Digital marketing agencies face a multitude of challenges when working to attract, acquire, and deliver complex technical projects. Forming agency partnerships can help teams deepen their capabilities and win more business. The right agency development partner can help your business to build and deliver sophisticated content platforms, innovative technology, commerce, and mobility to your clients.

This post points out some of the potential advantages of having an agency development partner while highlighting some of the challenges that agencies face when attempting to deliver top-notch digital projects.

The Reality of ‘Full-Service’ Marketing Agencies

A marketing agency that describes itself as Full-Service is akin to a development firm calling itself Full-Stack.

In order for a digital marketing agency to deliver on their promise of full-service, they’d have to be equipped to deliver quality solutions for many of the following: analytics & insights, brand building, digital advertising, digital strategy, email marketing, content creation, experiential marketing, inbound marketing, logo design, marketing software, market research, media buying, media planning, mobile app marketing, naming, packaging design, pay per click, public relations, product design, search engine optimization, social media management, user experience, user interface design, and video production.

I’m sure there’s even more services that could be listed, but you get the point. It’s a lot! In order to serve their clients well, modern digital marketing agencies need to have a depth of expertise in many of the categories listed above. It’s difficult to be skilled and experienced across such a broad range of marketing services. And you’ll notice, I didn’t even mention Android & iOS development, cross-platform app development, software development, or website & e-commerce development. 

How can a marketing agency deliver on the myriad of services required for today’s digital landscape? How can today’s agencies strategize, design, and manage marketing solutions while also building custom software?

The answers lie within forming agency partnerships to put together the best team for the job.

7 Challenges Creative Agencies Often Face When Attempting to Deliver Complex Technical Solutions

#1 The costs associated to hire, train, and sustain a development team

Hiring a development team can be cost prohibitive for many agencies. Not to mention, you need to have appropriate technical leadership in place that can mentor and guide a developer to make the most of their potential.

#2 Limitations of a small development team

Many agencies have 1 or 2 development resources to help with front-end development and implementing content platforms. When it comes to more comprehensive or complex solutions, like mobile applications, software, or custom integrations, the team isn’t intimately familiar with those development languages.

#3 Consulting to architect solutions and select the best technology

Without these particular skillsets, a project could get off on the wrong track from the get-go, which can in turn lead to scope creep, revenue loss, and damaged relationships.

#4 Following a tried-and-true development process

The processes to research and present a marketing strategy or to design and implement a new brand are very different from what it takes to ensure a solid code foundation for building software and applications.

#5 Interfacing with technical and IT leaders at client companies

If a client company is making a significant investment in technology, their technical leadership will be interested in having regular discussions around things like requirements, documentation, security, QA, and training.

#6 Delivering large websites or applications in a timely manner

Due to limited resources or capacity constraints, a single project can tie up a development team for an extended period of time. This results in not being able to take on more projects or all active projects pushing past their original timelines.

#7 Shying away from technology proposals

Agencies are often in a position to acquire more work and revenue with key clients that need sophisticated technology solutions, but pass on the opportunity because of limited capabilities. While it’s a smart decision to not get in over your head, it could lead to the client seeking a different partner that can handle their needs.

7 Ways a Development Partner Can Help Your Agency Win More Business While Alleviating Common Challenges

#1 Working with an experienced process-driven team

An agency development partner should have the experience and skills needed to complete projects efficiently while staying within time and budget. Their process will ensure clean extensible code that’s reviewed by multiple developers.

#2 Accurately scoping solutions while bearing the burden of cost overruns

For many agencies, large-scale development projects are notoriously tricky to scope and plan for. A development partner should have the necessary experience to assure an accurate, well-planned project approach.

#3 Acting as your bench during busy times

You don’t have to worry any more about keeping your team busy. A trusted development partner will have the resources to take on your projects as needed.

#4 Building it right from the ground up

A development partner will have the required experience and processes of checks and balances to ensure that a solution is being built correctly.

#5 Collaborate on and participate in proposals and pitches

Sometimes bringing in the right partner to the pitch process is what seals the deal. Clients understand and appreciate transparency and value service providers that are subject matter experts.

#6 Dreaming big and pushing the limits of your technical offerings

Putting your agency in a position to be able to build critical business applications will strengthen your overall relationship. Having an agency development partner will allow you to be ambitious with mobile and web projects, regardless of size or technology.

#7 Selling even more work and taking on the nitty gritty of upgrades, maintenance, and support

A development partner will be accustomed to routine maintenance and support. Your team won’t have to be dedicated to bug fixes, so that they can focus on more strategic initiatives.

Are you a marketing, advertising, or creative team looking for an agency development partner you can trust?

In 2014, we started RocketBuild with the tagline, “Development Partners for Creative Minds.” At the time, we exclusively partnered with creative, marketing, and digital agencies. We acted as their development office to execute their ideas and designs for their clients’ website and application needs.

Since then and for a variety of reasons, we’ve expanded our business model to include direct client relationships. Some of our clients ideate and design in-house, then seek a technical resource for development needs. Some of our clients seek a technical partner first to ensure they’ll be receiving quality code before pursuing a creative agency relationship (which we are often in a position to provide them with our recommendations). And some of our clients simply just need to scale their delivery capacity by outsourcing to our development team.

Since our inception and to this day, we continue to work with and thoroughly enjoy our agency partner relationships. There’s a few reasons that make RocketBuild a standout technical counterpart to creative agencies:

  • We have a deep history of building websites and applications for agencies.
  • Each member of our leadership team previously worked for or operated their own marketing agency.
  • Our development team understands and has a passion for implementing the best user interface designs.

The agencies that we partner with understand the benefits of having a web and mobile development team they can rely on. By partnering with RocketBuild, agencies are able to focus their efforts on strategy and creativity, all the while avoiding additional overhead and potential risk.

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