Where we debunk the myths of the digital world.  Today’s topic,  how can you be successful using a digital partner on your projects?

(note Tom Brady had nothing to do with the writing of this article so you know it’s legit) 

So why would your agency or organization want to choose a digital partner rather than develop a project “in-house”?  Why not just start your own team or cross train current team? Use a freelancer you know maybe? Below are a few advantages to working with a digital agency.

Mitigated Risk

The risk of hiring and bringing on inside team or utilizing freelancers to produce digital efforts for your customers is high.  Knowing the right skillset for a new hire along with a good fit for the culture of your organization is complicated.  Technology often needs to cover a multitude of platforms and options that a customer may need and can be impossible to stay on top of when it’s not something you do constantly.  An agency can very quickly find themselves in the cross-hairs of a potentially failed projects due to lack of knowledge of process and how to manage those efforts or lack of technical knowledge and quality control.  It’s better to have a qualified team to lean on and mitigate the risk for you and your customer than try and do something that may be a bit out of your wheelhouse. A freelancer could be an option but the risk there lies in the fact that it’s one person who is usually taking on more projects than they should and may even have a day job so your project may never truly get the attention it deserves and could miss deadlines or quality requirements.  Digital partners know process, they know how to plan a project for the deadline at hand, how to develop the spec for the project, how to swing for the fences or know when to scale back to assure success.  This isn’t something you can really learn quickly.  It’s about knowing your team and years of experience.   Digital agencies know their craft and how to achieve results on a budget and with often times, little time.  A good digital agency can assist you in developing the scope and specifications for the project to eliminate risk, prevent you from stepping on land mines.  They can also help you learn the digital process and in some cases help refine your internal process and tools.  But the cost is too high right?  Read on….

Cost Savings

To be brutally honest good developers and digital designers who hit deadlines with quality, maintainable work, are expensive and hard to find.  To be even more honest, no one developer usually is good at all that you will need to succeed, so there is usually a need for multiple team members on an effort.  When the cost can range in the 60k-100+k range for a developer it adds up fast.

A good example would be a web project that utilizes responsive design and is content managed.  For a project like this you may need a web designer who knows responsive best practices, a front end developer who can then take those designs and produce the HTML/CSS/Javascript to make those designs work across platforms and devices, and a backend developer to wire the project up to whatever off the shelf or custom CMS you may need to use to satisfy the customers’ requirements.  So that’s three highly skilled and dedicated team players to complete the project.  Considering if you are an agency that is just starting out, if you don’t have a full pipeline of projects to put them on after this project is done, you can quickly wind up losing money.

Something else to consider is that instead of paying for one or a few internal team you are paying for a team of seasoned professionals and it is usually on a project by project basis so your costs remain controlled.


In nearly all cases a digital partner is motivated.  They want to succeed at your project so that you choose them for other work.  They want to build a long standing relationship and that only happens from high end work delivered on time.  Not only that, but they are passionate about what they do, so the work is their calling card they want the best project each time for their reputation.  Can you think of a better situation than working with a team of rock star designers and developers who have this built into them?

Breadth of Knowledge

Having a digital team sitting at the “batphone” can be of incredible value when you’re considering pitching a new project to a customer, or responding to a request.  The knowledge of not only the technology but also how it can be harnessed to create an interactive experience can win against your competition.  Most digital teams will work alongside your core team to not only ideate the project but also in many cases help to pitch it.  Winning projects to get more work is their goal afterall as well.  Consider having a digital pro handling the technology portion of your pitch rather than your AE who may fumble when pressed or not deliver the message in the most confident manner.  Winning and losing can happen in those situations.

It’s not just about knowledge of the tech either, but also how best to put the strategy behind it to move users to the customer’s end goal.  So you want to sell a mobile app idea you have? Well it’s not just a nice design and developed product, it’s a monetization strategy for how to make money with it possibly.  You may want to just produce thousands of downloads over a period of time, you need the strategy to dictate where and how to market it in the digital space in order to get users.  Seasoned digital partners have “been there, done that”.  They know the pitfalls to avoid and that every effort doesn’t call for a Facebook ad buy.


This is one that not many consider when thinking about utilizing a digital agency, their connections.  A seasoned studio who works with many agencies and brands has a deep contact list for just about any need should it arise.  Whether you need to find a 2D animator or an account exec with knowledge of the healthcare industry for consulting they probably “know a guy”.  Having a veritable rolodex of professionals that you could possibly get access to is a very big benefit.

Finally there is the Work

The biggest advantage to working with a established digital partner is their work.  Quality work is a difference maker in every way.  The ability as part of your pitch to show a customer who you are working with on the effort and what they are capable of can all but eliminate your competition if the partner is right.  Showing that you are using a team that is a mobile studio for instance on a mobile effort that has done work for blue chip brands when your competitor is utilizing internal team with little to show for their mobile efforts wins.  Some digital partners will even help you build the pitch with some of their work in the mix to win.

Now for some agencies this all may sounds great, and for some it won’t work with their positioning, business model or future plans for growth, but the goal here is to just show the possible benefits and help make an informed decision.


Phalanx Digital is a award winning Pennsylvania based digital agency that works directly with advertising and marketing agencies to help design and develop their digital efforts.  With designers and developers in-house with skills ranging from native mobile apps to enterprise software experience design and development Phalanx is uniquely positioned to assist our partners with making their digital dreams real.  Phalanx makes its reputation with delivering projects for large and small brands alike on time and under budget.  Customers we have worked with include: Sheetz, Remington, Victory Motorcycles, Troegs, US Army, Carlisle Syntec, Allstate, Beaufurn and many others. 

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  • Thursday September 24, 2015