6 reasons why consultants and agencies should work together

It occurred to me, after I posted my last remarks, that I never even mentioned why consultants and agencies would want to work together in the first place. This time, I'd like to offer 6 reasons that this relationship is worth pursuing.

1. It's a win-win-win. This arrangement offers benefits for everyone involved. The client gets better work. The consultants get more work. And the agency gets access to different projects.

2. Greater differentiation. When consultants can offer design services to their clients, they can differentiate. Same thing with agencies. When they can offer consulting services, they have more value to their clients.

3. Longer, deeper engagements. When you can own a greater share of what the client's doing, you can do a better job (and make more money). With an upstream or downstream partner, you get to be in more conversations and stay involved as the project runs its course.

4. Cross-pollination. Consultants can learn from agency folks, and agency people can learn from consultants. When your personnel are exposed to a whole new way of thinking, working, and understanding the world, interesting things start to happen in your own organization.

5. Strategic execution. As you know, I frequently post about how strategy and execution are intertwined. When the consultants and agencies get together on a project, it's easier to make sure that the strategy is related to the execution and the execution to the strategy.

6. Lower costs to the client. Blended project teams are typically cheaper for the client because there is no ramp-up time required. Also, the agency doesn't spend its time trying to rewrite the strategy of the now-absent consultants. (Believe it or not, this problem is very common.)