So many agencies do not get the best out of their agency tech. We share our tips on how to improve usage and reap the benefits.
The world of agency tech is developing at an incredible rate. As problems arise, the software is rapidly created to deal with them; this has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home, coupled with travel restrictions and the inability to hold in-person meetings has changed the face of advertising forever.
In previous years ‘the agency needs to change’ was a commonly heard mantra; this prompted the development and implementation of a great deal of software. These software packages make bold promises of streamlining your business to create better agencies; designed to increase revenue streams.
To make the best use of your tech requires the right system, the right implementation approach, and training.
Choosing Your Agency Tech
A good piece of agency tech, keeps everyone in the loop from concept to completion on every project. Look at the size of your agency now and where you plan to be in future, and choose a system that will grow with you.
Next take a look at your objectives. Most agencies will have a list of functional objectives – what they need the system to do. However, the agency’s strategic objectives are just as important and need to be more precise in their requirements. Finally, there are problem-solving objectives, these are usually tied both to functional and strategic objectives.
If you haven’t invested in your agency tech yet, refer to our piece on Choosing the Right Agency Management System.
Alongside the right technology you also need to focus on the implementation of that technology. They go hand-in-hand.
Implementation is a team game and getting the right team in place at the start is important. Choose your in-house implementation team carefully. You need people with vision, who are also pragmatic. You need to build a support network within the agency to make the system work.
Then look for a really dynamic implementation partner to drive your business forward. Your partners need to be dynamic influencers who are experts in their field. It is not always easy letting go of certain aspects of control. However, bring in the right people, and the rewards will come.
The right implementation partner will also take the time to map your agency processes to the system, prior to go live. Ensuring the correct use of technologies from the outset, will make genuine long-term savings that can be used in other areas of your business.
When implementing agency tech, there will also be the need for your agency to adapt and change. This element of implementation is often overlooked. Choosing the right partners internally and externally, will help drive that organizational change.
“Tangram were brilliant in helping us identify, develop and introduce a fully integrated project management software system. Their understanding of our operational needs was invaluable in navigating through the change management process, along with their ongoing support as we continue to adopt WorkBook into our new way of working.” Nicole Sievert, Program Lead, Folk.
Training is Key!
There is no point in spending vast amounts of money on technology only to ignore the essential training that will enable your team to get the best out of it. Make sure there is a training plan in place either with your software provider or implementation partner. The right training program is essential for a successful implementation.
Recognize the high fliers within your staff. They usually have a natural aptitude for new technologies. Make these people part of your training team. Their skill can become the benchmark for the rest of the team, and they can be used ongoing to train and induct new staff members.
Most of us in the industry have grown up with technology. The rate of its development has been rapidly increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have become less connected on a personal level, we have become more connected in the virtual world. Companies using agency management software have now become used to having all the project information immediately to hand. Clients will no longer wait for a monthly project report; today is all about “the now”. The gap in connectivity has always been there, but due to the pandemic, it has become more evident.
Treat agency tech as a colleague; it is just as valuable, so recognize it. This can only be achieved with proper training. Once you’ve bought the tech, don’t waste it. Ask questions about it and demand results from it. You will never look back.