop around
Use Google Alerts to setup updates on topics you’d like to read about. For BriefKase, we’ve setup alerts to learn about tax, Indian theatre, design, diabetes, gifting, adventure sports, cloud computing, hacking etc.
We keep an eye on social media channels of competitors in India as well as those in the same industry in the US/UK. Looking at the West for inspiration when it comes to content topics, is not a bad idea. It helps us put our own content creation efforts into perspective and raise the bar when it comes to content ideation.