When Chris Chapman set up digital marketing & website design agency Agency97 back in 2011, he was determined to do things differently.
Chris had seen how digital marketing agencies worked and this experience gave him ideas on how it could be improved for clients, particularly around day to day interactions with their agency.
Typically, when an organisation appoints an agency they experience layers of management including sales, client services and project management.
These layers of management become the third person in a business relationship, sitting between the client and the people doing the work – the designers and developers.
Chester based Agency97 have no ‘middle man’, their clients speak directly to the team; this approach enables the request to be more accurately scoped, timelines and costs minimised and the team feeling closer to the clients, which fosters a ‘real sense of ownership’.
An unexpected outcome when using this method is that it helps build a clients’ knowledge of digital marketing, which in turn makes them become more effective.
Five years later, after building successful relationships with clients based on this ethos, Chris is expanding the company.
This year Agency97 has strengthened their offering and built a new digital marketing team to help their customers grow their online presence further.
Agency97 has formed long term technology partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, Google and Umbraco (web content management) holding various certified partner statuses.
“We started off focusing on website design and builds and I knew that to get the best results we needed to take a different approach," said Chris.
"I always believed that clients valued speaking directly to the experts and that our team would enjoy the experience - at the end of the day people deal with people”.
In addition the agency works in cross discipline pods (design, development and marketing) to make sure all functions work together to deliver the best results for clients.
Many agencies split these skills into departments meaning elements of web projects get built in silos with things like search engine optimisation (SEO) being an afterthought rather than something considered from the ground up.
“This approach has worked well in practice and even as we expand our services, we’ll continue to provide services using cross discipline delivery pods.
“It places the onus on our team and they have to be comfortable speaking to clients but we are careful to make sure that our people are happy to do this,” added Chris.
“Since I started the business, Ellis and Co have been our accountants but they are also a trusted advisor guiding the business in the right direction financially.
“They are also a client, and the longevity and quality of our relationship shows how effective this direct interaction has been”.
For further information about Agency97 click here.