The Benefits of Working with a Local Design Agency

The Benefits of Working with a Local Design Agency

The benefits of working with a local design agency are many, but I’ll admit it – in nearly 20 years in digital, I’ve had the pleasure of working with people all over the world. Database consultants and clients in Canada, designers in The Netherlands. CMS experts in Australia, plugin developers in the U.S.A. and development teams in Brazil, China, India and some in Russia too. I ran one project that alone spanned 26 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with websites in 15 different languages including Arabic and Greek with close colleagues being Italians working in Switzerland.

But nothing beats working with a local design agency. Why?

As a client, one thing has so many benefits – and that’s simply… being local.

Working in the Local Time Zone

The first benefit is that you and your local design agency are, very obviously, in the same time zone. Anywhere in the United Kingdom, you’re in the same time zone as your design team, so it goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning so that it can be really appreciated.

When I had a dev team in China I could be in the office at 9am in the morning but it would be 3pm for them. Just as I was starting my day, so they were finishing theirs. So there was an overlap of just a couple of hours. If you add into the mix your flexible working hours and daylight savings, then there can be times when there’s the possibility of not being around at the same time as your team. There might be days when you can’t see or speak with them, so it really depends on how crucial your project is.

At the other end of the scale, there have been team members in the United States and that’s a country spanning a number of time zones. For Brits, east coast USA is OK, with Boston, New York and Washington D.C. all being just 5 hours behind. However, clients in San Francisco are 8 hours behind, so planning a meeting with them, you’ll catch them as they get into the office just as you’re supposed to be leaving.

So, in the grand scheme of things, having a local web designer/developer, SEO, PPC or graphic design team is just brilliant.

How Local is Local?

So, by time zone standards, Lands End and John O’ Groats are on the same time. The only problem is that they’re at opposite ends of the country. Surely you can get more local than that?

And that is another thing – exactly how local is local?

I live in the suburbs of my town and within a mile or two are a few pubs. The nearest one I’ve not set foot in for years. It’s not my cup of tea. Then there are a few more mediocre ones, a really nice pub and then “my local”, The Prince of Wales (Farnborough not Fleet). My pub of choice is 2 miles as the crow flies but nearly 3 miles by road. It’s less than 10 minutes drive there or a 40 min walk. That, to me, is local.

When Clever Marketing were based in Woking, Surrey, that was about 15 miles away and a 30 min drive by car, so that’s local. Now that we’re all in Farnborough it’s hyper local.

It’s the time that it takes to get to your design team that’s important – there’s the initial meeting to thrash out the design brief, then the additional project meetings when things need clarification in person and also the training sessions, inspecting the work, sending design proofs over, delivering finished product etc. By being local to your creative advisors, you can be at each other’s doors in no time. In Farnborough, we have a mainline to Waterloo, so the capital is less than 40 minutes away. What’s more, clients can save on “London prices” because we have lower overheads and no table-football or spacehoppers in our design studio.

All that said, I visited an SEO client in Essex once. Whilst they are on the other side of London, the trip around the M25 should only be about 90 minutes each way. So, that’s nearly half the working day spent travelling and you need to decide if that’s OK to maintain on a regular basis. If you’re taking on the services of a top digital marketing agency like Clever, then that should be well worthwhile.

Your Local Digital Marketing Agency in Hampshire

Our agency was based in Woking until November 2018 but, due to the disruption from the massive town centre projects, we relocated our digital marketing agency in Farnborough, Hampshire. Still on the main Portsmouth to London Waterloo railway line, we are still highly accessible. The Reading-to-Gatwick train line also passes through our town and we are on the M3, A30 and A331. We’re a proper local digital agency.

Guildford too, is close to our marketing HQ, within just half an hour’s drive, as are Aldershot, Alton, Bracknell, Camberley, Farnham, Fleet and Church Crookham, Guildford, Reading… So, as well as London, the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey are all really close.

The advantages of a local agency are:

  • The speed at which you can reach each other.
  • The costs of travel and delivery.
  • Local knowledge (Great for local SEO).
  • Honesty and transparency.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire SEO, PPC & Digital Agency.It really pays to shop local even for your digital marketing services. You can talk SEO and PPC with your agency and actually look them in the eye. We like that.

Looking for a digital agency? Then call Clever Marketing on 01276 534 680, or fill in our easy contact form for a friendly discussion about your next digital project.

Paul Mackenzie Ross
Digital Marketing Manager

Clever Marketing, digital agency in Hampshire - Call 01276 534 680.

How to Write a Design Brief to be Proud of!

Taking time out to write a design brief to be proud of can seem like a pretty daunting task; especially if you have little or no experience of ever completing one. How do you get all your ideas across in a clear and concise way, and make sure the designer is on your wavelength? Well, here at Hampshire Digital Agency Clever Marketing we have put together a few points which should help get you on the right track.

Introduce yourself

It’s important to remember the designers who take on your brief will more than likely have little or no knowledge of your company and what you do. You need to introduce yourself and give them insights into your company’s background.

  • Who is your business and what you do?
  • What is your history and how did you get here?
  • Do you have an existing website or comprehensive brand guidelines?

These are key factors which will help the designers get to know you better.

How did you get here?

The key to a successful project begins with your brief to the designer, so try to give them as much information as possible about the background and history of your new project.

  • Why are you doing it and what do you expect to achieve?
  • How does it fit in with all your other marketing activities?
  • What is your budget?

Your target audience

This information is vital when creating a design brief.

  • Are you targeting a specific age group or demographic?
  • Are the audience going to be newcomers to the subject matter, or already ‘in the know’?
  • Give the designer any insights into your business marketplace, and what you want to achieve within it. Have you completed any market research that would be relevant to the project?
  • Who are your competitors, and what do they do better than you?

What do you want?

Whether you’re designing a whole brand, a website, or a brochure, be sure to let your designer know your goals and expectations; including any deliverables for the project at the beginning.

Are there any specifications or sizes the designer needs to adhere to?

Think about everything you want before the project commences. Successful concepts usually span different media, which will result in a more cohesive marketing campaign that will return better results for your company. Designers need to know this from the beginning of the project so they can ensure their ideas work on all levels.

Get this right and you’ll have a design brief to be proud of.

Likes or dislikes

Discussing examples of similar projects you like or dislike will ensure your designer has an understanding of your personal tastes and preferences, and avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to seeing the first proofs! Don’t have any examples? No problem! Perhaps there are particular colours or typefaces you favour?

Even an emotion you wish to convey can be helpful with the design process. Remember, the more information you give to your designer, the more likely it is that you’ll get back something you love, so be generous!

Chat about it

Getting a second opinion can be really beneficial for any project, so be sure to talk through the brief with your colleagues before you engage a designer. This may seem like a simple task, but it can often be overlooked. Making sure you all have the right goals in mind before you send the brief off will ensure that the result will be one you can all agree on, and should avoid any unnecessary and costly amends!

Need it quick?

Do you have a specific deadline in mind for the delivery of your project?

It’s important to discuss a time-frame with your designer at the very beginning so you can determine whether your deadline is achievable, or discuss a quicker alternative if needed.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital Agency - How to write a design brief to be proud of!Now that you’ve got a project brief to be proud of are you ready to get that project underway?

Get in touch with Hampshire Digital Agency Clever Marketing and we’ll be happy to discuss your print, web design, PPC campaigns or SEO requirements.

Call us on 01276 534 680 or complete our easy contact form.