Does the agency understand your problem?
You may be looking to redesign your website, build an application from the ground up, or refresh your visual identity. An agency must understand the reasoning behind the project, who your team is, specific considerations, and what success looks like. As you are evaluating proposals, some questions you have might be:
Making a Decision
As you receive proposals, you must know the most critical decision factors for you and your organization. For example, if you are a large non-profit, is it essential that the agency knows how to navigate a large stakeholder team while fitting into a tightly-defined budget? Here are a few criteria you may consider when selecting:
Expertise - are they specialists or experts? Have they done enough projects similar to mine?
It’s important to note that some projects are unique, and agencies may not be able to show exact 1:1 examples. A good partner should be able to point to similarities in a past project and connect them to yours. Do they understand the basic concepts, are transparent about any unknowns, and are willing to plan an approach with you?
Approach - Are they clear about the steps they will take to complete the project? Have they laid out their plan of attack?
The approach an agency gives you in a proposal shows how well they understand your project and what it will take to achieve a successful outcome. If the approach seems to miss key elements of your RFP or the information you communicated, it’s most likely that the agency isn’t taking enough time to put its best foot forward.
Creativity - Is the agency thinking through a creative solution for you? Are they adding insight or expertise that excites you to work with them?
Some of the best agencies in the world have the fantastic ability to think outside of the box and put together unique solutions. Some projects are more straightforward than others, but a bit of creativity can turn an outcome from good to great.
Proposals and Savas Labs
Here at Savas, my title is Client Strategist because our team approaches potential projects strategically – balancing scope, understanding budget and timeline fit, finding crossover in our expertise, and creatively solving problems. When I talk to potential clients on a daily basis, I understand we’re not always the right fit for each other. We don’t try to force things just to win work or add another client to our roster. But when there is a fit, we try our best to show our expertise, our desire to build digital products that create impact, and put together an approach that is specific to the project at hand.