In the years gone by, the way a digital agency has traditionally gone about dealing with clients has been pretty straightforward. Most companies have realised the importance of a 'digital presence' and have either hired or upskilled employees to leverage the latest and greatest platforms the world wide web has to offer, and engaged agencies to help them build their presence. The digital agency would be approached by a client who would prescribe some wishlist ideas, and a budget, then through negotiation, this would become the project scope.
This approach has always worked pretty well in the past, but as the years roll on, you start to notice some cracks in the walls. The biggest one I find, is that more often than not, the client has asked for something that they have heard about elsewhere, a competitor perhaps, or maybe an industry related blog post, without truly giving thought to how that particular solution / platform is going to fit in to the day-to-day operations of their company.
As a company we spent years creating the perfect, flexible CMS, making it possible for clients to think of literally anything they wanted to do, and allowing us to be able to do it cost-effectively. The level of management could be as fine-grained as your imagination will allow. The one resounding lesson from all that we've learnt, is that the more complex a product is, the more complex it is to manage, and the more time it consumes. There is no 'silver bullet' for that.
If you are in an organisation of 5, and your job title is something along the lines of 'Marketing Director / Receptionist / Emergency Coffee Run person' chances are you're pretty time poor. And you certainly wont be able to rely on 'Senior Developer / Cleaner / Accountant / Jukebox' to help you out. So something that requires a massive time investment for you as a platform is not going to help your case.
Most companies look at any new digital undertaking as something that is limited by budget, and while budget is a massive consideration, time investment needs to be considered just as carefully. It doesn't matter if you have a basic WordPress site, or an absolutely behemoth Drupal site, or even something that's just good ol' static HTML, if you don't have the time to keep it fresh and up to date, your presence will suffer.
So when you are considering Zoho vs. Sugar CRM vs. Salesforce, or if you want to break into e-commerce and are possibly looking at Magento vs. Shopify vs. WooCommerce, take a step back, and try to think 'how much time do I need to devote to this to make it truly work?'.
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