Why tech works (for us and you)

We recently featured in the Daily Telegraph discussing how we use technology to work with our clients.   Online collaborative tech allows us to stay in touch with our clients throughout the creative process.

If it works for us, it could work for you – and here’s how.

We spoke at length with the journalist, but not all of it made it to print, so we thought is worthwhile explaining what we have learned about technology and how to use it. Here are some simple, low-cost solutions that may help you to work a little bit smarter.

Simplicity is key

Over the years we’ve used loads of different online collaborative tools. Some work, but others can cause problems. Rather than reduce bureaucracy, they can increase it. The reason is because they’re over-engineered, over-complicated and just plain annoying.

We use a few online systems that we’re comfortable with and confident at using.  More importantly, experience has shown us that our customers quickly feel comfortable using them too. We start every big project with a short explanation of how our systems work and how we will use them.

It means we all start off in the same place. A happy one.

If you’re introducing a new system it’s pretty obvious you’ll use one that you’re comfortable with. Before you start make sure your clients feel comfortable too.

Free to use

Technology costs us money, but we don’t charge our clients for using Dropbox, Basecamp, Asana or any of the other platforms that are part of our offer.

It’s clear that this is part of our service. It’s a small thing, but it matters.

As a marketing agency, charging for everything is part of the job. In the long run, we find collaborative systems save us time (which everyone knows is money), so we don’t charge – and we recommend you shouldn’t either.

Collaboration and communication

Email fatigue is a big concern for us working with multiple clients. When working on complex projects with multiple contributors and stakeholders, using an online system like Basecamp allows us to communicate in a way that avoids duplication and reduces the familiar iteration problems that can dog projects.

It also means all communications are logged and recorded. For bigger projects, or agile developments we sometimes use a task-based platform like Asana. It’s simple, free and effective and if it works for us, it might work for you too. (We aren’t paid by these guys to promote them, it was built by some ex-Facebook staffers who are probably richer than 99% of the earth’s population. It just works.)

Transparency

It’s a horrible word, but it serves a purpose: working with collaborative online tools means everything we do is in the open.

Online tools mean our work is accessible at all times to everyone who is involved in the project.

If we say we’re going to do something, we will – and if we don’t then you’ll see it.

Targets, Results and Impact

Everything we do is driven by targets, results and ultimately impact.

Systems like Basecamp help to keep agreed targets at the forefront of every project.

If and when things change – which they so often do on bigger projects – they can be reviewed, refreshed and shared quickly across the entire project team. From an agency side, this helps us avoid the dreaded scope-creep that can see simple project expand beyond the original brief. If new work is needed, it can be scheduled and costed quickly.

When it comes to results, we use various systems that help us to process and record the results of our work. Whether that’s SEO performance, social stats or web hits our clients know as much as we do.

Technology doesn’t come up with amazing ideas, create fantastic marketing campaigns or produce compelling content – that’s what we do. In fact, it’s what we love doing the most. But it can help us to share these with our clients, working together to develop campaigns that work for us – and if you work with us – for you too.

42group is a leading Bristol marketing agency that helps organisation to tell their stories. We work with organisations of all sizes: from small businesses, SMEs, charities to household brands (and we absolutely love cycling).

We help our clients to help them develop, design and deliver marketing, communications and content campaigns that make a difference. If you’d like to chat about how we can help you tell your story, contact us today.