“Oh. My. God.”
“We HAVE to redesign our website.”
“And we need it yesterday.”
So far, you’re nodding in agreement. Of course “we” need a new website. And “we” need the impossible, done yesterday.
And then the hammer drops. Leadership has decided YOU are the perfect person to find the firm and make this happen.
<record scratch>Whaaaa?</record scratch>
In an earlier post, we outlined some key areas of consideration for writing a website redesign RFP. That focused largely on what you should consider about your own digital situation. The other half of that equation is focused on what you need to make sure your agency of choice is the right fit for your organization. With that in mind, please consider the following questions when evaluating your prospective agency partners for your digital project.
Why do clients usually hire you (or not hire you)?
Firms often get hired for one or two key reasons. Knowing why others have chosen them in the past can help you prioritize your internal needs. Sometimes good firms are passed on because “they’re not a good fit.” But that can be too vague an answer to be useful. Knowing why a firm doesn’t get chosen can help you better asses that elusive goal of “fit.”
What types of projects do you most gravitate to? What types of projects do you typically avoid?
Given their druthers, many firms will say “what do you got?” as the answer to this question. However, it’s good to know what fits in the sweet spot of a firm’s collective interest and skillset.
What different types of technology (CMS, CRM, AMS, etc.) do you have experience with?
Technology isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. It’s also often not the first thing that needs to be established. However, knowing an agency’s breadth of technology experience can help frame up numerous subsequent conversations.
What types of technology / projects are you working on now that you weren’t 12-18 months ago?
Little changes faster than the digital marketing and communication landscape. Firms that aren’t growing are dying. The firms that show an ability to adapt are the ones that will win the future for themselves and their clients. In Taoti’s case, the answer is a combination of interactive infographics projects and some early-stage Internet of Things projects. But this post is about YOU, so we’ll get back to the remaining questions.
Please describe your approach to working with large stakeholder groups? Small groups?
True story. I once was part of a 25-meeting process to get the idea of a website redesign approved. Knowing how a firm handles such a large bureaucracy can be helpful as you’re planning out your next steps. Smaller stakeholder groups can bring their own challenges that include being too insulated to truly understand their audiences. Getting these questions answered can help you and your team get an early mental picture of what it would be like to work with them. Which is important, because you’re going to be spending a LOT of time together.
Interested in reading more? We have plenty more questions that we recommend asking your potential digital agency for your next project. Download the full report here!
Of course, if you’re interested in asking us a few of these questions, we’d love to talk. Send us a quick note via our contact form and we’ll get right back to you.
About the Author
Chad Capellman has been swimming in the intersecting currents of media, society and technology for more than 20 years. He has worked with more than a dozen content management systems, and hates most of them. He enjoys crafting solutions that can save clients from his past pain. Chad brings his editorial, programming, account management and occasionally appropriate sense of humor to many of Taoti’s largest and most-recognized client projects.
For the last 6 years, the Syrian Civil war has displaced millions of people, including hundreds of thousands of young people who are desperately trying to complete their schooling. While there are many organizations trying to help, there has been no place for these refugees to search for the programs and tools designed to help them.To fill this need, the Institute of International Education (IIE) has initiated the PEER project to create a Platform for Education in Emergencies Response (https://iiepeer.org). The platform offers young refugees and Internationally Displaced People (IDP) an online clearinghouse of scholarship and educational opportunities. It also offers institutions a medium for reaching out to these affected populations and enacting the change necessary to heal wounds, old and new.
Snapchat is one of the most popular and fastest growing social media platforms in the world. Approximately 2.8 billion “snaps” are created every day and the app is used by over 158 million people. On average, users open the app 18 times a day and spend a total of about 30 minutes each day on the app chatting with friends and reading news. So, with such a broad reach, why do most companies either under-utilize the app or ignore it completely? It may be the perception that it’s only used by teenagers or that there’s no way to use it without spending a ton of money. However, there are many different ways to apply Snapchat to conventional marketing campaigns and it’s actually easier than you may think.
(This post has been revised from a previous version posted in 2014)
For many organizations, issuing an RFP for a new website can be as exciting as it can be fraught. Often, it first depends on getting budget approved and then can end up feeling a little rushed. Certain areas of consideration aren’t always as thought through as well as they could have been.
With that in mind, we wanted to share a few areas for consideration for you and your colleagues as you begin to start thinking about what you want and need in your new website, and how you communicate that in your RFP:
Picture this: your website redesign is ready to get started. So far, you’ve spent your time playing limbo with RFP drafts, vendor demos, scopes and contracts, and now it’s time for the fun stuff. You have an idea of what to expect; you’ve heard all about the “discovery and design process” and know that someone will “build” the site, but there are a few things that aren’t written into contracts, though maybe we should…
New website takes user-centered approach to exploring and sharing the census-based 2016 Benchmarking Report by the Alliance for Biking and Walking
When it comes to modes of transport, few are healthier than biking and walking. Fitness trackers are great for keeping tabs on your steps and your heart rate, but what about tracking trends for how biking and walking affect public health and safety across the United States? The American Public Health Association (APHA), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the League of American Bicyclists and we at Taoti Creative have you covered. We’ve teamed up to create a user-focused website that puts the accumulated data of the Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2016 Benchmarking Report at your fingertips. They’ve collected data from all 50 states and over 60 cities on benchmarks such as mode share, public health, and traffic safety.
The research firm Clutch has listed Taoti Creative as the top Washington DC area web design company. In a press release, it said its research “takes into account novel industry data and verified client reviews to rank the top companies in the greater Washington area.” The companies are mapped out in Clutch’s ‘Leaders Matrix,’ and full profiles and client interviews are published with the research online.