When we discussed the reasons it seemed that we were experiencing the same frustrations with the same old issues. The length of time it was taking to get good work to clients, shock at the high estimate costs that were being turned out, and being driven completely insane by laborious process on top of process that was reducing the ability to be nimble, driving up costs to the client and stifling creativity.
It transpired that our individual likes and dislikes of the traditional agency world were the same, so we started thinking about building an agency for the future. We started thinking about dream teams: lean creative teams, producing smart work quickly, working with clients directly, removing the triple and quadruple checking processes; and billing clients in a way that would reflect this leaner approach.
We came to the conclusion that if we pooled our individual experiences, knowledge and specialisms, the three of us could head up a virtual agency that could offer clients the wider array of resource required today.
We would also have the pick of the crop of star performers that we'd identified and used in the past. Freelance partners, marketers, strategists, researchers, creatives, graphic and digital designers, photographers, copywriters, website developers, social media strategists to name a few.
WISE was born.
At WISE we're not restricted to times of day, we're all pretty happy even when we’re working to tight deadlines and jumping through hoops to fulfil client requests. We're nothing like traditional agencies, we've started a project before they've had time to find a meeting room that's free, coordinate their calendars and hold a start-up meeting – no exaggeration here. Remember, the three of us have been there!
We tailor our approach around our clients' needs and desires. While some clients want a ‘one call does it all’ approach, others like to get really into the nitty gritty. We’re totally cool with clients having direct contact with our partners. We’ve found this really helps in meeting the needs of clients with little or none of the accidental misdirection that happens when you have account managers running around with a brief that eventually needs translating as it's changed into a game of Chinese whispers!
It's been said that a virtual agency isn't as much fun when it comes to brainstorming sessions, it's just not the same when you're not in the same room together. We disagree, we'll brainstorm Skype and then float our ideas out to our creative partners. They'll then expand our thinking and narrow it to one or two ideas that they'll share with us. We then provide focus guidance and then we socialise it across the client team and solicit feedback. Modern technology knows no bounds, it adds to the fun!
Though we ensure that WISE will continue to run as a modern and lean operation, there’s still plenty of work that has to be done the old way. We still travel miles to client meetings and presentations. And, most importantly, we're aware that nothing will ever change the personal side of our industry, building strong working relationships face-to-face.