If you happen to pay any attention to Onespacemedia’s recent social media musings, it’s obvious that we’ve been making a bit of a fanfare about the fact that we’ve just been announced as a top ten UK digital agency.
Despite the fact that awards in the creative industries can sometimes come across as a vanity play, we’re all really proud to be listed among some of the UK’s most high-profile independent agencies. Collectively, we’ve got an awful lot of respect for the agencies that go above and beyond to deliver a quality product and an outstanding experience - and it’s a pleasure to be in their company.
We’re always trying to improve the way that we do things at Onespacemedia. We’re huge proponents of learning - and while there are a number of commonalities to each project, I’m honest when I say that the whole team are exposed to learning new skills all the time - or at the very least, finely honing their existing ones. Reflecting on the awards ceremony itself was when I got to thinking - ‘What got us here?’. ‘What do we do consistently enough that our clients have taken the time to rate us so highly?’. Really, I’m just thinking out loud - but I thought I’d take the time to share a few of the things that we try to make sure we keep in mind throughout our projects.
Although all of the parts of our approach are important, flexibility might be the most important part of our outfit. We try our best to ‘spec’ everything as accurately as we can - for our developers’ sanity, our commercial bottom-line and our clients’ protection. The truth is, though - developing complex systems needs flexibility. Sometimes clients just don’t know precisely what they’ll need until they see it come together. Making small amendments ‘on the fly’ are low-overhead ways to tailor the deliverable to make sure our clients are delighted.
It should be said that the key part of making flexibility successful is communication - and it needs to be clear to both us and the client that ’tweaks’ aren't ‘features’, because otherwise it becomes impossible to manage the project’s scope effectively. Truthfully, sometimes being flexible means that we make less money for our time. That’s just an economic reality. But it also means the people that have chosen to work with us (despite a very competitive marketplace) become genuine advocates for our approach - and that’s a marketing device that money just can’t buy.
Our work can be difficult. Being able to accept the challenge of solving problems that aren't solved very often means that intellectually rigorous work comes with the territory. But these things can’t be obstacles - they’re challenges. A positive approach to the tough stuff and a commitment to making sure our clients understand how we’re working on them means that we try to create a supportive, rewarding environment for the team, and subsequently a great-value, highly productive experience for our clients.
Being honest with each other and our clients means that issues can be dealt with quickly and easily - rather than letting them derail a perfectly good project simply because of a lack of communication. We’ll always be honest. We insist on it - it’s a really important part of making sure that our deliverables match their expectation. It also means we can focus on working in a way that fosters our best results. Pretending we’re something we’re not is disingenuous for all kinds of reasons - and it doesn’t work for us.
The value of our team is huge. We’re ten people now (I joined as full-time number four) and the talent of the people that work here is really what underpins being able to provide a leading experience. The chief dynamic that underpins the way we work is that everybody’s opinion is valid. We can sometimes find solutions to unusual problems in the departments that aren’t even tasked to solve them - and our continuous conversation and collaboration makes that possible.
In closing, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the clients that we work with on a day-to-day basis - particularly those that took the time to rate their experience with working with us. We’re a small, but growing organisation -and we’re always trying to improve. Your collective confidence in the Onespacemedia team makes up a large part of being able to help you represent your own businesses in a way that does them justice - and I’m really looking forward to continuing such productive relationships.
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