By Bob West
Let’s be clear – we want to do work for you and your company. Specifically, I’m interested in selling you on our custom digital capabilities (websites, videos, content, etc.), but some recent experiences have convinced me to share a couple of thoughts that I can really only call warnings for potential customers. (And I think these warnings hold true whether you hire Meister Interactive for a project or any other digital agency, because you – the client – often lie behind them.)
First off, regardless of the type of project, completing it by your original deadline will be challenging. We talk a lot about project timelines and deadlines during the proposal process for all of the custom work we produce. But nearly every client who hires us begins the project too optimistic about their own ability to devote the necessary time to the project. That’s not to imply these projects are especially time consuming. Most of our clients work in under-staffed, over-worked marketing departments. (Or, they may actually be the entire “department” themselves!) You have a mile-long ‘to do’ list and a line of people demanding something of you. Inevitably, the project ends up being delayed.
Consider one client who recently hired us to produce a rather simple video with still images (no filming required!). They hired us because they just didn’t have time to create the video. This was a simple, $2,500 project that launched with a goal of being completed in 10 days. However, the client took three weeks just to send us the digital images we needed for the video, and the timeline was out the window.
Second, outsourcing this work to a digital agency doesn’t mean that you don’t have any work to do. Some of your work will be very simple – sending us photos or a logo, for example. Some of your work will be more time consuming – reviewing the proposed navigation for a new website (and getting it blessed by everyone in your company who needs to be consulted!) or being interviewed for a video script.
We want to take as much workload off our clients’ plates as we can, and many clients are like the aforementioned video client in that they hire us to do work they can do themselves but for a lack of time / manpower. But outsourcing work doesn’t mean no involvement from you.
Lastly, unexpected issues will arise during the project. Our experiences producing a wide array of custom projects helps us anticipate the unexpected hiccups and know where potential potholes may lie. But whether we’re confronted by the involvement of a new senior executive who doesn’t like a website’s design (yes, this happened) or weather forcing a grower testimonial to be shot entirely under cover (we ran into this problem last fall) or one of our employees working on your project switching jobs mid-way through the project (yes, we can be the source of the unexpected, too), know that something will likely happen.
I love the fact that you’re still reading – you shouldn’t be scared off! I’m writing this post to help you enter into a custom project with your eyes wide open so you’re not thrown by the unexpected so the project meets your goals. Clients who hire us for one project tend to come back to us for second and third efforts, so we’re doing good work that delivers for them. Hopefully we get the chance to do the same for you, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way remove some stress and surprise from your experience.
Bob West is Meister Media’s Director of Interactive Sales and, now that you’ve been forewarned, he’d be happy to talk with you regarding any website, video, enewsletter or custom content needs you have. Bob can be reached at 440-602-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.