While you may understand the products and services that a technology and marketing company provides, what about things that are less tangible? Have you considered how a great partner should act? What a true 360º engagement looks like? Here’s a list of what to expect when you’re expecting a great technology and digital marketing partnership.
Expect to be Heard
A great partner should create an active-listening environment where you feel completely comfortable sharing your thoughts, objectives, and concerns, free of judgment or condescension. To be clear, your tech and marketing partner is expected to bring a clear point of view to the table based on knowledge of best practices and data revealed by analytics. Your voice, however, brings nuance and insights into your business objectives, particulars, and pain points, as well as those of your customer, thus completing the picture and making sure your project gets off on—and stays on—the right foot.
Projects should be implemented in an iterative fashion. This will ensure that you’re well aware of the progress at any given time and will be afforded meaningful and regular opportunities to provide feedback. While that feedback won’t necessarily change the trajectory of the work in progress, it should be thoroughly and objectively considered and fairly discussed.
Expect True Partnership
Partners complete each other (yep, we’re not above paraphrasing movie quotes). Your partner should complement your organization. That means they should provide everything from leadership and strategic planning to tactical resources across the project. Your partner should fill the gaps in your knowledge, and be prepared to provide the resources and talent to provide 360 coverage and bring your project to successful completion.
Expect to Own Your Products
With the exception of licensed technology, you should expect to own your code. Should you decide to move to another partner, you should expect a smooth transition and transfer of knowledge and access to software and tools without the intervention of legal teams.
Expect a Clear Post-Launch Path Forward
Delivering your initial product is just the first step. After your product launches, you should expect a partner to immediately and clearly articulate the next steps. Usually, that will start by building an implementation roadmap for fast followers—those items of importance that may not have made it into the minimum viable project (MVP) launch. From there, the sky’s the limit, but at the very least, a path to iterative improvement should be outlined.
Expect the Promotion of a Culture of Testing
Testing can represent a significant—and at times uncomfortable—shift for businesses. Your business initiatives may traditionally come in the form of directives from above or dictated by the loudest or most charismatic voices in the room. Breaking that pattern can be difficult. Testing is a great way to allow other voices to be heard, hypotheses to be presented, and the best data-driven solutions to rule the day and drive business success.
Expect a Range of Solutions Tailored to You
The world runs on relationships. Sometimes this is great. Other times, not so much. For example, your technology partner may have a preferred search vendor, but the pricing or functionality may not align with your specific requirements. Your partner should refrain from trying to shoehorn your needs into the wrong solution but should provide you with a number of options tailored to your needs.
Expect Right-Sized Tools and Services to Grow Your Business
Whether they can provide them or recommend someone who can, your partner should help you navigate the vast array of digital options available to you to grow your business after your initial engagement. For example, you’ve just relaunched your website, now how will you market it? Expect 360-degree solutions, or expect to under-leverage your investment.
Expect Your Partner to Speak Out of Turn
This may sound counterintuitive, but a partner who focuses on your business with blinders on does your business a disservice. Implementing search without discussing the state of the data is a miss. Running an email program without identifying underlying merchandising issues and shortcomings, is also a miss. Your partner should shine a light on your blind spots.
Expect Cross-Functional Coordination
If your partner is providing you with a range of services across multiple teams, expect those efforts to be clearly coordinated so that your product is consistent and efficiently run.
Expect to Have Fun
Bringing your marketing solutions to life and growing your business is exciting stuff, and should be fun! Expect active, and enthusiastic engagement. Brainstorm, toss out crazy ideas, launch loon shots without fear. Your partner will lay out and test ideas, make them clickable before any expensive code is committed, run usability tests, iterate and improve and get a product in front of your customers that will delight them and enrich you!